How Liverpool Will Line Up Against West Bromwich Albion

Mark Jones@@Mark_Jones86Featured ColumnistOctober 24, 2013

How Liverpool Will Line Up Against West Bromwich Albion

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    Matches against West Bromwich Albion were amongst the most regrettable of Liverpool's 2012/'13 season.

    The Baggies completed a deserved league double over the Reds by beating them 3-0 on the opening day of the season at The Hawthorns before following that up with a 2-0 victory at Anfield in February courtesy of late goals from Gareth McAuley and Romelu Lukaku.

    Liverpool won't have to come up against the Belgian on Merseyside now that he's found a temporary home on the other side of Stanley Park, but they'll know that they'll be in for a tough game against opponents who are unbeaten in their last five league games, a run that includes a win at Manchester United and a draw with Arsenal.

    So Brendan Rodgers will know that his team will face a tough examination on Saturday, but who will he choose in his team to take on that challenge?

    Here's how the Reds could line up against the Baggies:

Simon Mignolet

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    The obvious pick in goal, Mignolet will be seeking a return to the solidity that saw him keep three clean sheets in the opening three league games of the season.

    None have been kept since, and the Belgian won't be able to take too much confidence from his last appearance against West Brom on home soil, when his error was part of the reason that his Sunderland side lost 4-2 to the Baggies last November.

Kolo Toure

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    The Kolo Toure renaissance continues.

    From seemingly being signed as just a squad man capable of filling in whenever he was needed, the Ivorian has quickly become a key man in Liverpool's restructured defence.

    Whenever he's fit Rodgers has played him, and that doesn't look like changing here.

Martin Skrtel

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    The form of Martin Skrtel is keeping Daniel Agger on the sidelines, and the Slovakian hasn't done anything to deserve to be dropped just yet.

    The centre-back's continued selection is quite a turnaround from when he appeared to be on his way out in the summer, but with Agger likely to come back into the fold at some point he might feel as though he is on borrowed time in the first-team picture.

    Right now he should be there though.

Mamadou Sakho

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    Liverpool's most expensive summer signing his slipped into the team as though he's been there for years, and the Frenchman will be back in the Liverpool defence come Saturday.

    Mamadou Sakho might not generated the same level of fan appreciation at Anfield as he did at previous club Paris Saint-Germain, where he was an idol of the supporters, but give him time and he might just get there.

    Another good game here would take him closer.

Glen Johnson

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    Glen Johnson returned to the Liverpool team at Newcastle after seven weeks away, and he quickly slotted into the side as though he'd never been on the sidelines.

    In the England man's absence, the talk was of just how the Reds' new 3-4-1-2 formation would suit him down to the ground, and with the Reds likely to be on the front foot in this clash at Anfield then Johnson will be a crucial member of the XI.

Jordan Henderson

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    From seemingly being on his way out of Anfield on a couple of occasions, Jordan Henderson has now played in every minute of Liverpool's eight Premier League games so far this season.

    It is a remarkable turnaround, and as this article by Jonathan Wilson for points out, the midfielder's value to his club is seemingly increasing by the game.

    Rodgers will seemingly always find a place for him in his team at present, and that will continue against the Baggies.

Steven Gerrard

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    After becoming the 24th player to reach 100 Premier League goals―and the 13th to score a century for just one club―at Newcastle last weekend, Steven Gerrard will take to the field against the Baggies seeking to move into the next 100.

    The Reds captain missed a penalty in this fixture last season, and as well as that he'll also be looking to put right the fact that he hasn't scored from open play for Liverpool since his long-range strike at Manchester City in February.

Aly Cissokho

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    With Jose Enrique missing at Newcastle as he rested a knee injury which has been troubling him all season, Aly Cissokho came into the team and performed admirably.

    The Frenchman's powerful surges forward from the left were a frequent sight in the contest, and he proved his worth defensively on a couple of occasions with some well-timed tackles.

    He did enough to stay in the team, and so should be rewarded with what would be a first home league start for the Reds.

Victor Moses

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    The injured Philippe Coutinho is targeting a return to the Liverpool team in next week's match at Arsenal according to the Daily Post, and so this represents a big match for Victor Moses.

    The loanee didn't have his best game against Newcastle at the weekend, and he'll be targeting a return to form in a contest which is likely to see him gain much of the ball.

    With Coutinho's comeback on the horizon, he'll have to use that ball well.

Luis Suarez

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    The Newcastle game was Suarez's third league match back for the Reds since his ban, and the first that Liverpool didn't win and he didn't score in.

    Typically though, he played a part in both of Liverpool's goals on Tyneside, and he'll be looking to get back on the scoresheet here against opponents he has never scored against during his eventful spell in English football.

Daniel Sturridge

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    Daniel Sturridge's record of 20 goals in his 26 Liverpool appearances has now gone beyond merely promising form, and it now singles him out as one of Europe's deadliest goalscorers.

    The Premier League's top marksman will be back in action here and looking for a 10th strike in all competitions during a start to the campaign which matches anything that any Liverpool forward has done before.

    And the Reds have had some good ones.

Unlucky to Miss out

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    Lucas Leiva missed Liverpool's matches either side of the international break for differing reasons, and he might now struggle to get back into the team.

    With Jordan Henderson playing well and with one less position in midfield up for grabs these days, Lucas could again miss out following a suspension and the birth of his second child, while Jose Enrique could also find it tough to dislodge Aly Cissokho from the team.

    Joe Allen, Raheem Sterling and Daniel Agger are also likely to be on the bench, while Luis Alberto will also be pushing for involvement.

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