Liverpool made amends for a disappointing draw with AFC Bournemouth last Wednesday when they came from behind to snatch all three-points against Stoke City at the weekend to hold on to their place in the top four, but the pressure from the chasing pack hasn’t subsided one bit ahead of their meeting with West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
Well, that’s not entirely true. The Baggies were able to hold fifth place Manchester United at bay when they visited Old Trafford last time out and Arsenal were upended by Crystal Palace on Monday, but that’s not something we need to worry about. Holding matches in hand, either side could ultimately end up catching the Reds — unless, of course, they keep themselves ahead of the curve.
Which, it goes without saying, will be the plan. Having played all of their matches — and gone unbeaten might I add — against the current top six this season, the only way Liverpool can influence the race for European football is to keep marching on and at the very least maintain the unbeaten run that now stretches back to
“It’s very important that players can play together, but if they are only two then it’s pretty difficult still,” explained Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, speaking to the press at Melwood. “Gini Wijnaldum said it after the game, I think – yes, they had a big impact on the game, that’s 100 per cent true, but the whole team played better in the second half,” continued the Reds manager. “If we would have played like in the first half and Roberto and Phil would have been on the pitch, I can only imagine if the difference would have been that big,” added the German. “But with all playing better and these two highest quality players on the pitch, we could change the game. That was fantastic, really good.”
The problem is that the Baggies aren’t playing all that bad themselves; coming off a draw with Manchester United, the hosts will be looking to do one better when the Reds visit. West Brom boss Tony Pulis has been Liverpool’s nemesis for some time now — he always seems to have our number.
Setting up his side to contain and control, former United defender Jonny Evans and defensive partner Gareth McAuley made 13 clearances as they held their hosts at bay, conceding a staggering 75% of the ball, but never giving up a goal. Darren Fletcher’s shot was pushed onto the crossbar by David de Gea as the visitors almost snatched an unlikely winner, but Pulis will be hoping they can produce a bit more than that with Solomon Rondon expected to be adventurous in front of the home crowd.
That’s neither here nor there. If we want to keep the wokves at bay, we need to pick up points and they have to come regardless of if Pulis plays it safe or decides to give it bifters. Either way, you can come at us, bro.