Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool have not enjoyed the start to the season they would have envisaged, claiming just seven points from their opening six Premier League games as they seek to build upon last year's return to the top four.
With their midweek trip to Switzerland having also brought Champions League disappointment at the hands of FC Basel, the Reds will be keen to ensure an immediate boost to morale with a comfortable home victory over West Brom this weekend.
The Baggies, full of confidence after three wins in succession in all competitions, will instead see an opportunity to add to that run against an opponent visibly struggling for self-belief at the present time.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014
Time: 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET
Venue: Anfield, Liverpool
TV info and live stream: As a 3 p.m. Saturday kick-off, there will be no live coverage of the fixture on UK television; however, supporters can watch highlights from the game on BBC One's Match of the Day on Saturday night at 10.30 p.m. BST.
For viewers in the US, the match will be streamed live on NBCSN with mobile coverage available via NBC Sports Live Extra.
For Rodgers and Liverpool, this was supposed to be the season they firmly established themselves among the Premier League's elite sides, perhaps even looking to kick on from last year's runner-up berth to launch another full-blown title challenge.
A variety of reasons have meant that, thus far, such a tilt for honours appears unlikely to materialise, with the summer departure of Luis Suarez always likely to be latched upon as a key factor by the club's critics.
In Basel on Wednesday night, the Reds were dreadful and fully deserving of their 1-0 defeat. Slow in their midfield play and woefully out of form in attack, where Lazar Markovic, Raheem Sterling and Mario Balotelli looked ill at ease with the game plan set out, Liverpool looked a mile away from the effervescent side that shocked the league last season.
Injuries to Daniel Sturridge and Joe Allen, in particular, have not helped, nor have tough recent fixtures with Manchester City and Everton.
However, even the usually optimistic Rodgers has admitted he is not content with his side's recent form, tellingly commenting to BBC Sport that their performance in a 1-1 draw with Everton was "was at a much better level than where we have been."
Meanwhile, the Baggies and Alan Irvine, having been tipped to struggle this year, have greatly improved their season outlook in the past fortnight with wins over Tottenham, Burnley and Hull City, the latter in the Capital One Cup.
"It's been a very good week with three very good performances but the moment you start getting carried away is the moment the game comes back to bite you," Irvine is quoted as saying by the Irish Independent's Jon Culley following Sunday's success over Burnley.
With England Under-21 international Saido Berahino in particularly fine form, finding the net five times already this campaign, they will hope to cause the Reds difficulties this weekend—particularly if they can exploit any weakness from set pieces.
The Sunday Times' Jonathan Northcroft certainly believes it is an area that Liverpool must improve after another goal was conceded from a set piece in Basel:
Jonathan Northcroft @JNorthcroft
No sign of Liverpool improving defending/communication at set pieces and there should be by now.2014-10-1 19:57:46
The game on Saturday will be a real test of Liverpool's resolve to fix their current malaise, with Rodgers doubtless keen to enter the international break in better spirits.
The Reds have proven before they have the quality and desire to win such games comfortably, but recent form would suggest the Baggies have a real chance of success if they can focus on exploiting any chinks in the Liverpool armour that have been exposed in recent weeks.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-0 West Brom