West Brom arrive at Anfield later today as Liverpool look to take their first set of 3pts from the Premier League this season after a draw and defeat against Arsenal and Manchester City respectfully, in the campaign so far.
Roy Hodgson welcomes back to the squad captain Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Milan Jovanovic for the game, who all missed the midweek Europa trip and win to Turkey against Trabzonspor. Daniel Agger, Maxi Rodriguez and Danny Wilson were all left behind on Merseyside due to fitness concerns and tiredness also.
Rodriguez is expected not to return to the squad for the game as he recovers from gastroenteritis but Liverpool have no further injury concerns. Joe Cole will be missing again though as he sits out the second match of his three game ban, following his opening day sending off against the Gunners.
Roy Hodgson commented on the squad availability ahead of the game:
“It will be nice to play at home again and hopefully get the players who weren’t in Turkey back into the fray again and maybe a little bit rested,” he said.
“That will be useful. It was a very tiring pitch in Trabzon and, had we had to fight with the same eleven that we had against Manchester City against West Brom, it would be very tough for them.
“It is good to give one or two of them a rest and psychologically it will be a boost we won the game because you don’t want to be going in staring at the possibilities of three bad results on the trot.
“I’ve spoke to the medical staff; Steven is feeling better and they are optimistic he will be OK.
“Jovanovic will be OK, but Maxi Rodriguez is still sick and Daniel Agger (concussion) is feeling a lot better too.”
Agger and Jovanovic are expected to resume their roles on their left hand side, with Kelly and Aurelio dropping out of the side, as long as Agger is completely clear of the effects from his concussion. Fernando Torres is expected to lead the line once more, with Ngog dropping to the bench, which with Joe Cole out of the side, will mean a return to working with his favourite partner in crime Steven Gerrard. Liverpool are expected to set out their stall in a 4-2-3-1 format as they go on the hunt for goals.
West Brom are troubled by slightly more injury concerns than Liverpool with defender Marek Cech ruled out after fracturing a metatarsal on Tuesday night. The side from the Hawthorns also travel without Thomas (Foot), Matlock (Foot) & Miller (Thigh) to take on the Reds, all ruled out until the 2nd week of September. Midfielder Giles Barnes who replaced Thomas against Sunderland and is likely to retain his place in the starting line up.
It will be a special occassion for goalkeeper and captain Scot Carson though as he returns to face his former employers for the first time.
Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Agger, Poulsen, Lucas, Kuyt, Jovanovic, Gerrard, Torres
Carson, Shorey, Olsson, Tamas, Jara, Barnes, Brunt, Mulumbu, Dorrans, Morrison, Odemwingie.
Match Official: L Probert
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