Liverpool have to be thrilled with their start to the season, as the Reds currently have 17 points and are third on the table despite a summer of Luis Suarez drama and the aforementioned striker suspended to start the season.
West Brom have to be thrilled with how they've responded to a slow start. The club lost two of their first three Premier League games but haven't lost since, taking nine points from their past five matches that included a win over Manchester United and a draw with Arsenal.
Now, these teams face with Liverpool looking to remain near the top of the table and West Brom hoping to crack into the top 10 by stealing points at Anfield. Let's break this contest down.
When: Saturday, October 26 at 10 a.m. ET (3 p.m. BST)
Where: Anfield, Liverpool, England
Watch: NBC Sports Live Extra
Odds: Liverpool (57.2 percent), West Brom (19.3 percent) and draw (23.5 percent), according to Bloomberg Sports
The story of the season thus far for Liverpool is the play of forwards Daniel Sturridge (seven goals, two assists in eight league games) and Luis Suarez (three goals and an assist in three league games). Outside of perhaps only Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil, Sturridge and Suarez have formed the most dangerous attacking duo in the Premier League thus far.
And while he won't be back in time for the match against West Brom, electrifying No. 10 Philippe Coutinho should be back in time to face Arsenal next week, according to Mike Whalley of ESPN:
Reds manager Brendan Rodgers has ruled out the possibility of the playmaker making his return against West Brom at Anfield on Saturday.
However, Coutinho is back in training, and Rodgers is looking forward to having him back in the side.
“He might just be short for this weekend,” Rodgers said. “You always miss quality. He’s rejoined the training group. Philippe’s joined in with the team on a non-contact basis, and I would think after the weekend, he’ll be fine."
Speaking of Arsenal, could the Reds overlook West Brom with a date at the Emirates Stadium on tap? It's always possible, given how important that match will be atop the table, but with leaders like Steven Gerrard, you would expect the Reds to be focused in front of their home crowd.
Gerrard isn't just a leader, however—he's been excellent this campaign, earning an average match rating of 7.69 from WhoScored.com, tied for fifth in the Premier League.
West Brom aren't going to bombard any teams with offense—they've scored just seven goals in eight league games—but they have been playing excellent defense, conceding just six goals on the season, fourth best in the EPL.
Expect them to play a compact, conservative game and hope to spring forward when given the opportunity on the counter-attack. Recent history is on their side, too—they've won at Anfield two seasons in a row.
West Brom don't concede often, but neither do Liverpool—they've given up just seven goals this season. West Brom will try to contain Suarez and Sturridge as much as possible, but it's hard to see them providing much of a scare for keeper Simon Mignolet either.
Expect Liverpool to earn the lion's share of possession and spend much of this game trying to unlock West Brom's defense. It won't be the prettiest win for the Reds, but they'll take it.
Liverpool win, 1-0.
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