Premier League Preview: Liverpool vs. West Bromwich Albion

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  • West Brom boasts 4W-1D-2L record in recent PL fixtures vs. Reds
  • The Baggies have won two of last three at Anfield
  • Liverpool leads all-time series 58W-34D-32L

There’s a boogeyman coming to town, as Liverpool hosts a West Bromwich Albion team that’s had surprising success at Anfield (Watch live on NBCSN, 10am ET and online via Live Extra).

Saturday finds no early match to kick off the Premier League weekend, but two teams with markedly different momentum will contest the match in Liverpool.

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The Reds conceded a late Phil Jagielka goal to draw Everton last week before losing to Basel in a midweek Champions League match. Meanwhile, the Baggies are living the midtable life after upsetting Spurs and blasting Burnley in recent weeks.

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Saido Berahino has been in-form for West Brom, with five goals in eight matches, while Liverpool is hoping striker Mario Balotelli can turn his work ethic into goal production in the absence of Daniel Sturridge. Manager Brendan Rodgers says there has to be more scoring from the Italian.

What they’re saying

Rodgers on Balotelli – “In terms of his behavior since he’s come into here, he’s consciously trying to work hard at the aspects of the game that we demand here at Liverpool… In terms of goals, he needs to improve. It’s as simple as that.”

West Brom boss Alan Irvine on Berahino’s England future – “Saido is a young player who is doing extremely well at the moment and has great potential.  I would hope that one day he will become a full international but I didn’t expect Roy Hodgson to pick him at this stage. Roy knows him well and I’m sure he will pick him at the time when he thinks he’s ready. We’re delighted with how Saido is doing. And we’re delighted he’s being talked about in that way, but Roy will know when the time is right to pick him.”

Prediction

West Brom won’t make it easy, but Liverpool should win this game with or without Sturridge. The struggling club just had their captain, an all-time legend, publicly question their heart. Pretty sure they’ll respond and, with the Kop in full throat, should make it very difficult on the visitors. Call it 3-1 for the Reds.