Jurgen Klopp’s men visited the Hawthorns.
Good afternoon and Easter greetings to one and all as we bring you live coverage of today’s two Premier League offerings.
Later, Manchester United host leaders Chelsea in a huge game at Old Trafford but first our attention is on the Hawthorns as Liverpool’s push for a top four finish continues against West Brom.
Kick-off is at 1.30pm and we’ll have all the build up between now and then.
The team news is hot off the press, and Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino both start for Liverpool after their match-winning efforts off the bench against Stoke last time out.
No place for James McClean in the West Brom XI as Tony Pulis makes three changes to his team. Hal Robson-Kanu is given the nod up front, with Saloman Rondon dropping to the bench.
Perfect afternoon for a game of ball in the Midlands.
Ryan Bailey here to guide you through all the action as it happens and if you want to join the conversation, tweet us: @The42_ie, e-mail email@example.com or post your thoughts in the comments section below.
Which way do you see this one going?
Here come the two teams as kick off approaches. Before we get underway, let’s take a quick check on the starting line-ups.
West Brom: Foster, Dawson, McAuley, Evans, Brunt, Fletcher (c), Yacob, Livermore; Phillips, Chadli; Robson-Kanu.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Matip, Lucas, Milner, Can, Wijnaldum, Coutinho, Firmino, Origi.
Speaking to Sky Sports before the game, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp said:
“It’s a very important period of fixtures. There’s no time to waste, no points to waste. Be concentrated on your highest level and try to win. We all know what a difficult place West Brom is to play, but that’s why we are here.”
A beautifully observed minute’s applause for West Brom fans Tracey and Pierce Wilkinson who sadly passed away last month.
Kick off! We’re underway at the Hawthorns.
Bright start from the hosts as Phillips latches onto the loose ball and his mishit shot flies across goal where Robson-Kanu is just unable to get enough contact on it to divert it towards Mignolet’s goal.
After a sluggish start, Liverpool are just settling into the game with a period of possession before Dejan Lovren misplaces a place and it goes straight out of play on this near side.
Some nice football from West Brom creates space for Brunt down the left, but his cross is easily dealt with by Lucas. The home side have made a very encouraging start and Livermore and Fletcher are getting the better of the midfield battle so far.
As we’ve come to expect with any Tony Pulis coached side, West Brom are extremely difficult to break down, particularly at home, and Liverpool will need to be patient this afternoon.
Liverpool enjoying plenty of possession (73%) in the opening 12 minutes but it’s West Brom who look more dangerous going forward. Phillips finds space on the right but after cutting in onto his weaker left foot, his curling effort is well off target.
A pretty uneventful opening to this game.
Just as I say that, Liverpool pounce on Yacob’s loose pass.
Coutinho runs at the Baggies defence before slipping in Firmino. The Brazilian opts to shoot first time but his low, left-footed, effort goes narrowly wide of Ben Foster’s far post.
Chance! Phillips floats a delightful ball towards the back post, with the incoming Chadli ready to guide it home from close range but the slightest of touches from Firmino puts the West Brom man off.
At the other end, Coutinho has his first sight of goal but doesn’t trouble Foster.
West Brom asking questions of Liverpool’s defence as they continue to throw the ball into the box at every opportunity. The crowd are just getting into the game now as the hosts apply the pressure from a series of set pieces.
Dejan Lovren gets the ball back to his goalkeeper and when Mignolet gathers it, the home side are adamant it was an intentional back pass but referee Jon Moss isn’t interested.
Not a lot happening and the fact we’ve had no shots on target in the opening 31 minutes just about sums it up.
West Brom again give the ball away in a dangerous position and Firmino gets it to Coutinho on this near side. The Brazilian looks to cut inside on his right foot but after manufacturing a yard of space for himself, can’t keep his shot down and it sails over Foster’s bar.
Chance! Oh that’s so weak! Robson-Kanu is set free and with only the ‘keeper to beat, takes the strike on early and dribbles it into the hands of Mignolet.
West Brom are very compact in defence and appear quite happy to sit in their rigid formation with Fletcher and Yacob essentially protecting the back four. Liverpool finding it hard to break them down at the moment and it’s making for a rather dull affair.
Two minutes until the break.
Chris Brunt goes into the referee’s notebook for tugging Origi back after the Liverpool man had got the better of him. Milner to take the free kick.
GOAL! West Brom 0-1 Liverpool (Firmino)
Milner’s delivery isn’t great but Lucas does brilliantly to flick it on towards the back post, where Firmino is left unmarked to head home on the stroke of half time.
Half-time! West Brom 0-1 Liverpool
And that’s half-time!
Not the most entertaining half of football, but Liverpool head in at the break one goal to the good after Firmino’s header right at the end of that first period. The game should now open up with West Brom having to chase the game on the restart.
Teams are back out for the second half.
And we’re back underway!
West Brom’s problem is scoring goals and certainly on the evidence of that first half, they’re a little toothless up front.
You feel their best chance is going to be from a set piece and the Baggies have already looked to go direct twice in this second period.
Robson-Kanu is shown a yellow card by Jon Moss after catching Can a little late.
Close! Brightest moment of the half so far and Liverpool are just beginning to dictate proceedings. Origi attempts to curl one into Foster’s top corner but just can’t get enough bend on it.
Chance! Oh how has he missed that? Lovely stuff from Liverpool sees Firmino put it on a plate for Milner to volley home but he can’t get over it and fires it over the bar from close range.
Liverpool finding a lot more space now and are really causing West Brom’s rearguard problems.
Origi heads home from Firmino’s cross but the latter was adjudged to be fractionally offside after Lucas’s delivery. Good decision by the linesman on this near touchline.
Tony Pulis makes a change as Chadli is replaced by James Morrison.
Here comes James McClean, as the Ireland international is introduced for the last half an hour. Rondon is also on for Robson-Kanu.
It has all fallen a bit flat again at the Hawthorns. Not a whole lot to report from the last 10 minutes or so other than that Liverpool are controlling things at the moment.
Ironic cheers around the ground as Lucas becomes the first Liverpool player to be cautioned. West Brom fans feel their side have been harshly treated by the officials so far.
Liverpool pushing for a second to kill off West Brom but are lacking a cutting edge in the final third. 13 minutes to go.
Chance! That was it, the chance West Brom were looking for. Rondon rolls Matip and times the pass through for Phillips perfectly. With Mignolet advancing off his line, Phillips looks to dink it over him but doesn’t get enough height on it and the ‘keeper makes a fine stop.
Daniel Sturridge is coming on for Divock Origi in a straight swap for the final 10 minutes.
Liverpool are seeing this one out quite comfortably. Three minutes plus stoppage time remains.
Four minutes of injury time and West Brom win a corner, but Can rises highest to clear the danger. Klopp runs down the clock with another change as Coutinho makes way for Moreno.
West Brom win another corner, and here comes Ben Foster!
Oh my word! The ball falls to Foster at the edge of the area after the initial corner is cleared. McClean loses it and Moreno breaks with Sturridge in support on his left. The Liverpool defender, who is literally just on, decides to go for goal himself but with no ‘keeper, pulls his long-range effort wide.
Drama at the death as West Brom throw everything at Liverpool. Mignolet with a good punch under pressure and Ben Foster is still camped inside the Liverpool box!
Full time! West Brom 0-1 Liverpool
The less said about that match the better, but a frenetic ending and three crucial points for Liverpool. We’ll have a full report and plenty of reaction from the Hawthorns on The42 shortly, but until it’s time to head over to Old Trafford for Man United’s clash with Chelsea.