The Baggies travel to Anfield for the televised game on Saturday evening looking to extend their four match unbeaten run. Liverpool’s unbeaten run stretches back to August comprising eight matches in all competitions, with the draw against Manchester United on Monday bringing a run of five successive victories to an end.
Tony Pulis has not lost to Liverpool in the Premier League since February 2011, a run of eight matches including the last three as Albion manager, all of which have been drawn. Only two of those eight games resulted in victories, both at the Britannia Stadium when he was in charge of Stoke City.
Albion’s record against Liverpool in the Premier League started with nine straight defeats without scoring a single goal including 6-0 and 5-0 home defeats, before Chris Brunt’s two penalties gave Albion a win at the Hawthorns in April 2011. That was a start of a run of 16 points from the last 11 games against the Reds including two wins at Anfield.
Last season’s match saw Jürgen Klopp’s team equalise deep into injury time, causing the German to lead his players in some extraordinary celebrations in front of the Kop. This season, Liverpool are closer to the side that Klopp wants them to be and I’m sure that most Albion fans will be happy to leave Merseyside with a point.
It may well take another fantastic performance from Ben Foster for that to happen. The former England man’s man of the match display against Spurs ensured that Albion’s unbeaten run continued, and a further extension to that run would be very welcome with league leaders, Manchester City, the next visitors to the Hawthorns.
José Mourinho set up United to frustrate Liverpool at Anfield on Monday, and I’m sure Tony Pulis will be aiming to do the same. Nacer Chadli has become an extraordinarily important player for Albion this season – he has helped to transform the Baggies into a team with a far greater threat on the break. His pace and intelligence has dramatically improved the team in the transition between defence and attack and, with Klopp’s team likely to press high up the field, that part of the game is likely to be very important.
Claudio Yacob has been another star for Albion this season, and his performance against Spurs was excellent and a key factor in Albion getting a point. He is still prone to a booking, however, and he is one yellow card away from a suspension – he is unlikely to last until the five-card cut off at the end of the year, but he will be much needed against City next week so it is important that he gets through this weekend’s match without a caution.
One player who has reached five cautions is Jonny Evans. The former Manchester United man will miss the game at Liverpool having got his fifth yellow against Spurs. Another important part of the team, his place is likely to be take by Jonas Olsson for his first appearance since the EFL Cup defeat at Northampton back in August. The Swede will have fond memories of Anfield, however, having scored Albion’s second goal in last season’s encounter.
It will be a tough test for Albion, particularly without Jonny Evans at the heart of the defence, but I fancy Albion to make it four successive draws.
All competitions; most recent game on the right
15 May 2016 – Premier League
West Brom 1 (Rondón)
Liverpool 1 (Ibe)
Last meeting at Liverpool
13 Dec 2015 – Premier League
Liverpool 2 (Henderson, Origi)
West Brom 2 (Dawson, Olsson)
11 Feb 2013 – Premier League
West Brom 2 (McAuley, Lukaku)
Albion’s Record against Liverpool
|Premier League Record|