Wing Play Will Bring Down West Brom

The loss to Swansea stings, but it is time to forget about the result and move forward. All teams go through a result like that, and Monday was Liverpool’s turn.

The visitors will be up for the affair as Pardew is unbeaten in his last three games at Anfield. At the same time, we have to remember that we just beat Manchester City at Anfield. Between those two, I prefer to look at the latter.

For West Brom, a 4-4-2 is most likely. Barry and Krychowiak are fantastic ball winning midfielders. Rondon is a player who is excellent at hold up, and we may see him do that a lot this game.

For us, I say we rotate a bit. Go with a 4-3-3 of Karius; Gomez, Klavan, VVD, Alexander-Arnold; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can, Lallana; Mane, Solanke, Sturridge.

Defensively, I say we go with a mid block. Allow them to build up a bit while we defend slightly deeper. Why? Because West Brom are not exactly the greatest at building out of the back. Force them to play to their weakness in attack. Do not allow Rondon to hold up play, and surround him if he gets the ball. Let them build their way up the field a little, and let them advance their back line. Then we hit them. Just like a snake who allows his prey to get close first, and then delivers a devastating blow. The Ox and Mane will thrive in these scenarios.

Offensively, we should build up on the outside channels of the field. Like I mentioned, they have two excellent ball winning midfielders entrenched in the middle. So why play in the middle. Take away the strength they have defensively, make it irrelevant. Sturridge and Lallana can roam and combine down the wings, and maybe drop deeper as well. The Ox can then exploit any space left by the West Brom defenders, who are worried about the combination play. Mane of course can offer an outlet on the wing, regardless of which side of the field the ball is at. Could be on his side of the field or at the other side, he will always be a threat. And if they win the ball by the wings, then we know that they are restricted to a 180 degree view of the field. They will be predictable when they counter because they are so close to the touchline that is illegal for the ball to cross. They are almost forced to go towards the middle. This will make it much easier for us to win the ball back.

Overall I expect us to bounce back, but the margin of victory may be slim.