West Brom vs Liverpool – Backing a home win at 13/8 with Betfair
It has become almost expected that Liverpool will slip up in games like the one they will face at the Hawthorns. The Reds are impressive in the final third and getting up the pitch at pace, but they struggle when being countered on, especially against the pace and strength West Brom possess.
Tony Pulis does not do tactical subtlety and it is well documented how he will get his side to play. His midfield, which will most likely include Darren Fletcher, Claudio Yacob or Jake Livermore and James Morrison, will sit deep and attempt to contain the Reds, not allowing any balls through and into Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. That trio will look to swap positions and come deep to link up the play in an attempt to pull West Brom’s defence out of position, but none of that will matter if the ball cannot make it through.
From there, the WBA players will play fast balls out wide to get Liverpool’s fullbacks on the back foot. Saloman Rondon will provide an outlet both as a target man for balls in behind. There could be cause for Morrison to push on and join Matt Phillips, Nacer Chadli and Rondon, because Jurgen Klopp’s side lack protection when defending counter attacks. That, plus a remarkably high line at the back has already spelt trouble at the likes of Hull, Burnley and Leicester.
Pulis’ men showed how capable they were against Arsenal, and not just from set pieces, which they have scored more goals from than anyone in the Premier League this season. Both of the Liverpool fullbacks are weak links and thus can be pressurised by direct play.
If Liverpool can get in behind the wall in midfield, they will have some joy. Gareth McAuley, Craig Dawson and Jonny Evans will not look forward to facing any Reds attacker one on one.
But West Brom are on fire this season, while Liverpool struggle to match teams with a similar philosophy. It definitely wouldn’t be a waste if you were to put some money on a home win.