Liverpool vs. West Brom: 5 Things Liverpool Must Do to Win
As the old cliche goes, Liverpool are now playing for pride. Their Premier League season is already over heading into Sunday's clash with West Brom at Anfield.
Liverpool will still be looking to finish the season on a high note. They do not want to suffer further embarrassment by losing to the Baggies.
Here are the five things Liverpool must do if they are to beat West Brom.
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Liverpool has made their fair share of defensive errors this season.
Sloppy marking, poor passes and rash challenges have all led to unnecessary goals. West Brom is an opportunistic side who will pounce on any defensive errors made by Liverpool.
Mistakes at the back have cost Liverpool a countless number of points this season. They must stay focused to ensure they do not slip up and allow West Brom in for easy goals.
Contain Peter Odemwingie
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If Peter Odemwingie scores on Sunday, he will become the first West Brom player to bag 25 Premier League goals.
Odemwingie is a pacey striker who moves extremely well without the ball. He will be searching for weaknesses in the Liverpool defence and will seize any opportunity presented.
Liverpool simply cannot allow Odemwingie to score. He must be contained and not allowed space or time on the ball.
Give Steven Gerrard a License to Attack
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Liverpool are at their brilliant best when Steven Gerrard is sparking the team with surging runs from midfield.
Too often this season Gerrard has played in a deeper role and has not attacked enough. If Liverpool are to comprehensively beat West Brom, as they should, Gerrard must be given a license to attack.
Ideally, he should play in behind Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll where he can dictate play and lead Liverpool forward.
If Gerrard is isolated deep in midfield, Liverpool will struggle to score.
Get the Ball Wide
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If Liverpool exerts their dominance early, West Brom will most likely "park the bus." They will pack the middle of the park with players and look to shut the game down.
To overcome this, Liverpool must stretch West Brom by going wide. Despite the poor play of Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson, Liverpool must play the ball to them to open up space down the middle.
Otherwise, Liverpool will endure another frustrating draw against average opposition.
If Liverpool sees a decent performance from their two wingers, they should secure a comfortable victory.
Take Their Opportunities
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This has been the biggest flaw in Liverpool's play this season.
Andy Carroll, Luis Suarez and Co. have missed a ridiculous number of chances. They have scored only 40 league goals from 435 attempts for a pitiful conversion rate of 9.2 percent.
If Liverpool are to beat West Brom, they must take every opportunity that comes their way. They cannot afford to be wasteful in front of goal.
Liverpool will have numerous chances on Sunday; if they struggle to take them and allow West Brom into the game, it will be another disappointing afternoon at Anfield.