Match Preview: Liverpool vs West Brom
Date & time: December 27th, 2020 - 4:30pm
Is it on: Sky Sports
Ref: Kevin Friend
A team in a relegation battle, with a new manager, is probably not everyone's idea of a great post-Xmas game.
Telling you that that new manager is Sam Allardyce may make things even worse but the evidence of West Brom's first game under him are that he has quite a job on his hands.
Liverpool go into the game 2 points ahead of city rivals Everton, with a game in hand, knowing that a win will again strengthen our - nearly - mid-season lead at the top.
West Brom will know that nothing is expected of them today, but that usually means that the pressure is off and teams in the bottom spots tend to perform better. Jurgen Klopp won't allow his players to show complacency.
And tiredness really shouldn't be an issue either, after an 8 day break; a real luxury for this squad after a hectic season so far. Which ever way you look at it, 3 points is a must today.
Injuries & Suspension
Little by little, things are improving for the Reds. Thiago, Shaqiri and Milner all returned to training this week, although only the latter two are likely to be involved today.
If any of them manage some involvement though, it's a massive boost going into the festive period, with 4 games in quick succession up until the beginning of January.
For WBA, Conor Townsend, Hal Robson-Kanu and Kyle Bartley are all out, whilst Jake Livermore is suspended.
Last 5 games:
Liverpool (all comps): W-W-D-D-W
WBA (all comps): W-L-L-D-L
Predicted Line up
After a lengthy break, I can't see any reason for a host of changes today. Yes, we do play again on Wednesday but we're one of the lucky ones over this period, with a game every 3-4 days, as opposed to every 48 hours, like a few teams have.
The run of games coming up isn't exactly as hard as we've had over past holiday seasons either so I think ensuring we win today, putting out the strongest available team, and then looking at fitness levels and 'red zones' after the game, is the way forward.
Predicted starting XI: Alisson, Robertson, Matip, Fabinho, Alexander-Arnold, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Jones, Mane, Salah, Firmino