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West Brom v Liverpool: Klopp wants Premier League progress

Jurgen Klopp is satisfied with his opening season at Liverpool but concedes that results in the Premier League could have been better going into Sunday’s game at West Brom.

The Reds boss is expected to ring the changes for the final game of the league campaign, with Sevilla lying in wait for the Europa League final in Basle next Wednesday.

Liverpool will finish no lower than eighth, but could end up as high as sixth depending on the results of West Ham and Southampton in their games against Stoke City and Crystal Palace respectively.

Klopp feels the club’s points tally of 59 could be significantly higher, but is generally happy with how his first campaign has gone after replacing Brendan Rodgers in October.

Asked if his start could have gone any better, Klopp said: “In terms of my relationship with the club and fans, no. We have made a nice seven months.

“We could have more points. It made no sense we lost some games. On the league side it could be better but is OK for the moment.

“For a lot of people it was difficult to enjoy Liverpool football but they were waiting for it and this team gave some of those moments back.

“We have had great atmospheres, the best atmospheres in the world at this moment.

“If you cannot be number one or one of the best four teams, you still have to develop. The Premier League goes on next year, we will play again, so we can use each experience for this year for next year. That is what we will do.

“But the match is still very important, the only way we can climb the table is with a win at West Brom. We will try to find a line-up to win.”

Liverpool are unbeaten in five league games against West Brom, but have lost their last three away matches on the final day of the season in 2011, 2012 and 2015.

West Brom, though have won just one of their nine final day Premier League matches.

Baggies defender Gareth McAuley is relieved to be free of the pressure of the relegation battle, with a finish as high as 12th or as low as 16th still possible for his side.

“That [safety] is an important thing for the club,” he told the Birmingham Mail.

“There’s a massive amount of pressure on the players at the football club to deliver that for various reasons. For all the guys round the club as well it’s important we do that first and foremost.

“There were teams fighting for their lives and it was nice not to be a part of that.”

Klopp hinted that Danny Ings could make a return to the squad after missing seven months with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, while Jordan Henderson (knee) and Divock Origi (ankle) are getting closer to a comeback, but are not expected to be back prior to the Europa League final.

West Brom will check on Darren Fletcher (ankle), Jonny Evans (groin), Stephane Sessegnon (illness) and Adam Pritchard (thigh) ahead of the game.


Key Opta Stats:

– Daniel Sturridge has scored in both of his Premier League appearances for Liverpool against West Brom.
– Tony Pulis’ side have lost their last three Premier League matches at the Hawthorns without scoring. The last time they went four without finding the net was January 2005.
– Six of Christian Benteke’s nine Premier League goals for Liverpool have come as a substitute – more than any other player has managed this season in the top-flight.
– The Reds have found the back of the net in each of their last 13 Premier League games, their longest scoring run in the competition since April 2014 (25).
– James Milner has provided 11 assists in the Premier League this season, two more than any other English player (Dele Alli next on nine).
– The Baggies have failed to score from four of their five Premier League penalties this season, the most misses by a side in this campaign.

Fri 13 May, 2016
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