Football

Liverpool Vs West Bromwich Albion, Sun 29 Aug 2010

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Liverpool v WBA

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Carragher, Agger, Kuyt, Poulsen, Lucas, Jovanovic, Gerrard, Torres.

Subs: Jones, Pacheco, Kyrgiakos, Maxi, Babel, Spearing, Kelly.

West Brom: Carson, Olsson, Tamas, Jara, Shorey, Morrison, Mulumbu, Dorrans, Brunt, Odemwingie, Marc-Antoine Fortune.

Subs: Myhill, Tchoyi, Pablo, Barnes, Bednar, Reid, Cox.


Torres and Gerrard return



Striker Fernando Torres and captain Steven Gerrard are set to return for Liverpool's Barclays Premier League clash against West Brom at Anfield.

Torres was rested for the long trip to Turkey in midweek while Gerrard had a back problem which he should recover from in time.

Daniel Agger (concussion) and Milan Jovanovic (rested) are also in line for recalls after missing the game against Trabzonspor but Maxi Rodriguez (illness) remains a doubt.

Midfielder Joe Cole serves the second game of a three-match ban.

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson insists it is too early to write off his side just two matches into the Barclays Premier League season.

Reaction to Monday's defeat to Manchester City was that it was a pertinent symbol of the changing of the established order in the top flight, that Roberto Mancini's side had overtaken the Reds in the top-four pecking order.

Hodgson has, understandably, tried to take a more measured view of things.

They were within a couple of minutes of beating Arsenal at Anfield in their first match, having played for half the game with 10 men after Joe Cole's sending-off, and their preparations for the City match were severely disrupted by Barcelona-bound Javier Mascherano making himself unavailable.

The first half of their Europa League play-off second leg against Trabzonspor in Turkey did little to assuage doubts about whether the players were indeed capable of performing under pressure.

They did, however, show character after the break and two late goals put them into the group stage, so they head into the clash with West Brom with renewed confidence.

"I can't get my head around why, on the second game of the season, it should be seen as such a watershed," said Hodgson.

"We lost a football game. But we showed great character, to keep going and keep playing the right football against Trabzonspor and I was really pleased we achieved victory against a team which are notoriously difficult to beat.

"It is always important to win games and it was good preparation for Sunday.

"It wouldn't have been nice going into the game with two defeats behind us so getting a victory was important for the psychological feeling coming up to a West Brom game."

West Brom will be without defender Marek Cech for at least three weeks, which in the first instance rules him out of the clash.

The Slovakia international fractured his metatarsal in Tuesday night's Carling Cup win over Leyton Orient.

Midfielder Jerome Thomas (foot), defender Joe Mattock (foot) and striker Ishmael Miller (thigh) will also miss the Baggies' trip to Anfield.

Scott Carson has predicted West Brom will be in for a tough time when they face Liverpool at Anfield but does not expect a repeat of their opening-day hammering at Chelsea.

The Baggies were battered 6-0 on their Barclays Premier League return at Stamford Bridge but former Liverpool goalkeeper Carson does not expect a repeat.

Albion bounced back from the Chelsea hammering with a 1-0 home win over Sunderland and Carson believes the result was down to the coaching staff, who adopted a light-hearted approach on the training ground.

He said: "I think the manager and the coaching staff just needed to get that out of our system and try and put a smile back on our faces.

"I think that's what they did in the sessions, just tried to make them a bit of fun.

"Obviously the way we played against Sunderland was really positive. I think maybe last season or the season before we might have crumbled and conceded but we held out and got our rewards.

"Anfield's going to be as tough as Stamford Bridge but I think if we play the way we did against Sunderland and defend like we did against them we'll give ourselves a chance."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
West Bromwich Albion
Football
Premier League
Liverpool

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