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You Again? WBA v. Liverpool Preview

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A pose we saw all too often that didn't exactly inspire.
A pose we saw all too often that didn't exactly inspire.

It's the Roy Hodgson Bowl!

One would think that with Albion hovering a mere point over the boot to the Championship, there would be more important things than Roy Hodgson sending out his stall against the club and fans that never really took him to heart to exact revenge for all the scorn we heaped on him. It's a funny image actually of Hodgson grabbing himself and flipping off the traveling support throughout the 90, but somehow I don't think that's how this goes down.

None of us were enthralled when Old Roy was appointed. But at the same time, the prudent among the support knew that there wasn't much choice. Sure, hiring Dalglish from jump street looks the way to have gone now, but did it then? I'm not so sure. This was a club in a haze of dufus-ness beset upon it by Statler and Waldorf and Rafa Benitez (they all have a hand in it, no matter how much they try and throw each other under each passing bus). Their star player clearly was looking to get out before the season started, and the rest of the squad was the definition of malaise. There weren't a lot of people lining up to take this job, and Hodgson genuinely wanted it and looked as if he could at least keep things safe until the club was rebuilt from the owner's box. Didn't work out that way though. His cautious ways didn't mesh with how we envision Liverpool, he couldn't inspire the fringe players to more or the star players to carry the club. And he bought Paul Konchesky, which should have been a fireable offense in itself. How good would those three points he cost us against Spurs look right now?

But he gave us Meireles, so it wasn't a total loss. Well, yeah it was, but whatever.

Anyway, if Liverpool are going to crash the European party, these are three points they're going to have to have because Man City traipses on in next week. While the firing of Di Matteo seemed strange, and a loss of actual football because Di Matteo did send them out to attack, it looks like it's worked because Hodgson's back-to-the-wall ways (or I'm-about-to-shit-myself ways, whichever you prefer) have led to an undefeated streak of five. But only one win. And for someone who praises defense and always thinks of it before anything else, his teams' defenses this year have been...well, an overturned clown car. The Baggies haven't kept a clean sheet in any of these games, and needed some silly Arsenal defending to get out of there with a point. They beat an awful Birmingham team, and have tossed away a three-goal lead to West Ham to only get a point there. So even if Roy wants to park the bus, which he will, that bus must be the Charlestown Chiefs one with serious holes.

Can West Brom threaten? Sure. Peter Odemwinge has serious pace and 10 goals, so on the counter he could be a problem. James Morrison is a nice player in midfield, and Youssef Mulumbu is a horse in midfield. But that's it. If Liverpool don't want to, they don't have to give up a goal.

As for our side, Steven Gerrard is likely going to be on the bench to be saved for the much bigger and last ditch clash against City in the following fixture. You'll probably see the same side that eased past Sunderland, and that should be enough. A 4-2-2-2 with Kuyt and Meireles floating behind Carroll and Suarez. It worked once, and should do again.