New signing Philippe Coutinho could make his debut on Monday night as Liverpool look to return to winning ways at home to West Brom. The Reds go into Monday’s game on the back of two draws that could have been wins against Arsenal and Manchester City, and they will be looking to avenge a 3-0 defeat at the Hawthorns on the opening day of the season.
Whether or not Coutinho features against West Brom will depend on his fitness; the former Inter Milan midfielder arrived at Anfield injured last week, but he was able to train on Friday. Daniel Sturridge’s fitness will also be monitored after he withdrew from the England squad in midweek with a thigh injury, but Raheem Sterling will definitely be available despite missing England U21s’ win over Sweden with a dead leg.
At the back, Jamie Carragher will hope to keep his place in the side in what will be Liverpool’s first game since Carragher announced that he is retiring at the end of the season.
The much-loved number 23 started against both Arsenal and Man City and Brendan Rodgers has admitted that the 35-year-old is irreplaceable. Carragher is sure to be given a hero’s welcome at Anfield on Monday night, but being the professional that he is, the Bootle-born defender will not want his retirement to overshadow the occasion.
For West Brom, all eyes will be on striker Peter Odemwingie, who could feature after being disciplined for trying to force a move to QPR during the January transfer window. Odemwingie has been fined two weeks’ wages for his behaviour, which included criticising West Brom on Twitter and driving to Loftus Road on transfer deadline day even though QPR had not agreed a fee for him.
The 31-year-old has apologised for his actions and West Brom manager Steve Clarke said he will involve Odemwingie when he feels it is right to. The Nigerian international scored the only goal in a 1-0 for the Baggies when they visited Anfield last April.
Liverpool have won their last three home games, scoring 12 goals in the process without conceding once. The Reds are enjoying their longest winning streak at Anfield since a four-match run from March to May 2011. Luis Suarez scored in each of those home wins and the Uruguayan will be looking for his 18th league goal of the season against West Brom.
A win on Monday night will see Liverpool move up to 7th, while a defeat would see the Reds drop to 9th.
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