Back to a less glamorous tie this weekend, an important one though with this being the kind of game where we should be getting a professional victory.

Always a tricky game against a Tony pulis side and West Brom have been in fairly good form, this could be a tough one.

Good news on the injury front – Lallana and Wijnaldum are back, Milner is ok and there’s no other concerns. Also worth mentioning that Joe Gomez is back in full training this week.

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RedUncle
Member

After the hype of the United match it’ll be interesting to see if we can stay buoyant for this match. In the past we’ve been a bit flat after games where a lot of emotional and mental energy has been expended. I thought in the first half of the United game we made mistakes because we were a little bit nervy but that shouldn’t be the case against West Brom. I don’t think Klopp will make any big structural changes to the team, I get the impression he’s trying to keep a fairly settled eleven, but Sturridge could well be back on the bench. My guess for the starting line-up would be, in a 4-3-3, Clyne-Matip-Lovren-Milner along the back, Wijnaldum-Henderson-Lallana along the middle, and Mane-Firmino-Coutinho up front (although Lallana and Coutinho could possibly switch position).

Huytonian
Member

Maybe Can should keep his place with Wijnaldum on the bench because of Can’s strength and height against a very physical side. This would give Wijnaldum more time to recover from his injury and he could then return against Spurs in the League Cup. Can was poor in the first half against United but he improved in the second and he will only get back to his form of last season by playing games.

RedUncle
Member

I was in two minds over what to do with Can. He may well stick with him and have Wijnaldum on the bench, like you said, which makes sense or, if Wijnaldum is fit enough, start with the Dutchman and sub him for Can later in the game. I opted for the latter purely to give us the greatest impact in the first half but either scenario is reasonable.

warrior18
Member

Got to get straight back to winning ways here. We know we face a similar game as to the united one as both managers are very defensive minded and no-one is better at it than pulis. I think Red’s team is the best we have and no doubt Klopp is looking to play a settled 11 week in week out, at least in our lge games. We’ll win i feel but it could be scrappy but who cares so long as we get 3points.

cfleejb
Member

It’s a pity that Klopp thinks Joe Gomez may need to go out on loan to get the competitive game time that he needs. I reckon he can stand in as left back and Milner can move back to midfield in some of the games…

Huytonian
Member

Without European football I can’t see Joe getting much first team action this season so a period in the U23’s followed by a loan would make sense. Then hopefully with a full pre-season under his belt he will be fully fit for the next campaign.

lanoisseforp
Member

Another goal and a win we’ll take top of the PL…. Mané strike was nice from the build up

lanoisseforp
Member

The Count makes it 2-0 and we sit on top of the PL at the moment

lanoisseforp
Member

Their set piece costs us a chance going on top for the night… I guess 2-1 is a win and puts us in second place. Next stop is at White Heart Lane next Tuesday night. Hendo picked up a fifth booking of the season and misses the next game… does he miss the game against Spurs? or is the one next Saturday when we play Palace?

RedUncle
Member

I’m more annoyed we let West Brom back into the game than I am about not being top of the league. When we’re in such control of the game it’s criminal ease up at 2-0. The one positive is that we didn’t fold after they scored, we went back on the offensive. Considering we’ve supposedly been working on our set piece defending it wasn’t particularly impressive (Karius is still doing his impression of Mignolet). Still, a win is a win and the first half was almost perfect. It keeps the momentum going and us amongst the contenders.

Kugan
Member

To be honest the goal WBA scored was a bit of luck..the ball did fall favourable for him (McAuley) to score..and to be further honest i feel that the WBA player standing front of Karius prevented him from making a save…karius had to do the split with a leg on each side of the player,,,question is is that interfering with play/impeding the GK…i’m no fundi so it will be nice to get some clarity..i think he purposely got in front of the keeper and i’ve see players given cards for obstruction..

RedUncle
Member

The issue I have with that goal is that we had players stood all along the edge of the six yard box who neither attacked the incoming ball nor marked a nearby player, they were completely static. The West Brom players were left to attack the ball and by the time the ball was in the net there were three of them behind our static defensive line. Klopp wants us to mark zonally on corners, something I’m not overly keen on because if we don’t win the ball as it’s coming in there’s usually unmarked opposition players free to take advantage. Zonal marking only works if you win the ball when it comes into your zone and we simply didn’t do that.

Huytonian
Member

Being old fashioned I like to see defenders on the posts for corners. Not sure why this seems to have gone out of fashion. Its not just that they can clear off the line. If the ball drops near the six yard box they will have it in front of them not behind so stand a better chance of clearing.

RedUncle
Member

I completely agree. There’s so much free space for the attacking side to aim for. The one thing I don’t like about how we set up is that because we have a line of players defending zones rather than players there’s always unmarked attacking players rushing in for loose balls. These players have momentum because they’re already moving whereas ours are going for balls from a standing start. It’s no surprise the attackers usually get to the ball first and without defenders on the posts we have little chance of stopping them.

Huytonian
Member

The only thing that is keeping me positive about the zonal marking is my recollection that when Rafa introduced it we took a couple of seasons to adjust to it and initially his team was worse at it than the current team at a similar stage.

RedUncle
Member

That’s true. Players are more used to zonal marking now than when Rafa first used it so the leaning curve shouldn’t be as steep. One plus is that I can’t see there being another turnover of defensive players for a while, this current batch should be left to grow as a unit.

Enigma
Member

The keeper situation is worrying. We are joint top but it’s very much despite our goal keeping….or lack of. On the positive side, it was very obvious that Klopp had instructed Karius to stop the messing about and just clear his lines if in any doubt. If done properly it could be used as a launch pad for quick on the break attacks.
Nevertheless, it was worrying that such an insipid performance from West Brom (which I was particularly surprised by for a Pulis side) should still yield a reasonable opportunity for a point and a nervous final few minutes for us.
I expect Klopp will be thinking likewise.

Huytonian
Member

This game was always going to be a question of whether we could score more goals from open play than West Brom could from set pieces. Their late goal was very disappointing but we should have been out of sight by then but for some outstanding last ditch defending by the Baggies and a great save by Foster. At times out football was a joy to watch and the level of understanding between the players is improving all the time. Whether it will be enough to win us trophies I’m not sure as our defending of set pieces continues to let us down but it’s turning into a very entertaining season.

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