Liverpool look to demonstrate their ‘bounce-back-ability’ in the Premier League on Sunday when they host West Bromwich Albion at 4pm.
Liverpool fans are hoping that the team will develop a ‘not-slipping-up-any-more-ability’. I’m sure that wish will be frantically scribbled onto many Santa letters in the coming days, along with their wish that Daniel Sturridge will last longer than an hour and a half in between long injury lay-offs. Mind you, there’s only so much Santa can do…
West Brom come to Anfield, and on the face of it, they seem to be in mixed form:
However they have played Leicester City, Manchester United and Spurs in that run of games, and they also made mincemeat of Arsenal, so 8 points should be considered quite the achievement.
Liverpool of course have been in sparkling form since the arrival of Jurgen Klopp, but this ‘sparkle’ now resembles a vomit-covered glitterball the morning after the debauched Xmas party, which was invaded by hordes of uninvited Geordies. In fact their recent league form doesn’t shine as brightly as all the Wise Men have been proclaiming following their demolitions of Chelsea, Manchester City and Southampton:
Liverpool have been devastating when they have been able to press their opponents high up the pitch, and counter-attack with pace. However West Brom are likely to come to Anfield and sit deep with a well-organised defence, so the likes of Benteke, Origi and Firmino may find that they have no room to operate in.
West Brom will look to keep it stable at the back and use the pace and power of Rondon on the break. The Venezuelan may once have been considered a donkey in his early matches for West Brom, but he is now very much their shining star leading them to Premier League safety.
The return to fitness of Philippe Coutinho could prove to be a timely gift for Klopp, who will require his little Brazilian genius to break down the organised defence they’re sure to encounter. Coutinho was in superb form before his untimely injury, with starring roles against Chelsea and Manchester City leading some Liverpool fans to proclaim him as their new messiah.
Liverpool will be desperate for the win to keep in touch with their top-four rivals, as they now sit six points off the pace. In such a topsy-turvy season, any consistency could see Klopp’s men enter the new year with new-found resolution.