Liverpool v West Brom
8 November 2008
West Brom travel to Anfield this afternoon for a thankless task of trying to take some points off the former European Champions.
The Baggies have conceded two penalties in their last two games, Ryan Donk the offending player on both occasions. The first one, against Newcastle, was a stonewall penalty, however, the one against Blackburn was hotly disputed. If I had been an opposition supporter I would have wanted a penalty for Donk's thoughtless tug on Jason Roberts and in a sense the referee should be applauded for awarding it but he missed a similar offence when Ryan Nelson tugged back Miller in the second half when he was through on goal. The referee had also earlier missed a deliberate handball in the area by Nelson before sending off McCarthy rather harshly for a clumsy handball on the half way line.
In this evening's game you wouldn't bet against Liverpool getting a penalty particularly after having witnessed Gerrard's theatrics in midweek. Following last week's penalty decision it will be interesting to see whether Jamie Carragher gets away with his usual style of defending, what he lacks in skill and pace he makes up for in holding back, pulling, tugging, kicking and intimidation of the referee with his constant back chat.
Liverpool should win the game with ease having amassed a squad, at great expense, that has propelled them to the Premier League's summit. However, they have looked very shaky of late, losing at bottom club Spurs and scraping a draw against Athletico Madrid on Tuesday night. The Baggies desperately need the points to take them away from the bottom three particularly when you consider that after facing Liverpool they host Chelsea and then visit bogey side Stoke City.
Whilst not expecting anything from the game Albion fans will have been encouraged by the partnership that Bednar and Miller have struck up but will the manager play both of them in tonight's game? Now is the time to be brave in my opinion, Miller's pace and power will cause anybody problems and add to that Bednar's predatory skills and the Baggies just might stand a chance of causing an upset.
Liverpool Team News:
The bad news for the Baggies is that Fernando Torres is fit and ready to play.
Player to watch: Robbie Keane
Ex-Wolves player Keane always manages to score against Albion. Here's hoping that he won't this time.
Liverpool (from): Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Agger, Hyypia, Aurelio, Dossena, Benayoun, Babel, Gerrard, Mascherano, Alonso, Pennant, Lucas, Kuyt, Torres, Keane, Riera, Cavalieri.
West Brom Team News:
Meite is still out injured along with fellow centre back Barnett which means that Donk is certain to start when perhaps Tony Mowbray would prefer to rest him. The good news is that Felipe Teixeira is fit and raring to go. His creativity and guile have been sadly missed by Albion this season.
West Brom (from): Carson, Kiely, Zuiverloon, Hoefkens, Donk, Olsson, Robinson, Cech, Morrison, Greening, Koren, Teixeira, Valero, Brunt, Miller, Bednar, Moore, Slusarski, MacDonald, Pele.
Player to watch: Miller
Now Miller has got himself off the mark expect more goals this evening.
2-1 to Liverpool with another dodgy penalty contributing to their win
15 November sees Chelsea play at the Hawthorns