What difference a few days can make! Liverpool went into the game at Blackburn, less than two weeks ago, on the back of six losses in seven matches and with all the pressure on boss Kenny Dalglish. The Reds were struggling after being reduced to 10 men but an injury-time Andy Carroll header gave them a dramatic 3-2 victory. They followed it up with an even bigger win in the weekend - a 2-1 FA Cup semi-final comeback triumph over derby rivals Everton at Wembley and Carroll was once more the last-minute hero. With the Carling Cup already in their cabinet and a FA Cup final with Chelsea scheduled for 5 May, life in Liverpool looks bright again.
However, on Sunday they will be reminded of their torrid past as former Reds boss Roy Hodgson makes his first return to Anfield after he was sacked mid-way through last season. Of course he went on to a new job a month later - at West Bromwich Albion - and he put his tough time with the Kop behind, leading the Baggies to eleventh in the league, their highest finish for three decades and it included a 2-1 home win over Liverpool. Hodgson has continued his good work at the Hawthorns this season as well, with West Brom sitting pretty in thirteenth place with 42 points - just four points behind Liverpool and miles away from the drop zone.
The Reds will start the match as favourites but Hodgson, who claimed he was not given a decent chance at Liverpool, will be determined to show the Anfield faithful that may be he was not as bad as they say.
Team News: The big news for Liverpool is that Pepe Reina returns after being sent off against Newcastle United earlier in the month, to replace Brad Jones. Stand-in keeper Alexander Doni also returns from a ban but Jones should retain a place on the bench, after being one of the heroes against Everton. Kenny Dalglish has no fresh injury woes other than long term absentees Charlie Adam and Lucas Leiva.
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West Brom striker Marc Antoine-Fortune and defender Jonas Olsson face late fitness tests before the trip to Anfield, while midfielders Zoltan Gera, James Morrison and Steven Reid remain sidelined.
- The Reds have hit the woodwork 28 times in the league this season - seven more than any other side.
- If Liverpool avoid defeat, they will go three matches unbeaten for the first time this calendar year.
- The Baggies have taken just one point from their last four away matches. However, they have earned more points on the road than at The Hawthorns this season.
- Liverpool have won the last five home league meetings with West Brom without conceding a goal, while Albion's last victory at Anfield was exactly 45 years ago.
- Steven Gerrard needs a goal to make it 150 in all competitions for Liverpool. Meanwhile, Peter Odemwingie is also looking for one - to become the first player to score 25 Premier League goals for West Brom.
- Liverpool won the reverse fixture at the Hawthorns 2-0 in October, with first half goals from Adam and Carroll.
Probable Starting Line-up
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique, Spearing, Gerrard, Henderson, Downing, Suarez, Carroll
West Brom: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Brunt, Mulumbu, Dorrans, Thomas, Odemwingie, Long
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