West Brom Fear Liverpool Backlash
Posted November 8, 2008on:
Gerrard will be confident of adding another goal to his tally this weekend.
LIVERPOOL: Liverpool have scored 17 goals in their last five meetings with West Brom, but manager Rafa Benitez admits he will settle for a narrow win when the two sides meet at Anfield today.
After making a 16-match unbeaten start to the season, Liverpool’s players find themselves facing their first serious test of character this term after failing to win the last two.
Having conceded their place at the top of the Premier League table after last Saturday’s last-minute defeat at Tottenham, Benitez’s side were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday.
It could have been worse. They were saved from another defeat when the referee awarded a dubious late penalty which allowed Steven Gerrard to score his seventh goal of the season.
Gerrard will be confident of adding to that tally this weekend. It is 22 years since West Brom last scored against Liverpool and 27 years since they defeated the Merseyside club.
West Brom have made an encouraging return to the Premier League since winning promotion under Tony Mowbray at the end of last season.
But Benitez is aware that their visit presents his side with a golden chance of reclaiming a three-point lead over Chelsea, who do not play until tomorrow, at the top of the table.
“Although we have not won our last two games, there has been very little wrong with our performances,” said Benitez.
“But it is important to return to winning ways as quickly as possible.
“We have to be careful. West Brom have done well since winning promotion and they will make it hard for us.”
Fernando Torres is poised to return after missing the last six games with a hamstring strain.
Benitez refuses to admit that the side has missed the Spanish international yet the need to have Torres back was highlighted as Liverpool missed a string a chances against Atletico Madrid.
Robbie Keane, who has yet to score on the Premier League stage since joining Liverpool in a STG20.3 million move from Tottenham in the summer, was at fault for one glaring miss.
Meanwhile, Mowbray has warned his Albion players to beware of a Premier League backlash from Liverpool.
The coach fears the defeat by Tottenham could fire up Benitez’s side for their return to league action.
“Liverpool had a poor result at the weekend and they won’t want to lose two games on the bounce in the Premier League,” said Mowbray.
New Straits Times