Monday, October 31, 2011

Liverpool Ready To Raid German Champions For Top All Round Striker

Liverpool is close to making an official bid for Borussia Dortmund 23 year old Polish International striker Robert Lewandowski according to reports in Germany.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is still looking to strengthen his front line despite spending tens of Millions on strikers in the summer and has apparently identified Lewandowski has just the sort of player he wants and likes.

Liverpool had looked set up front with the purchase of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll but below standard performances from Carroll and a lack of depth up front have convinced Dalglish that he needs more competition and cover up the front.

Lewandowski is not an out and out scorer but more of an all round front man, he makes as many assists as goals and is the perfect man for an out an out striker to feed off.

A fee in the region of £8 Million should be enough to land the Polish International who cost Dortmund £4 Million back in June 2010.

Kenny Dalglish Hails Strength Of Reds Squad

Kenny Dalglish believes the fact Liverpool performed so well at West Brom without skipper Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher underlines the strength of the squad he has built.

The Reds overcame the loss of the experienced duo to beat the Baggies 2-0 thanks to goals from Charlie Adam and Andy Carroll.

Gerrard was sidelined with an ankle infection and Carragher missed out after picking up a calf injury in the midweek win at Stoke City.

However, Dalglish is hopeful they will both be fit for next Saturday’s home league clash with Swansea City.

“We are certainly much better with them in the squad than out of it,” Dalglish said.

“They have done magnificently for this football club and they will continue to do magnificently for us too. They will continue to make a contribution.

“I suppose it is a reflection on the strength of the squad when the two talismanic figures aren’t playing and you still come and put on such a top performance.

“Steven was in my mind for the game but it just flared up. We’ll have a more accurate idea on Monday or Tuesday when we return to training.

“Will he be fit for England? I haven’t got a clue. It’s nothing to do with any injuries before, it’s an infection. I suppose it’s like having an abscess on your mouth.”

Dalglish was delighted with the Reds’ overall performance which featured another stunning display from Luis Suarez, who was instrumental in both goals.

The Uruguay international won the penalty for the opener from Adam and then set up Carroll for the second.

“I said last week I had run out of superlatives about Luis. And I’ve not educated myself in three or four days, so what I said then stands now,” Dalglish said.

“He’s a fantastic footballer and I think for us there were a lot of excellent performances out there. There’s not one player who played for us that could be disappointed with their performance.

“Luis and Andy haven’t played that many games together and I thought they did well. I’m sure everyone in our squad is appreciative of what Luis does, but I’m sure that also applies the other way.

Charlie Adam Delighted With Andy Carroll Contribution Against West Brom

Charlie Adam paid tribute to striker Andy Carroll after Liverpool FC’s record signing grabbed his third goal of the season in the win at West Brom.

The LFC midfielder was hugely impressed with the performance of Carroll, who wrapped up the points with a neat finish just before half-time.

“The big man was unbelievable and the finish for our second goal was terrific,” Adam said.

“Once we got the goal it changed the complexion of the game. I thought we played well in the first half.

“Second half, we never kept the ball as well as we should have and it’s something that we’ll maybe have to get better at.”

Adam, who opened the scoring from the penalty spot, admitted it was a crucial victory for Kenny Dalglish’s side after recent draws against Manchester United and Norwich City.

“We’re disappointed with some of the results we’ve had this year,” he added.

“Last week (against Norwich) we had numerous chances and could have finished it off but that’s what happens when you play in the best league in the world. If you don’t score you can get punished and we did.

“We’ve done that a couple of times this year but against West Brom we deserved to win.”

Andy Carroll Hails His Strike Partnership With Luis Suarez

Andy Carroll believes his double act with Luis Suarez is starting to click as he hailed his Liverpool strike partner as the best in the Premier League.

The Reds’ record signing is targeting an extended run in Kenny Dalglish’s side after netting his third goal of the season in Saturday’s 2-0 victory at West Brom.

Carroll impressed on his first league start for nearly a month but admitted he owed a debt of gratitude to Suarez, who produced another man of the match display alongside him.

“Luis is a great player who works so hard for the team and it’s nice to have him up top with me,” Carroll said.

“Luis drops off, gets the ball into his feet, can dribble with it and slip people in. We just try to stretch defenders and try to make the pitch as big as possible.

“I thought it was a good move for my goal. Luis put me in and I had time to take a touch and slip it past the keeper. It was great to score again – there’s no better feeling really.

“Luis makes it easy playing alongside him. I think we played well together and hopefully that will carry on.

“I couldn’t name a better player in the Premier League than Luis. He’s fantastic to have in the squad. He makes chances and scores goals himself so he’s a great all-round player and he showed that again.”

After scoring in the derby victory at Goodison at the start of October, Carroll found himself on the bench for the league games against Manchester United and Norwich City.

However, the £35million man was recalled by Dalglish for last week’s Carling Cup win at Stoke City and retained his place against the Baggies.

Carroll is desperate to become a permanent fixture in the Liverpool side.

“I’ve been disappointed to be sat on the bench,” he said. “But when you are left out it just makes you work harder the next day in training to get your place back.

“We have a big squad, players come and go every week. It was a different XI at West Brom compared to the previous week and the week before that. Everyone is fighting hard in training for a place.

“I’ve been working hard every day to get my fitness up and to try to get a place in the team and I think I earned it.

“I thought I played well against Stoke and again on Saturday – to get a goal made it even better. We will have to see what happens next weekend. I want to get my name in the starting XI every week.”

Liverpool slipped back to sixth place following Spurs’ win over QPR yesterday but they are only one point adrift of third-placed Chelsea.

The Reds have now gone seven games unbeaten in all competitions and Carroll believes the fact Saturday’s win was achieved without either Steven Gerrard or Jamie Carragher highlighted the depth in Dalglish’s squad.

“It was a good game to be involved and I thought all the lads played well,” Carroll said.

“We showed what we can do. We passed it around well and deserved the three points.

“It was tough not having Stevie or Carra in the squad. They are great players and we need them in the team once they’ve got over their little niggles.

“But we have fantastic players that can come in. The game showed we’ve got lads who can step in when needed and do a job.”

Daniel Agger Targets Extended Run In Liverpool Side

Daniel Agger is hoping to keep his place in the Liverpool side after an injury-hit spell at Anfield.

The Dane, who has suffered from a number of injuries since joining the Reds from Brondby in 2006, has featured regularly for Kenny Dalglish’s side this season and made his 100th Premier League appearance in Saturday’s 2-0 win against West Brom.

"It's special to play 100 league games for Liverpool and it has been a long time coming because of the unlucky injuries I have had," Agger told the club's official website.

"Hopefully now I can have an injury free run and I hope now to keep on going and play another 100 games for this club.

"I am enjoying my football now. I feel I have been unlucky with injuries and hopefully I can get some good luck now because it means a lot to me to play for this club."

Agger also revealed his delight at keeping a clean sheet against West Brom at The Hawthorns, adding: "It was so important for us to keep a clean sheet and that is always good for us defenders and great for the whole team as well.

"I thought we played well and deserved the three points. We are happy and we have to continue this form and keep winning games.

"I think we can take a lot from this result and we now look ahead to the next game against Swansea at home and try and get another three points."

Clarke Hails Liverpool’s £20m Starlet

Liverpool No2 Steve Clarke believes Jordan Henderson is proving why they spent big-money to sign him from Sunderland.

The England U21 star has started to settle at Anfield since his surprising £20m switch in the summer. The England ace set up Luis Suarez’s winner during last weeks Carling Cup win over Stoke with a delightful pass over the top of the defence, and Clarke feels that Henderson is starting to prove his worth:

“It’s always been the case in football that the goalscorer gets the headlines but sometimes the assist is just as good,” the first-team coach told “For all Luis did the hard work himself for the first goal, it was a fantastic first-time ball in from Jordan for the second goal.

“A pass like that catches the defence unaware. If Jordan takes a touch the defenders have time to adjust and maybe we don’t get the goal.

“That’s why the club’s made the investment in Jordan – he’s one for the future but he’s one for now as well. He’s got great qualities, he loves working at his game, he wants to get better all the time and for a young player that’s a fantastic attribute. You saw on Wednesday that he has the quality to turn games.

“He’s got great energy on the pitch, he likes to get forward. His contribution is there to be seen.”

Scharner Critical Of Suarez Over Diving

West Brom midfielder Paul Scharner has lambasted Luis Suarez for the "nice dive" that earned the penalty to set Liverpool on the way to a 2-0 victory at the Hawthorns.

Suarez was adjudged to have been fouled by Jerome Thomas inside the area after just nine minutes of Saturday's Premier League clash and Charlie Adam stepped up to score from the spot.

However, after the match, West Brom manager Roy Hodgson questioned the decision of match referee Lee Mason to award the penalty and Scharner has now added his voice to the latest diving row to engulf the Uruguay striker.

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has constantly defended Suarez from such allegations since the player arrived at Anfield but the accusations continue.

Asked for his verdict on Suarez's performance, Scharner said: "It was a nice dive for the penalty and that got Liverpool well started for the game. It put us under pressure and we weren't good enough to respond.

"He (Suarez) is very good at winning penalties. He's one of the best on the planet, in fact. I had a good view of it. If that's a penalty, then you will find 1,500 penalties are given in every match.

"I know it was the assistant who flagged for it and maybe he had a better view than the referee. But there was a general feeling amongst all the players that it was a soft penalty.''

Whatever the rights and wrongs of Scharner's claims, there was no disputing the quality of Suarez's general performance in his side's 2-1 win.

Huge Blow For Dalglish As Gerrard Faces Another Month Out

Having only recently overcome a worrying groin problem, Steven Gerrard could now be sidelined for at least a month after being diagnosed with an infection in a cut on his ankle.

According to a report this morning in The Sun, the Reds’ club captain will find out how long he will need to recover from the complaint today.

If the worst case scenario is realized, he could miss the whole of November, ruling him out of crucial league matches against Manchester City and Chelsea, as well as England’s two home friendly fixtures with Spain and Sweden.

Now 31 years old, Gerrard is into the latter half of his career and many pundits have expressed doubts over his ability to continue at the top level for too long.

Speaking of his recent injury turmoil, the 89-cap England man said: “There were times when I was as low as I ever have been.

“I think it is only natural that you have doubts and different things cross your mind from time to time.”

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Match Report: West Brom 0 - 2 Liverpool

Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez showed more signs of forging a potent strike partnership as Liverpool strolled to victory over West Brom - and former Reds manager Roy Hodgson - at the Hawthorns.

A Charlie Adam penalty and Carroll's third goal of the campaign confirmed Liverpool's superiority as they climbed into fifth spot in the Barclays Premier League.

But it was the way that Carroll and Suarez gelled which would have given the most satisfaction to Reds boss Kenny Dalglish.

Carroll is starting to live up to his £35million price tag while Suarez gave his usual irresistible performance as the pair tormented the Baggies rearguard.

With Adam and Lucas Leiva running the show in the centre of the park and Daniel Agger impressive in defence, Liverpool had few problems in chalking up a third away league win of the campaign.

It ended the Baggies run of 11 points from the last six games but more accomplished sides will find it hard to deal with Carroll and Suarez in this form.

Liverpool, without the injured Steven Gerrard (ankle) and Jamie Carragher (calf), were the first to settle and a long ball from Jose Enrique was seized on by Suarez but his control let him down.

After eight minutes Adam put Liverpool ahead from the penalty spot.

Suarez was bundled into by Jerome Thomas and referee Lee Mason pointed to the spot after his assistant Gary Beswick flagged for a foul.

Albion's players were incensed by the decision but up stepped Adam to send Ben Foster the wrong way from the spot for his second goal of the campaign.

Liverpool had appeals for a second penalty rejected when Carroll's header from Suarez's cross struck the hand of Andy Reid.

Jonas Olsson became the first player to be yellow carded after 35 minutes for a reckless challenge on Carroll.

Suarez had a chance to increase Liverpool's lead after 35 minutes when Martin Skrtel squared a deep Adam corner back across the box. But the Uruguayan shot wide from eight yards out.

Then after 45 minutes Carroll made it 2-0. Lucas' fine pass picked out Suarez and he released Carroll who clipped wide of the advancing Foster for his fifth goal in 21 games for Liverpool.

Liverpool began the second half on the offensive and Henderson failed to make proper contact on his shot after Carroll found him in space.

Albion came close for the first time after 47 minutes when Somen Tchoyi was inches wide with his low cross shot.

But Liverpool were quickly back in command and Carroll should have done better when an Adam shot ballooned up into his path.

Suarez was proving hard to contain and he shot over from a narrow angle.

A long raking pass from Adam released Suarez who cut inside the box but he was eventually crowded out and Foster collected.

Albion were forced into a change with Scharner picking up a knee injury and replaced by James Morrison.

Jose Enrique galloped forward to force Foster to finger-tip his shot over the bar and then the keeper blocked a Carroll volley after more good play by Suarez.

Carroll found himself in acres of space on the edge of the box but shot wide when Jordan Henderson was unmarked.

With nine minutes left, Dalglish made his first substitution with Suarez making way for Craig Bellamy - his 250th Premier League appearance.

Olsson headed wide from a Chris Brunt corner but it was too little, too late from the Baggies and in injury time the woodwork denied Downing his first Liverpool goal.

Dalglish Salutes Suarez

Kenny Dalglish paid tribute to another star showing from Luis Suarez after watching the Uruguayan torment West Brom on Saturday.

Suarez played a part in both of Liverpool's goals as they left The Hawthorns with a 2-0 win.

He won the penalty from which Charlie Adam opened the scoring, before playing in Andy Carroll for the Reds' second.

Dalglish was quick to praise Suarez afterwards, with the Anfield boss admitting he is starting to sound like a broken record.

He said: "Luis is a fantastic footballer. For us, there were a lot of excellent performances out there.

"There was not one player that could be disappointed with their performance.

"But within the group, there will be people who excel a little bit more than others.

"For us, it seems to be Luis quite often. He and Andy haven't played together that often.

"I thought they played really well together. I'm sure everyone in our squad is appreciative of what Luis does but I'm sure he is delighted with them as well."

West Brom's players were incensed with the award of an eighth minute penalty, with Jerome Thomas adjudged to have felled Suarez, but Dalglish claims he did not have a clear view of the incident and cannot comment on it.

He said: "I'm going to sound like Arsene (Wenger). I never saw it from where I was standing and I haven't seen any replays.

"I'm not trying to be evasive or duck the question. There was also a big appeal from our lads for a handball (by Steven Reid) that we never got."

Dalglish Impressed By Liverpool's Attitude And Commitment

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has admitted he was encouraged by his side’s team spirit as they disposed of West Brom 2-0 to extend their unbeaten run to seven games.

Dalglish spent the summer remoulding the core of his side, making seven signings as he attempts to put together a team capable of challenging for qualification to the Champions League.

And after watching a promising performance against the Baggies which saw two of his signings on the scoresheet Dalglish believes his side are showing promising signs of improvement and becoming a real force to be reckoned with.

He said: “It’s their attitude and commitment towards the game, the way that they play for and with each other, that is very impressive for me.

“The harder we work the better we will be. I don’t think any of the lads should be short of confidence but then again we shouldn’t be arrogant either.”

Reds Waiting On Gerrard News

Kenny Dalglish claims Liverpool will not know how serious Steven Gerrard's ankle infection is until early next week.

The Reds skipper was forced to miss Saturday's 2-0 victory over West Brom after being laid low.

He has only recently returned from a lengthy spell on the sidelines and Liverpool are hoping the problem will not keep their captain out for long.

They are, however, still in the dark at the moment and Dalglish admits there is a chance Gerrard could miss upcoming domestic fixtures as well as England's friendly date with Spain on 12th November.

He said: "Steven Gerrard has got an infection in his ankle. Steven was in our minds for the game. It just flared up.

"We are off Sunday, we will be back in Monday or Tuesday, so we can be more accurate next week than we can be just now.

"We are not going to mislead anyone. We will know better on Monday or Tuesday.

"Will he be fit for England? I haven't got a clue. It's nothing to do with any injuries before, it's an infection.

"I suppose it's like having an abscess on your mouth."

Pardew Issues Hands-Off Warning To Liverpool Over Coloccini

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has issued a hands-off warning to Liverpool after they were linked with a move for Fabricio Coloccini.

Coloccini has become an impressive member of the Magpies' team despite a far from convincing first season at the club, and was handed the captain's armband as a reward for his form.

The Argentine defender has 18 months remaining on his £80,000 per week contract at Newcastle, but the club has already opened negotiations on a new deal for the 29-year-old.

Liverpool and Kenny Dalglish have had plenty of contact with Newcastle in recent times, signing Andy Carroll from the club last January in a £35 million move, then returning for Jose Enrique in the summer - but Pardew remains calm about any speculated move for Coloccini.

“Liverpool like looking at our players, don’t they?” Pardew was quoted as saying by The Mirror.

“I don’t want to add any more to that, other than to say that he’s been outstanding for us as a captain and a player, and that we’re in negotiations with him on a new contract.”

Newcastle have enjoyed a fine start to the Premier League season, currently sit in fourth position and remain unbeaten in the league, a feat only matched by table-topping Manchester City.

Liverpool FC Handed Trip To Chelsea In Carling Cup

Liverpool have been handed a trip to Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup.

The Reds' reward for their 2-1 win over Stoke City is a showdown at Stamford Bridge to be played during the week commencing November 28.

It's the fourth successive away tie for Kenny Dalglish's men in the competition having already won at Exeter City, Brighton and Stoke.

It will also mean two trips to Chelsea in quick succession as the clubs meet in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on November 20.

Liverpool, who won 1-0 on their previous visit to Stamford Bridge back in February, last faced Chelsea in the Carling Cup in a quarter-final in December 2007.

On that occasion the Londoners won 2-0.

In the other ties, Arsenal host Manchester City while Manchester United is at home to Crystal Palace and Blackburn Rovers travel to Cardiff City.

Gerrard: Hodgson Not To Blame

Steven Gerrard believes Liverpool's players were to blame for the short reign of Roy Hodgson at Anfield.

Liverpool faced their former manager at West Brom on Saturday evening, less than a year after Hodgson left the Reds. After a disastrous six-month spell that saw Liverpool lose at home to the likes of Blackpool and Northampton, Hodgson was replaced by Kenny Dalglish.

Since then the Reds have found new owners, who have backed Dalglish to the tune of £50 million during the summer transfer window. Liverpool are now back challenging for Champions League spots and playing an improved brand of football, something for which Dalglish has received much credit.

When Hodgson came up against Liverpool at the Hawthorns in April, West Brom won 2-1.

Liverpool skipper Gerrard admits things have improved immeasurably under their current boss, but he blames the players for Hodgson's failings. The likes of Fernando Torres and Joe Cole, in particular, failed to produce for Hodgson, and Gerrard admits attitudes were not right.

"It was a tricky time for Roy, it was a tricky time for everyone at the club, with the owners changing. Maybe he became Liverpool manager at the wrong time," Gerrard told ESPN. "When the job became vacant, there were an awful lot of supporters that wanted Kenny to get the job, so from day one there was extra pressure on Roy to deliver.

"He's a football man, he's experienced and he's a great guy. He's got the reputation in the game because he's been a successful manager. Just because it didn't work out here, doesn't mean he becomes a bad manager. He knows that at Liverpool you get judged on results. The results weren't good enough and unfortunately in football, managers get the blame.

"But I was one of the players who came out after he left and made sure people knew it wasn't just Roy Hodgson's fault. It was the players underperforming and not delivering. That was the sad part."

Liverpool has not lost any of their last six games in all competitions, and Gerrard credits both Dalglish and the club's owners for the turnaround. "Things have improved since Kenny's come in," Gerrard confirmed. "The new owners... there's happy faces from top to bottom of the club now and we move forward."

Dunn Sinks Baggies

Jack Dunn scored a last minute winner as Liverpool U18s came from behind to triumph 2-1 at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

The talented midfielder netted a superb free-kick to give Mike Marsh's side a deserved victory.

Substitute David Moli was also on the mark as he grabbed the equalizer in the second half after the Baggies had opened the scoring against the run of play.

Marsh told "I am really pleased for the lads. They played ever so well and deserved the win.

"We created chance after chance and eventually got our reward with Jack's superb free-kick.

"I was also pleased with Moli's contribution when he came on and got a deserved goal."

Liverpool team: Tyrell Belford, Ryan McLaughlin, Jordan Lussey, Joe Rafferty, Matty Regan, Lewis Hatch (Peter Aylmer 80), Kristoffer Peterson, Jack Dunn, Sam Gainford (David Moli 60), Josh Sumner (Nathan Quirk 75), Yalany Baio.

Support For Liverpool FC Blossoming In Pakistan

Liverpool boast a massive global fanbase. Their pre-season tours to the likes of Thailand and Malaysia highlights the huge passion for the club that exists in the Far East.

However, less well known is the support they enjoy in Pakistan.

News that Manchester United has signed a sponsorship deal with a mobile network in Pakistan prompted Reds from the country to get in touch this week.

The popularity of Premier League football is rocketing in Pakistan as interest in cricket wanes on the back of match-fixing allegations.

Liverpool Pakistan Fan Club was launched last year and started off with around 15 members who met up weekly to watch matches.

Co-founders Nausherwan Effandi and Raheel Ahmed then decided to promote it on a larger scale and it has blossomed.

The Pak Reds Facebook site now boasts around 1,500 members and screenings of matches are held in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad.

As well as getting together to watch Kenny Dalglish’s men in action, they have also started up their own team who play matches at an Anfield themed ground in Lahore.

Self-financed and self-managed, Pak Reds is the first supporters club of its kind in Pakistan.

Pak Reds president Effandi said: “We aim to bring Liverpool culture to Pakistan in the sense that not only do we want to promote Liverpool as a team, we hope that the supporters embody the true ethos of being a Liverpool fan.”

Pak Reds are hoping to secure backing from Anfield and soon be recognized as an official supporters club.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Match Preview: West Brom v Liverpool

Both parties would probably prefer to move on from the past, but there will be an inevitable degree of focus upon another Roy Hodgson reunion with Liverpool at West Brom on Saturday evening.

It has been almost nine months since the 64-year-old was sacked at Anfield following a woefully unsuccessful half-a-year in charge of the five-time kings of Europe and much has changed in that time.

Kenny Dalglish is now Liverpool's boss having been promoted from an ambassadorial role and a position working with the club's Academy for a second spell as manager in the wake of Hodgson's departure.

The Kop idol was a constant issue during Hodgson's reign, with it widely recognized most fans would have preferred the Scot to have replaced former boss Rafa Benitez in the summer of 2010.

Dalglish was ultimately appointed, but Hodgson has already got one over on his predecessor after West Brom defeated Liverpool 2-1 at The Hawthorns in April, when two Chris Brunt penalties gave the Baggies a first win over the Merseysiders in 30 years.

Hodgson was characteristically too much of a gentleman to revel in a win against a club which had made him unemployed just 12 weeks previously and instead the focus was upon a success which moved West Brom further clear of relegation.

It was Hodgson's fifth game unbeaten since taking over at The Hawthorns and he will hope for more of the same this season having built a recent run of four Premier League matches without defeat, including back-to-back Midlands derby wins.

Liverpool will also have other concerns away from Hodgson, as Dalglish attempts to find a cure to his side's developing trend for frustrating draws which was epitomized in last weekend's evening match against Norwich.

West Brom will be without striker Shane Long after the Republic of Ireland international was ruled out for six weeks with the knee injury suffered during last weekend's win over Aston Villa.

Somen Tchoyi and Simon Cox will be vying to partner Peter Odemwingie up front.

Midfielders Paul Scharner and Graham Dorrans (both knee) and winger Jerome Thomas (foot) are expected to be fit.

Liverpool are to assess the fitness of star striker Luis Suarez after the Uruguayan sustained a 'little knock' in the midweek Carling Cup win over Stoke.

If fit, the Copa America winner could be partnered by Andy Carroll in attack after the £35million man gave an indication he is finding some sort of form at the Britannia Stadium.

Midfielder Lucas Leiva is available again after missing the draw with Norwich through suspension, but Jay Spearing will be disappointed to drop out after doing well against Stoke.

Daniel Agger is likely to play in the centre of defence after the Dane started his first match in just over a month in midweek following his recovery from a rib injury.

Possible starting XIs:

West Brom: Foster, Reid, Olsson, McAuley, Jones, Brunt, Mulumbu, Scharner, Thomas, Tchoyi, Odemwingie.

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Agger, Carragher, Enrique, Lucas, Adam, Downing, Gerrard, Kuyt, Suarez.

Hodgson Wary Of Reds

West Brom manager Roy Hodgson admits his side is underdogs against his former club Liverpool on Saturday.

The Baggies are unbeaten in their last four games and picked up a good win on the road to Aston Villas last weekend.

Despite playing in front of a home crowd at the Hawthorns, the 64-year old is weary of the threat from the Reds.

"Liverpool has done very well this season."

He said. "They have spent quite wisely and brought some very good players into the club.”

Their team is much stronger than it has been in awhile.

We have to be aware that we won't be favourites going into the game, despite playing at home.

"If we are to get anything from the game we have to play at our highest level.”

In our favour is the fact that for the last four or five games we haven't been playing too badly ourselves and we also believe we have good players."

Duo Set For Reds Landmark

Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel could both notch up a century of league appearances for Liverpool if they feature in Saturday's trip to West Brom.

Here are the rest of the facts and stats:

The Reds have drawn the last two league games (Manchester United and Norwich). The last time they shared the spoils in three successive matches was in January 2009 while the last trio of consecutive 1-1 league draws for Liverpool came in December 1988.

At West Brom: Liverpool 23 wins, West Brom 20 wins, 16 draws.

Overall: Liverpool 56 wins, West Brom 29 wins, 33 draws.

Last season Albion won this fixture 2-1. After Martin Skrtel had opened the scoring after 50 minutes the hosts hit back to win the game courtesy of two Chris Brunt penalties on 62 and 89.

Brunt's goals were the first scored by West Brom against Liverpool in the Premier League in the 10th clash. The Reds in those meetings have hit the net 26 times.

Liverpool had shaded the earlier meeting at Anfield thanks to a single Fernando Torres goal.

The Reds have an excellent record at the Hawthorns, winning eight of the last nine fixtures scoring 26 and conceding four. 23 have those goals have come in the last seven visits.

In the Barclays Premier League the clubs have met 10 times with Liverpool winning nine and losing one.

Liverpool has lost only two of the last 16 visits.

The last time these sides played out a goalless draw in the West Midlands was in November 1968.

The 6-0 victory on this ground in April 2003 is Liverpool's biggest ever league win over Albion.

Michael Owen's four-goal haul in April 2003 is the last hat-trick scored by a Liverpool player against the Baggies. John Wark in a 5-0 win in March 1985 is the only other to achieve the feat for the Reds on this ground.

Prior to last season's Hawthorns clash the Reds had kept 9 successive clean sheets against West Brom in the league since 1986.

Andy Carroll scored twice for Newcastle on this ground two seasons ago - but Newcastle lost the FA Cup tie 4-2.

Liverpool go into this game on the back of an unbeaten six game run in all competitions, which along with Tottenham is the longest currently of any top-flight team.

Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel could both make their 100th Premier League appearance if selected.

A win for Liverpool will see them reach 1,300 Premier League points.

If they score three goals they will reach 50 in the league since Kenny returned as manager in January (this is his 28th league game).

Albion's win here last season ended a run of 12 successive league defeats home and away. In those 12 games they had scored two goals and conceded 36.

It was their first home win over Liverpool in 10 games since a 2-0 win in February 1981 and is their only success in the last 20 meetings at the Hawthorns and Anfield.

The Baggies are looking to record back-to-back home league wins over Liverpool for the first time since November 1966.

The Baggies finished last season with their best Premier League finish (11th) - this after being 17th when Roy Hodgson took over in February.

Roy Hodgson was in charge of Liverpool for 191 days - a reign which took in 31 games of which the Reds won 13. In the Premier League he presided over seven wins in his 20 games.

His first league victory as Reds boss came against his current employers at Anfield in August 2010.

From taking over with a dozen games of last season remaining Albion lost only twice under Hodgson - to Chelsea and Wolves.

They avoided relegation from the Premier League for only the second time.

His record as West Brom manager in the league currently stands at eight wins and six defeats from his 21 games.

Last season Albion set an unwanted Premier League record of going 34 games without keeping a clean sheet. The sequence ended with a 1-0 home win over Everton in their penultimate game.

Already this season they have kept more (three) than they did in the whole of last season.

They have beaten Liverpool only twice in the last 33 league meetings and in that time they have scored only 13 goals.

The only League hat-tricks scored by West Brom against Liverpool came in 1936 and 1938 and were scored by the same man - W.G.Richardson.

James Morrison was sent off at Anfield last season Somen Tchoyi made his Baggies debut in that game.

Last season Chris Brunt became only the third player to score 2 penalties in a Premier League game against the Reds. The others were Matt Le Tissier (Southampton) in February 1994 and Ruud van Nistelrooy at Old Trafford in April 2003.

Albion have scored only two of their last six penalties. Peter Odemwingie and Chris Brunt have each taken three and scored only one of them. Brunt missed a spot-kick at Villa Park last week.

In that game Hodgson's men came from behind to win 2-1 with goals from Jonas Olsson and Paul Scharner. It was their first league win at Villa Park since 1979.

The four games at the Hawthorns this season have produced only six goals with Albion scoring three. They have beaten Wolves, drawn with Fulham and lost to Manchester United and Stoke.

After scoring just three times in the opening six league games they have netted twice in each of the last three fixtures, taking seven points in the process.

Albion are unbeaten in the last four games since going out of the League Cup at Everton last month.

They have 11 points from their opening nine games so far - four points fewer than at the same stage last season.

The Baggies are looking a third successive home league clean sheet in the top-flight for the first time since December 2005.

West Brom along with QPR, Doncaster and Aldershot (all with three) have scored fewer league goals at home this season than any other team in England.

Of Albion's nine league goals this season five have been scored in the opening eight minutes of games.

This will be Albion's 100th Premier League game at the Hawthorns. They have won 30, drawn 25 and lost 44.

Current league positions:

Liverpool: Pld 9 Won 4 Drawn 3 Lost 2 Goals For 12 Against 10 Points 15 Position: 6th

West Brom: Pld 9 Won 3 Drawn 2 Lost 4 Goals For 9 Against 11 Points 11 Position: 12th

Leading scorers this season (league in brackets):

Liverpool: Suarez 7 (4), Bellamy 2 (1), Carroll 2 (1), Adam 1 (1), Gerrard 1 (1), Henderson 1 (1), Kuyt 1 (0), Maxi 1 (0), Skrtel 1 (1), own goals 2 (2).

West Brom: Long 3 (3), Brunt 2 (1), Fortune 2 (0), Odemwingie 2 (2), Cox 1 (0), Morrison 1 (1), Olsson 1 (1), Scharner 1 (1), Thomas 1 (0).