With no wins to their name since mid-March, West Bromwich Albion will hope to give their supporters a positive end to the season by beating a Liverpool side that has more than half an eye on Wednesday’s Europa League final.
The home side cannot say that they have not had ample opportunity to end the barren run, with two penalties squandered at home to Watford and another last weekend at Bournemouth which would have given them a two-goal lead. The aim was 40 points, and they have achieved that comfortably with plenty of time to spare, but a failure to kick on from there ensures that doubts remain over whether the club is capable of actually making progress up the table and aiming higher than just merely securing their safety.
Such is the tight nature of the bottom half of the Premier League table, Albion can finish anywhere between 12th and 16th depending on their result on the final day, and the difference that that makes financially is considerable, so they will treat this as an important game. As for what lies ahead, it will be interesting to see how Tony Pulis goes about his business in the upcoming transfer window in his attempts to bolster a squad that has potential. Uncertainty persists over the future of Saido Berahino, while Salomon Rondon is yet to unleash his full repertoire since arriving in England.
There is no hiding from the fact that this has been a poor Premier League campaign for Liverpool, who have been hit by inconsistency and defensive insecurity. There is plenty of room to strengthen and Jurgen Klopp will do just that over the summer, but the German’s influence has seen a buzz return among the club’s supporters as a result of reaching two finals and conjuring up a number of magic moments. A repeat of the final placing of sixth they achieved last time around is the best they can hope for.
As has been the case for most of their domestic matches in the recent past, Klopp is likely to field a second string team as the chance to lift a trophy for the first time in four years looms. Many of those who are set to figure against Sevilla were involved last time out at home to Chelsea, where an injury time goal from Christian Benteke salvaged a point from what was a lukewarm performance. The big striker’s future may be in some doubt, but his confidence is back on the up as he looks to score for the third time in four league games here.
There are no new injury worries for West Brom, who could give an appearance to the fit-again James Morrison.
Liverpool are boosted by the return of injured trio Jordan Henderson, Danny Ings and Divock Origi, all of whom could feature here.
Last Meeting: Liverpool totally dominated in terms of possession on territory when the sides last met in the West Midlands in April 2015, but endured an afternoon of frustration as Jordon Ibe shot against a post and Philippe Coutinho forced a good save from Boaz Myhill. The hosts were mainly on the defensive, but did come close to scoring through James Morrison, whose header was cleared off the line.