West Bromwich Albion v Liverpool - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

To be played on Sunday 2nd February 2014 at 13:30. Venue: The Hawthorns, West Bromwich.

Odds: West Bromwich Albion 19/4, Draw 3/1, Liverpool 4/6

Last season: 3-0

Preview & injury news

It hasn't been a dull start for West Bromwich Albion under Pepe Mel so far, but they probably think they should have more points than the one they picked up from their draw against Everton after going down 4-3 to Aston Villa in midweek, despite having a two goal lead. As a result, the Baggies are looking a little anxiously over their shoulders given they are only three points above the relegation zone. For Liverpool, they had a massive win in the week both in terms of scoreline and significance as they overcame Everton 4-0 at Anfield which moved them three points ahead of the rest in the race for fourth place. 

On the injury front, West Brom are without Stephane Sessegnon until the start of March with a groin injury whilst Nicolas Anelka is unlikely to feature against one of his old clubs after hobbling off in the defeat to Aston Villa at Villa Park on Wednesday evening.

Liverpool's injury list is still pretty substantial, with Joe Allen the only player who missed out of the Merseyside derby with any chance of being fit for the trip to The Hawthorns as he tries to shrug off a hamstring problem. Mamadou Sakho is not expected back until towards the end of February with the same injury whilst Daniel Agger could be back for the huge clash with Arsenal next weekend after being sidelined with a calf problem. Glen Johnson and Jose Enrqiue are still sidelined indefinitely whilst Lucas Leiva continues his recover from a knee injury.

Key stats

Here are the two sides top scores in the league this season:

Saido Berahino West Brom FW 4 18 703
Shane Long West Brom FW 3 15 1,038
Luis Suárez Liverpool FW 23 18 1,618
Daniel Sturridge Liverpool FW 13 15 1,171
Steven Gerrard Liverpool MF 6 19 1,587

Their average possession statistics from this season:

NamePossession PercentageGames
West Bromwich Albion 46.57 23
NamePossession PercentageGames
Liverpool 54.00 23

And the amount of clean sheets the two sides have kept this season

NameClean SheetGames
West Bromwich Albion 5 23
NameClean SheetGames
Liverpool 7 23

5 players to watch

James Morrison - The middle of the park is going to be an interesting battle and Morrison will hope that Liverpool are a little more open than they were in midweek. If so, he could be a real threat from midfield with a bit of creativity and craft.

Daniel Sturridge - Sturridge has scored for the Reds on every appearance for the side since his injury and you'd be a brave person to bet against him doing it again against the Baggies. Sturridge was substituted after going in search for his hat-trick against Everton when he had teammates in better positions. He'll want to shrug off fresh claims he is a selfish footballer.

Victor Anichebe - The former Everton player will be coming up against a Liverpool defence that is hampered by injuries, but one that has kept two clean sheets on the bounce. However, they have been vulnerable to a big, physical presence, and Anichebe would love nothing more than to get one over on the Reds.

Philippe Coutinho - Coutinho was criticised lately by some fans for a loss of form but he played in a more central area in midweek and excelled. He is likely to take up that role again. Another performance like that will trouble the Baggies at the back.

Jonas Olsson- Olsson has the pleasure of dealing with Liverpool's duo of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. A physical defender, he could ruffle the duo's feathers, but he may be in for a difficult time if they start clicking and play like they did in the reverse fixture.

Earlier on in the season

Liverpool 4-1 West Bromwich Albion - October 2013

Luis Suarez stole the show with a terrific hat-trick at Anfield. He beat three men before firing a low shot to give Liverpool the lead in the 12th minute, which the Uruguayan doubled after heading in Aly Cissokho's cross from the edge of the penalty area. Suarez completed his hat-trick ten minutes into the second half when he headed in Steven Gerrard's free-kick. West Brom pulled one back from the penalty spot after Cissokho was adjudged to have fouled on Billy Jones, with James Morrison getting on the scoresheet. Daniel Sturridge rounded off the scoring by outrageously chipping Boaz Myhill. 

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