West Bromwich Albion vs Liverpool – Preview
Jurgen Klopp is satisfied with his opening season at Liverpool but concedes that results in the Barclays Premier League could have been better going into Sunday’s game at West Bromwich Albion.
The Reds boss is expected to ring the changes for the final match of the BPL campaign, with Sevilla lying in wait for the Europa League final in Basle next Wednesday.
Liverpool will finish no lower than eighth in the BPL, but could end up as high as sixth depending on the results of West Ham United and Southampton in their contests against Stoke City and Crystal Palace respectively.
“We could have more points (currently 59). It made no sense we lost some games,” said Klopp.
“For a lot of people it was difficult to enjoy Liverpool football but they were waiting for it and this team gave some of those moments back.
“But the match is still very important, the only way we can climb the table is with a win at West Brom. We will try to find a line-up to win.”
Liverpool are unbeaten in five league matches against West Brom, but have lost their last three away matches on the final day of the season in 2011, 2012 and 2015.
West Brom, though have won just one of their nine final day BPL matches.
Baggies defender Gareth McAuley is relieved to be free of a relegation battle, with a finish as high as 12th or as low as 16th still possible for his side.
“There’s a massive amount of pressure on the players at the football club to deliver that (safety) for various reasons,” McAuley told the Birmingham Mail. “There were teams fighting for their lives and it was nice not to be a part of that.”
Klopp revealed that Danny Ings could make a return to the squad after missing seven months with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, while Jordan Henderson (knee) and Divock Origi (ankle) are getting closer to a comeback, but are not expected to be back prior to the Europa League final.
West Brom will check on Darren Fletcher (ankle), Jonny Evans (groin), Stephane Sessegnon (illness) and Adam Pritchard (thigh) ahead of the game.
West Bromwich Albion (from): Foster, Myhill, Chester, Dawson, Evans, Gamboa, McAuley, Olsson, Pocognoli, Fletcher, Gardner, McClean, McManaman, Pritchard, Sandro, Sessegnon, Yacob, Anichebe, Berahino, Lambert, Rondon.
Liverpool (from): Bogdan, Mignolet, Caulker, Clyne, Flanagan, Ilori, Lovren, Moreno, Skrtel, Toure, Allen, Can, Coutinho, Ibe, Lallana, Lucas, Milner, Teixeira, Benteke, Firmino, Ings, Sturridge.
Referee: Robert Madley Assistants: S Bennett, P Kirkup Fourth Official: A Davies
– Liverpool have lost none of the last five Barclays Premier League matches against West Bromwich Albion (W2 D3).
– Daniel Sturridge has scored in both of his league appearances for Liverpool against West Brom.
– Liverpool have lost each of their last three final-day fixtures in the BPL that have been away from Anfield (2011, 2012 and 2015).
– West Brom have won just one of their nine final-day matches in the competition (W1 D5 L3).