Liverpool v West BromJake Cooper | 12 Oct 2016
Can Liverpool finally claim a Premier League victory against West Brom after a month-long drought?
Boss Brendan Rodgers feels the team haven’t been the same since Luis Suarez left and will be looking for a big response from his charges this weekend.
The Reds enter Saturday’s game fresh from their frustrating loss to Basel in the Champions League and have not won a Premier League game since they beat Tottenham way back in August.
Having come second in the Premier League last season, Liverpool are now over halfway down the table with just seven points from six games. “There was big change in the summer and we lost a world-class player,” Rodgers bemoaned of the team’s recent performance. “We had to improve the squad and unfortunately we are in a period of transition again.
“It was difficult in my first few months but there was a vision that came through that. We know Saturday will be a tough game. They’ve got some very good players but, at home, we expect to win.”
Daniel Sturridge, whose fitness for the weekend’s game is still uncertain, has been the centre of a row between the Liverpool boss and England’s manager Roy Hodgson this week. Hodgson is refusing to accept Liverpool’s training schedule, put in place by Rodgers to prevent further injury. Sturridge has now been left out of the squad for England’s Euro qualifier next week in what appears to be a petty manoeuvre by Hodgson to show who’s in charge.
In addition to Sturridge, Rodgers is also struggling with several other injuries on the team, including Mamadou Sakho, Joe Allen, Emre Can, Glen Johnson and Jon Flanagan.
West Brom are currently tenth in the Premier League and a point clear of Liverpool, adding spice to the fixture.
Alan Irvine’s side got off to a winless start to the season but have won both of their most recent Premier League games, against Tottenham and Burnley respectively, as well as a League Cup clash against Hull City.
Leading their recent points charge has been Saido Berahino who has netted three goals in his last two games. Many thought the 21-year-old striker would receive his England call-up for the San Marino game next week but was left off the team sheet by Hodgson.
“Saido’s a very good professional so I can’t see him getting carried away if he does get selected at full international level,” Irvine commented on the situation.
“His time will come. He may well be disappointed but I don’t know. He might have been hoping after a lot of speculation this week but he’ll handle all of that mentally – he’s in a really good place.”
With West Brom on the up and Liverpool’s performance in a state of flux, West Brom look a good bet to take the three points on offer at Anfield.
Liverpool v West Brom Betting Odds
(Betting odds from Ladbrokes)
West Brom 6/1