This game involves two sides who have experienced a change in manager over the summer, meaning that many are intrigued to see how both will fare this term. Even though Liverpool hold the bigger reputation out of the two, the fact that West Brom finished just two places behind them last season suggests that this game could be quite tight.
There’s no doubt that West Brom have come an incredible distance over recent years, with the Baggies being transformed from constant relegation candidates into an established, mid-table Premier League outfit. All of this is thanks to Roy Hodgson, coincidently their opponents’ former manager, but it now remains to be seen just how well The Hawthorns outfit will perform now that Hodgson has taken the position of England manager. Another coincidence is that his replacement, Steve Clarke, worked at Anfield as Kenny Dalglish’s assistant last term so he will know plenty about West Brom’s first opponents. However, even though Clarke has worked with some of the biggest clubs in the world, whether or not he has what it takes to succeed as a manager is another matter.
There has been plenty of coverage on Liverpool this summer, with new manager Brendan Rodgers looking to “rebrand” the Reds and install a different style of football into the club. Having succeeded with this approach at Swansea the omens are certainly positive, but, just like with Clarke, it will be interesting to see if Rodgers can taste success at a more advanced level. The Reds have so far brought just two players into the club and with the new season just around the corner, it would appear unlikely for anybody to be brought in before this game against West Brom. Therefore, with Rodgers using a very similar team to what Kenny Dalglish had available to him last year, it’ll again be interesting to see just how he fares in this role.
West Brom approach this clash with mixed news, with the Baggies firstly set to be without Markus Rosenberg and Graham Dorrans through injury. Jonas Olsson and James Morrison are also not expected to play due to minor knocks, although Steve Clarke will at least have Shane Long available after he recently returned to full fitness. There’s little to report for Liverpool on the other hand, although Brendan Rodgers will at least be able to select Joe Cole after he overcame a hamstring issue.
Even though West Brom have established themselves in the top flight over the last couple of years and actually beat Liverpool last season, we just can’t see the Baggies getting anything out of his clash. Judging by the Reds’ pre-season form, they have already adopted Rodgers’ methods well and we think this will be a straightforward, 2-0 win for the visitors.