West Brom's hopes of staying in the Premier League are thinning, and Liverpool can deal the decisive blow.

By 90Min
April 20, 2018

West Bromwich Albion host high flying Liverpool with their feint hopes of Premier League survival still alive, after an impressive 1-0 win over second placed Manchester United on Sunday - a result which meant that Manchester City were inevitably confirmed as the Champions. 

That win was the first in 11 games for the Baggies, a run that brought a disastrous run of eight league losses on the trot.

A loss in this game would effectively relegate the Baggies - they would be nine points adrift, with three games left to play and a inferior goal difference to Swansea City, who currently sit in 17th place.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have shown contrasting form, registering eight wins in their last 11 league games - scoring at least three goals in five of them wins.

The Reds will be looking to close the gap on second placed Manchester United to just one point, as they look to finish the season in the highest possible position. 

Here is everything that you need to know about the Premier League meeting:


Classic Encounter

Liverpool 2-3 West Brom (January 2018)

This FA Cup fourth-round encounter was dominated by the controversial implementation of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR). 

The game started in a frantic way, with Roberto Firmino taking advantage of a defensive error to give Liverpool the lead after just five minutes. But West Brom weren't behind for long, when Jay Rodriguez struck to level the score just a minute after going behind.  

Rodriguez struck again just three minutes later to put the visitors 2-1 ahead, before VAR took center stage. 

The technology ruled out a third West Brom goal, after concluding that Gareth Barry was interfering with play in an offside position. VAR was then used to controversially award Liverpool a penalty after a pull on Mohamed Salah. But, the Reds couldn't take advantage as Firmino's penalty rebounded off the underside of the bar.

The first half got even better for the Baggies during stoppage time, when Joel Matip could do nothing to stop himself turning the ball into his own net to give West Brom a 3-1 lead going into half time. 

It's fair to say that the second half was quieter than the first.

Salah scored his obligatory goal in the 77th minute to set up a grandstand finish, but the Baggies were able to hold firm to record Alan Pardew's third and final win as manager.  


Key Battle

Ahmed Hegazi vs Mohamed Salah 

The Egypt teammates will come up against each other on Saturday at the Hawthorns. 

Hegazi signed for West Brom in the summer, and has been one of the first names on the team sheet for the Baggies, playing a part in every Premier League game this season. He was part of the defense to keep a brilliant clean sheet against Manchester United on Sunday, and will be hoping that he can keep his national team mate quiet. 

That task has been easier said than done for most Premier League defenders so far this season. If you didn't know already, Salah is currently leading the league's goal scoring charts - having scored 30 goals in just 32 appearances. The Egyptian international has scored in his last three league games, including a four goal haul in a 5-0 rout over Watford last month. 


Team News

West Brom currently have a few injury worries with Nacer Chadli, Jonny Evans and Hal Robson-Kanu all doubts for the game, having all missed the last two games because of injury. 

Both Gareth Barry and James Morrison will not be available for Darren Moore to select due to knee and achilles injuries. 

Liverpool also have an extensive injury list; Emre Can, Joel Matip, Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne are all expected to be ruled out of the game, thanks to both long-term and short-term injuries. 

Defender Dejan Lovren is also a slight doubt for the game after suffering from muscle fatigue after the Reds' 3-0 win over Bournemouth last week. Joe Gomez returned to training this week, but it is still to be seen if he will be available for selection. 


Prediction

West Brom's win over Manchester United last week was a major surprise, and may give them a massive boost of confidence and self belief going into the final weeks of the season. 

However, Liverpool have been in imperious form. As well as being free flowing in attack, they have tightened up at the back with the January signing of Virgil van Dijk and will probably have too much for Darren Moore's side. 

Prediction: West Brom 1-4 Liverpool 

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