West Brom v Liverpool
Saturday August 18th, 3pm, The Hawthorns
It was definitely a case of a tale of two halves between these two teams last season – Liverpool were a club in transition who constantly struggled to repeat their exceptional league performances of yesteryear.
At the same time, West Bromwich Albion were climbing way above their limits and ended the 2011/12 season with a top ten finish.
But it’s anyone’s guess what directions of the clubs will head in the months to come. The era of Roy Hodgson is over at The Hawthorns, with Steve Clarke making formidable keeper Ben Foster one of his first signings.
Over at Merseyside, the Liverpool board decided to call time on Kenny Dalglish’s time in charge and tasked Brendan Rodgers with bringing glory back to Anfield.
So with all of these points being weighed up, which team are you siding with? Liverpool are 10/11 to come away from The Hawthorns with three points under their belt, while West Brom are an eye-catching 3/1 to stall the Rodgers era on Merseyside.
Here’s another stat to consider – West Brom conceded the most goals due to counter attacks in 2011/12 – a major worry considering Luis Suarez will be on the prowl.
West Brom have injury concerns over Jonas Olsson and James Morrison but Shane Long is fit after his mid-week spat with Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni. For Liverpool, Fabio Borini is set to make his debut and fellow summer signing, Joe Allen, is also expected to feature.
Joe Cole is also available after a hamstring injury.
Prediction: Luis Suarez first goalscorer at 5/1