Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion; Premier League, Anfield; Monday 11th February, 20:00 KO.

 

 

Team News

Liverpool will assess the thigh injury to striker Daniel Sturridge before the visit of West Brom.

Sturridge pulled out of the England’s midweek international with Brazil after sustaining the injury in last Sunday’s draw with champions Manchester City.

Raheem Sterling is fit, while new signing Philippe Coutinho could make his debut after his first week at training.

West Brom defender Goran Popov begins a three-match ban after last week’s red card for spitting at Tottenham’s Kyle Walker.

Midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu is set to return to the starting 11 after returning from the AFCON and recovering from a knee injury.

Peter Odemwingie may be recalled to the squad after the club disciplined him following his attempts to push through a move to QPR on transfer deadline day.

 

Downing: "Rodgers can’t leave me out"

Liverpool midfielder Stewart Downing has warned his teammates they could face the axe if they don’t show the hunger boss Brendan Rodgers requires.

The 29-year-old has been one of Liverpool’s star performers in recent weeks, after a disappointing start to his Anfield career led to the current manager telling him he was free to leave the club just six months ago.

But after finding his form again, he has warned the rest of the squad that a drop in performance levels could lead to others suffering the same fate.

"You've seen it over the last couple of weeks, if you don't perform then you won't play and we've got to do well in every game because the manager is going to strengthen again," the winger explained.

"Competition for places is intense and it has brought out the best in some players including myself. If he does strengthen it'll be good for the team, but if I keep doing well then he can't leave me out.

"That's my attitude going into games. If I play well it makes it hard for him to leave me out or let me go."

Downing used the initial set-back as a source of inspiration to improve his game on Merseyside, with the former Middlesbrough man forcing his way back into first-team reckoning.

And, with three years left on his contract, Downing is pleased to be playing again and enjoying his football.

"I had a discussion where I could have left, but I didn't want to. The only reason I decided to stay here was to get in the team and do well," Downing explained.

“I'm happy with how it's going at the minute but whether that changes in the summer, I don't know. The way I look at it, if I keep playing well he can't leave me out. I'm enjoying being in the team every week. I don't want to be sitting on the bench or in the stands, I'd sooner go somewhere else and play."

Still holding hopes of a top-four finish, nothing less than three points will do for Liverpool as they look to close the 12-point gap on Tottenham - who currently occupy the final Champions League position.

Victory for West Brom, who lie a place below Liverpool in the table, would see them leapfrog their opponents and move up to eighth position. 

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