12 Dec 2015

Liverpool-XI vs. W.Brom: 'New-Deco' to replace £26m misfit? Change upfront? Surprise start for Smith? [Prediction League]

After failing to win two games in a row (and not scoring for 180 minutes), Liverpool need to get back to winning ways tomorrow, and on paper, West Brom looks like an eminently winnable game. There's no such thing in the Premier League, though, and if Liverpool's home form this season is anything to go by, the Reds are in for another tough game.

Pre-match news:

* Jurgen Klopp confirmed on Thursday that Henderson and Coutinho came through the FC Sion game unscathed, and should be in contention for West Brom.

* Sturridge is out with a hamstring injury. Klopp's latest update: "We have to train, that’s all, and to give him more resistance for the intensity of football. That’s what we’ll do together with him.”

* Jordon Ibe missed Thursday's game through 'illness'. Klopp update today: "Jordon feels better. Yesterday we took him out onto the pitch but only for a bit of warming up and a little bit of running to help him feel a little bit better after this ‘cold’ – it was a little bit more than that".

With only one league goal in 27 hours, and two league assists in 37 hours, I personally don't want to see Adam Lallana anywhere near the starting line-up.

Why does he deserve repeated starts when he contributes practically *nothing* going forward? As the last two games show, Lallana is incapable of stepping-up when the going gets tough, and his creative paucity leads to defeats (Newcastle), or draws (Sion, and 9 other draws this season, which could've been turned into wins if Lallana actually did his job).

Surely it's time to give Joao Carlos Teixeira another chance? Back in October, Teixiera had a very good game against Bournemouth, and created the winning goal. Since then, Klopp has ignored him, yet continued to play Lallana, who's privided one piffling league assist all season. My preferred lineup:

---------------- Mignolet
Clyne ---- Skrtel --- Lovren ---- Smith
------------ Lucas -- Hendo
---- Ibe ------ Coutinho -- Teixeira
--------------- Firmino

* Smith had a great game against Sion, so keep the momentum going by starting him against West Brom. The more rest Moreno gets ahead of the Christmas period, the better. Plus, he can come on in the second half if need be.

* Can didn't make much offensive impact against Sion, and if he can't dominate midfield against Swiss minnows, then he arguably doesn't deserve to keep his place. At any point, did Can look like he could be a match-winner at Sion? No chance.

* Firmino's best game this season came at Man City, where he played up-front, with Coutinho behind. It's worth trying that again to see if the Brazilian's current malaise is merely positional.

* As with Moreno, the more rest Benteke can get, the better. Plus, he's a great option to bring off the bench.


You have until Sunday 4PM (GMT) to make your predictions.

* 20 Points: First goalscorer (Can be for either team).

* 20 Points: Liverpool player who has the most touches of the ball.

* 30 Points: Collective number of LFC dribbles.

* 50 Point Triple-Whammy: Perfect score + first goalscorer + touches (Possible points total: 120)

* The Chev Chelios Mega-Bonus: 100 points for Perfect score + first goalscorer + touches + dribbles (Possible points total: 200)

My Prediction: 1-1. First goalscorer: Coutinho. Touches: Can. Dribbles: 14

Author: Jaimie K


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