West Brom v Liverpool: Focused Reds can stay on track for top four

The Merseysiders gave their Champions League hopes a huge boost with victory at Manchester United and should bank three more points at the Hawthorns.

When: Sunday, May 16, 16:30 BST

How to watch: Sky Sports Main Event

Follow the West Brom v Liverpool game in our score centre

Best bets

Liverpool to win 3-1 at 10/1 (bet365)

Sadio Mane to score first goal at 11/2 (Boylesports)

West Brom pinched a point at Anfield earlier this season when they rode their luck and scored a late equaliser through Semi Ajayi.

That came early in Sam Allardyce's reign and suggested that his Red Adair act could work again. It hasn't.

The Baggies have been relegated with three games still to play and now Allardyce is pondering what happens next season.

While it seemed an impressive result at the time, it soon became clear that something was very wrong in the house of Liverpool.

West Brom had shone a light on it and then, after a 0-0 against Manchester United, Liverpool lost six home games on the trot to the rather eclectic bunch of Burnley, Brighton, Manchester City, EvertonChelsea and Fulham.

Then again, this has been a weird season in terms of home and away performances. Man Utd have also lost six times on their own turf while third-placed Leicester have lost eight at home.

Last three meetings

Liverpool 1-1 West Brom (December 27, 2021)

This looked like a routine home win for Liverpool when Sadio Mane volleyed them in front after just 12 minutes. But remarkably, that was to be the Reds' last Anfield goal from open play for eight matches - an unfathomable stretch that ran from late December to early April.

Jurgen Klopp's men dominated but couldn't find the killer second and Ajayi's header in the final 10 minutes punished the hosts' profligacy.

Liverpool actually finished the match still top of the table but it was a sign of things to come.

West Brom 2-2 Liverpool (April 21, 2018)

It's over three years since Liverpool played at The Hawthorns and Klopp was left fuming after the Reds threw away a two-goal lead.

Danny Ings gave Liverpool an early advantage after four minutes and Mo Salah looked to have clinched victory with a second on 72. However, Jake Livermore pulled one back on 79 and Salomon Rondon headed home an equaliser with two minutes left.

Klopp criticised the "dry pitch" and was generally terrible company later after blowing two points against a West Brom team which started the day rock bottom of the table and on the brink of relegation.

Liverpool 2-3 West Brom (January 27, 2018)

Liverpool played the Baggies three times in the 2017/18 season and didn't win any of them. Before that 2-2 in April, West Brom knocked the Reds out of the FA Cup after winning a dramatic five-goal thriller at Anfield.

In a whirlwind start, Roberto Firmino put the hosts in front after five minutes before Jay Rodriguez netted on 7 and 11 to turn the match on its head. Joel Matip's own goal extended West Brom's lead to 3-1 and Salah's reply on 78 was too little too late.

VAR also stole plenty of headlines with the game held up numerous times but Alan Pardew's men held on for a famous win.

Head-to-head - last 10 meetings

Liverpool wins: 3

Draws: 6

West Brom wins: 1

Liverpool scored: 13

West Brom scored: 11

Liverpool finishing fast

It was looking pretty desperate for Liverpool in terms of a top-four finish. And Manchester United sending out a weakened team against Leicester and losing 2-1 seemed to confirm that this rather cursed season for Klopp and co was coming to its inevitable disappointing ending.

But then Chelsea unexpectedly lost 1-0 at home to Arsenal and Reds fans were quick to point out that the closing fixtures included a Chelsea v Leicester Premier League clash on May 18, meaning one or both had to drop points.

When 1-0 down to Man Utd at Old Trafford on Thursday, that seemed rather irrelevant but Liverpool produced a swashbuckling response to win 4-2 and breathe new life into their Champions League bid.

Suddenly the table looks likes this: Leicester 66pts (36 games), Chelsea 64pts (36 games), Liverpool 60pts (35 games).

Three wins for Liverpool - against West Brom, away to Burnley and home to Crystal Palace - and that will be enough to either overhaul Chelsea or (almost certainly) edge in front of Leicester on goal difference.

Liverpool's last five results

Liverpool 0-0 Real Madrid

Leeds 1-1 Liverpool (Mane)

Liverpool 1-1 Newcastle (Salah)

Liverpool 2-0 Southampton (Mane, Thiago)

Man Utd 2-4 Liverpool (Jota, Firmino 2, Salah)

Scoreline prediction: West Brom 1-3 Liverpool

It's fair to say that West Brom have caused Liverpool problems down the years. You might even call them a slight bogey team as they've not lost to the Reds in any of their last four meetings.

However, Klopp had never won on six previous trips to Old Trafford but made a mockery of that stat on Thursday night and a focused, fast-finishing Liverpool should also end their mini-drought in this fixture.

The good news for Klopp is that his front players are scoring again. Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota combined for all four goals against Man Utd and, even though he had the hump after being dropped, Sadio Mane had netted two in his previous three ahead of that Old Trafford encounter.

In truth, scoring away goals hasn't been a problem for Liverpool. They've blasted 34 - seven more than they've managed at home - and, since mid-December, have hit seven at Palace, four at Man Utd and three at ArsenalSpurs and West Ham.

It seems fair to expect another three-goal haul here although pencilling in West Brom for a goal is reasonable given that the Baggies have registered in five of their last seven home games and Liverpool are still having to send out a makeshift centre-back pairing.

Best Goalscorer bets

There's no point in being clever here: just stick to the tried and trusted.

The problem there is that Salah is no bigger than 8/13 to score anytime while even Jota is odds-on across the board.

However, Mane is likely to be unleashed and it's fair to think he'll be fired up after his Old Trafford demotion and end-of-match snub of Klopp.

Mane has a point to prove and, notably, has scored the opening goal in two of the last three matches he's started - away at Leeds and home to Southampton.

Back the Senegalese frontman to score first at 11/2 with Boylesports.

READ MORE: Mo Salah looking to end his strange winless run against West Brom