The Redmen TV – Match Preview: Liverpool vs West Bromwich Albion


15:00 Saturday

Match Preview:

Liverpool host West Bromwich Albion at Anfield this weekend, with the visitors enjoying an 1 point advantage over their hosts – the sides sit 14th and 10th following the opening six weekends of the league season. The Reds find themselves struggling for form as we move into autumn – 6 points from the opening three matches represented a decent start, but they’ve taken just 4 points from the last five, losing home to Aston Villa and away to West Ham United, drawing in their home Merseyside Derby, and losing away in Basel since the last international break. Alan Irvine’s side, on the other hand, started slowly and looked to be struggling for goals but have improved significantly during recent weeks – they’ve taken 7 from their last five in the league, enjoying successive victories away to Tottenham Hotspur and home Burnley, whilst also beating Hull City to progress, along with the Reds, into the League Cup Fourth Round. A victory for Brendan Rodgers’ side would be a great relief going into the next break – 3 points should put Liverpool in the top half and restore parity with a number of their rivals within the pack, albeit well adrift of leaders Chelsea. A win for the Baggies would send them well into the top half and give them a significant gap to the drop zone which, prior to any season, remains their priority. Supporters of both sides will feel that they have reason to believe in a victory on Saturday and will hope that their teams can deliver – early points always carry great significance and three points either way here would represent either a salvaged start or a very strong one.

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Opposition XI:

Ahead of Saturday’s visit of the Baggies, The Redmen TV spoke with supporters Brad Poole, who writes for Baggies Blogand the University of Central Lancashire, and Joe Chapman – thanks to Bran and Joe for providing their insights:

After a fantastic period following promotion, you’ve had a tough time of it since the start of 2013 – I suggested last season that ‘yo-yo-ing’ within the league, rather than between leagues, was a sign of the Club’s progress, but last season must have brought you right back down to earth after previous highs?

Brad: “After our highest ever Premier League finish of eigth the season before, we were very optimistic for the season ahead, a small section even predicting a Europa league finish so it was disappointing to do so poorly. To hardly win a game all season was tough and it brought us right back down to reality, but at least were are in the Premier League. Hopefully the players can turn that into a positive so they do not find themselves in that position again.”

Joe: “You can put down last season’s drop down the league to many different factors. Each one is as predictable and well documented as the next. The failure to resign Romelu Lukaku, the sale of Shane Long, the sacking of Steve Clarke…

Ultimately there was a lot of uncertainty, and generally the squad wasn’t good enough. We had five loanees (none of whom signed permanently), and individuals like Nicolas Anelka and Diego Lugano didn’t perform half as well as we all hoped.

Ultimately we survived, the players scraped over the finish line and now we have a real opportunity to kick on again.”

You parted company with both Steve Clark and his replacement, Pepe Mel, last season – what were the reasons behind these appointments not working out and did/do you agree with their ‘departures’?

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