Premier League Preview 2014/15: W.B.A. (H)

Premier League Preview 2014/15: W.B.A. (H)
October 2, 2014 Gary Fulcher

By Gary Fulcher, Daniel Rhodes, Mihail  Vladimirov and Krishen Bhautoo.

Liverpool’s poor start to the Premier League season continued with the 1-1 draw against Everton at Anfield on Saturday. That result leaves the Reds in 13th place having picked up seven points from the first six games. Alan Irvine’s West Bromwich Albion are the next visitors to Anfield on Saturday; 3pm kick off UK time.

The stoppage time worldie from Jagielka that denied us maximum points from the derby means we have won just two (or less) of our opening six fixtures for only the fifth time in the Premier League era, with Rodgers being manager for two of those seasons: 1992/93 under Souness (one win, three draws), 2005/06 under Benitez (one win, four draws), 2010/11 under Hodgson (one win, three draws) and 2012/13 under Rodgers (one win, two draws).

Liverpool’s five poorest starts to a Premier League season and the final league position:

  • 2012/13 – P: 6 W: 1 D: 2 L: 3 F: 9 A: 12 GD: -3 Pts: 5 – Final Position & Points: 7th with 61
  • 2010/11 – P: 6 W: 1 D: 3 L: 2 F: 6 A: 9: GD: -3 Pts: 6 – Final Position & Points: 6th with 58
  • 1992/93 – P: 6 W: 1 D: 3 L: 2 F: 7 A: 9 GD: -2 Pts: 6 – Final Position & Points: 5th with 59 from a 42 game season
  • 2005/06 – P: 6 W: 1 D: 4 L: 1 F: 4 A: 6 GD: -2 Pts: 7 – Final Position & Points: 3rd with 82
  • 2014/15 – P: 6 W: 2 D: 1 L: 3 F: 8 A: 9 GD: -1 Pts: 7 – Final Position & Points: unknown

The only anomaly from the above  is the 2005/06 season under Rafa where we ended the campaign with 82 points, a points tally achieved by winning 10 games in a row between the end of October and the end of December and by picking up maximum points from the final nine games of the season. Rodgers has shown – with the 11 consecutive league victories we racked up last season – that he can produce a similar consistent winning sequence. We may not go on a similar run this season but we certainly can’t afford to wait until the second half of the season before we find consistency (which has been the case in the past two seasons under Rodgers) if we want to be in the mix for the Champions League places come April/May. That being said we are only three points off 4th place…

This will be only the second time Alan Irvine has faced a Liverpool side, with the first being a 2-0 defeat in the 3rd round of the FA Cup in 2009 at Deepdale, while he was manager of Preston North End. The Baggies sit three places above us in 10th having picked up a solitary point more than us from their opening six league games. The drew their opening two games against Sunderland at home (2-2) and Southampton away (0-0), then lost to Swansea away (0-3) and Everton at home (0-2) before winning their last two against Tottenham away (1-0) and Burnley at home (4-0).

Liverpool won the corresponding fixture last season with Luis Suarez scoring a hat-trick and Daniel Sturridge bagging the 4th, with Morrison scoring what turned out to be a consolation goal from the penalty spot. Our sixth win from the previous eight meetings in this fixture. The Baggies have won two of the last three at Anfield however; 2-0 during the 2012/13 season and 1-0 at the tail end of the 2011./12 campaign.

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