Liverpool vs. West Brom: Team News, Predicted Lineups, Live Stream, TV Info

Jack Lusby@jacklusby_Featured ColumnistDecember 13, 2015

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - APRIL 25: Darren Fletcher of West Brom closes down Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool at The Hawthorns on April 25, 2015 in West Bromwich, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Despite a thoroughly disinteresting 0-0 Europa League draw with FC Sion on Thursday night, Jurgen Klopp will lead his Liverpool side back to Anfield to take on West Bromwich Albion on Sunday afternoon confident of victory.

The Reds' Swiss stalemate secured them passage to the knockout stages of Europe's second-tier tournament and represented an immediate response to their 2-0 defeat away to Newcastle United last time out in the league.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29:  Tony Pulis manager of West Bromwich Albion reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion at Boleyn Ground on November 29, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathc
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

In their way on Sunday stands one of the Premier League's most formidable managers in Tony Pulis, and this will give Klopp his first taste of action against the tactically astute former Stoke City and Crystal Palace boss, whose trademark conservative football is far removed from the German's attacking brand.

Pulis has looked to steady the ship since his arrival in the Midlands, and the Baggies sit comfortably in mid-table as they look to take a result from Merseyside.

The last fixture between the two sides ended in a dull goalless draw, and the Welshman will no doubt be content to take another point from the Reds this time around.

So can Klopp's side continue their strong run of form with a win over the Baggies, or will his first-time foe spoil the party?

Date: Sunday, 13 December, 2015

Time: 4 p.m. GMT / 11 a.m. ET

Venue: Anfield, Liverpool, England

TV Info: NBCSN (U.S only)

Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra (U.S only)

Form Lines

Liverpool: W-W-W-L-D

West Brom: L-L-W-D-D

Team News 

Klopp should be able to draw from a strong squad for his side's return to Anfield, with both Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho coming through the clash with Sion unscathed and benefiting from invaluable game time as they work their way back from foot and hamstring injuries respectively.

The key duo could be in line for a starting role as Klopp looks for a victory, but it should come too soon for Daniel Sturridge.

Liverpool's Spanish defender Alberto Moreno takes a freekick during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Swansea City at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on November 29, 2015.    / AFP / PAUL ELLIS        (Ph
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Hampered by a hamstring problem of his own, Sturridge is expected to return to action in the Reds' away clash with Watford on December 20.

After being left on Merseyside for Liverpool's midweek trip to Switzerland, Alberto Moreno, Lucas Leiva, Joe Allen and Jordon Ibe are all available, with the former pair likely to return to the starting lineup.

Jordan Rossiter made his first appearance under Klopp against Sion and could make the bench for this league outing, while both Jose Enrique and Joao Carlos Teixeira come into contention after being ineligible for Europa League action.

Mamadou Sakho and Jon Flanagan are close to returning to the fold, but they won't make Sunday's clash. Long-term absentees Joe Gomez and Danny Ings also remain on the sidelines.

Speaking to reporters on Friday morning, Pulis explained that West Brom would be without former Sunderland winger Stephane Sessegnon at Anfield, as reported by Paul Suart of the Birmingham Mail.

"He won’t be fit, it’s his hamstring," he said. "Whether he’s fit enough to play against Bournemouth, again we won’t know that until most probably the middle of next week."

This comes as a bitter blow to the Welshman, with Sessegnon one of his key players in attack this season, and he continued to highlight his importance to the side:

Sess has done well. He’s come in and performed well.

I thought he dropped off a little bit against West Ham when we changed it at half time and he looked a little bit jaded and tired.

Apart from that he’s done well for us.

This will be encouraging news for Klopp, though Pulis will be able to call upon defensive midfielder Claudio Yacob, who returns to the side after suspension.

Ben Foster is Pulis' only other absentee, with the England goalkeeper ruled out until the end of the year after suffering an ACL injury in March.

Predicted Lineups 

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  Manager Jurgen Klopp looks on during the Liverpool training session at the Melwood training ground on December 9, 2015 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The return of Henderson and Coutinho will give Klopp crucial leeway as he plots victory against the Baggies, with the quality he will be able to draw from in reserve boosted by a pair of high-profile omissions as a result.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08:  Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield on November 8, 2015 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Simon Mignolet, Nathaniel Clyne and Dejan Lovren are likely to continue their roles in defence after a clean sheet in Sion and should be joined by a returning Martin Skrtel and Moreno to make up Klopp's preferred back four in Sakho's absence.

Ahead of this defensive line, Lucas could return to operate at the base of the midfield alongside Henderson in a possible 4-3-3, with one of Emre Can and James Milner taking up the third position as a box-to-box midfielder.

Coutinho could make his first start for the club since his star performance away to Manchester City in November, and the Brazilian's inclusion may inspire Klopp to reunite his successful attacking line from that game at the Etihad Stadium, with both Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino fit for inclusion.

This would leave Ibe, Christian Benteke and Divock Origi on the bench, providing Klopp with a host of top-level alternatives if required to push for a result late on.

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17:  Claudio Yacob of West Bromwich Albion during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland at The Hawthorns on October 17, 2015 in West Bromwich, England.  (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty
Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Yacob's reintroduction allows Pulis to restore a specialist defensive midfielder to his Baggies selection, in turn prompting a rejig in defence.

Craig Dawson, Jonny Evans, Jonas Olsson and Chris Brunt will likely form an organised back four ahead of Boaz Myhill, with Yacob joining Darren Fletcher and James Morrison in a three-man midfield.

West Bromwich Albion's substitute Saido Berahino watches from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion at The Boleyn Ground in Upton Park, East London on November 29, 2015. The game fi
IAN KINGTON/Getty Images

Sessegnon's absence presents something of a quandary for Pulis, however, who will be forced to choose between Callum McManaman or Saido Berahino in attack.

Berahino has played a peripheral role for West Brom so far this season, but speaking to reporters, including MailOnline's Laurie Whitwell on Friday morning, Pulis indicated that the in-demand forward will be given a chance to impress during the festive period:

We want him back in the fold and as good as he was last year.

Saido asked to play [in the Under-21s on Monday night]. He wanted to have a game. His attitude was first class and he scored a good goal.

He needed a game to get closer to match fitness and over the Christmas period with the amount of games it's good he has got game time.

The 22-year-old could form a potent attacking line alongside Salomon Rondon and James McClean, though former Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert will be hoping to feature after leaving the Reds in the summer.

Likely Liverpool XI: Mignolet; Clyne, Skrtel, Lovren, Moreno; Henderson, Lucas, Can; Lallana, Firmino, Coutinho.

Likely West Brom XI: Myhill; Dawson, Evans, Olsson, Brunt; Fletcher, Yacob, Morrison; McClean, Rondon, Berahino.

Players to Watch

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson looks on during the Liverpool training session at the Melwood training ground on December 9, 2015 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Jordan Henderson

"It was nice to play 75 minutes," Henderson told BT Sport's Matt Smith after Thursday night's Europa League stalemate (via Football365). "It was a tough game in tough conditions but we’re top of the group and we move forward."

"[My fitness] was tested tonight on that pitch and I had no problem. Hopefully I’ve just got to keep managing it—it’s been fine so far."

Quashing speculation he was suffering from a long-term, career-hampering foot injury, Henderson looks set to return to full fitness and find form within a midfield that is desperate for his energy and creativity.

As Liverpool's captain, Henderson will be looking to inspire his side to victory at Anfield, and his role within Klopp's high-intensity pressing system could be crucial as Liverpool look to overwhelm Pulis' Baggies.

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: Jonny Evans of West Bromwich Albion during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City at The Hawthorns on October 31, 2015 in West Bromwich, England.  (Photo by Matthew Ashton - A
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Jonny Evans

Making the move from Manchester United to West Brom at the end of August represented something of a challenge for Evans; after years spent as a utility player at Old Trafford, this provided the Northern Irishman the opportunity to prove his credentials as a first-choice centre-back.

As B/R's Sam Tighe attested in his Premier League player rankings on Wednesday, this has seen Evans excel:

Since leaving Old Trafford last summer, the Northern Irishman has put in consistently excellent showings for Tony Pulis and emerged as West Brom's star man.

He's played centre-back, left-back and even central midfield when required, impressing in all three positions.

Where was this form when United needed him?

Likely restored to his natural centre-back role against the Reds, Evans will be looking to continue his strong run of form and secure an important result against a former rival.

Key Battle

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02: Martin Skrtel of Liverpool gestures during the Capital One Cup Quarter Final between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium on December 2, 2015 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Imag
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Martin Skrtel vs. Salomon Rondon

Skrtel relishes a physical battle in defence, with the Liverpool centre-back's duels with Chelsea's Diego Costa proving compelling viewing in recent seasons, but he will be given a considerable challenge against a former Reds target in Rondon.

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: Salomon Rondon of West Bromwich Albion celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-0 during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City at The Hawthorns on October 31, 2015 in Wes
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo reported Liverpool's interested in Rondon back in June, with former manager Brendan Rodgers said to have been weighing up alternatives to eventual signing Benteke, but the Ulsterman decided against a move for either Rondon or then-Sevilla man Carlos Bacca.

Rondon subsequently joined West Brom in a deal worth £12 million and has enjoyed a positive start to his Premier League career, scoring three goals and assisting another in 14 appearances.

The 26-year-old's key strengths are tailor-made for Pulis' brand of football, with his strength and aerial prowess set to test Skrtel's capabilities at the heart of Klopp's back four.

The Slovakian will be required to maintain his concentration throughout to ensure Rondon does not punish him.

Odds

Liverpool: 21-50

West Brom: 9-1

Draw: 15-4

Odds via Odds Shark and correct at time of writing.

Statistics via WhoScored.com.

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