Premier League preview: Liverpool v West Brom
By Football News
Liverpool can put some distance between themselves and the middle part of the table when they host West Bromwich Albion on Monday.
The Reds have slipped up on their past two outings - albeit against powerful opposition Arsenal and Manchester City - giving up leads to draw 2-2 in both fixtures.
A two-goal lead was cancelled out in quick time at the Emirates, before a freakish Sergio Aguero goal denied them the points at the Etihad.
The brave results came off the back of an insipid loss to League One strugglers Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup, in a highly improved patch from Brendan Rodgers' men.
However, the visit of Steve Clarke's West Brom to Anfield should provide them with the victory they are craving at the moment to close the gap on a guaranteed European spot - with the closest assured position held by rivals Everton, some six points above them.
And with Everton visiting runaway leaders Manchester United, Rodgers' side might be able to cut that gap significantly.
Clarke's side are ripe for the picking too, having only two draws to show for their past eight matches in all competitions - and those stalemates came against the Premier League's worst two sides in the standings, Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers.
It has been a tale of two seasons for the Hawthorns club, as their blistering start to the season had them as high as third spot and dreaming of Europe - only to fall back to earth with a thud.
While they are in no danger of relegation some 13 points above the bottom three, WBA have lost that winning feeling - recording just two victories since late November.
Statistically, they could reach fifth and qualify for the Europa League - but on their form, that is all but an impossibility.
That they could surpass the Reds on the table with a victory at Anfield would be an anomaly, as Liverpool have deserved more from their impressive performances at two of the toughest grounds to win at in the English top flight.
And it can be expected they will return in front of the Kop on Monday, and put several goals into WBA's net.
In injury news, Martin Kelly (knee) is still out until March, while Raheem Sterling (illness) and Daniel Sturridge (hip) could return to Rodgers' matchday squad.
Long-term absentees Zoltan Gera, George Thorne and Youssouf Mulumbu (all knee) remain out indefinitely.