Liverpool face the return of Matheus Pereira today. The Brazilian is far and away the most dangerous player at West Brom.
Matheus Pereira has missed West Brom’s last three games through suspension. He’s back now, though, and will surely play against Liverpool today.
“I am looking forward to seeing [Pereira] play because everyone keeps telling me he is one of our most talented players on the ball,” manager Sam Allardyce said.
“By the fact we need to be able to hold the ball and retain the ball more, I am looking forward to seeing him back in the squad.”
Allardyce is yet to utilise Pereira, of course, given he’s only recently take over at the club.
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And the Brazilian certainly is a threat. The Baggies lack offensive talent, in truth, with no one managing more than two goals this season.
But Pereira certainly offers a reason to worry. He creates, on average, 2.3 chances per game – that’s good enough for 6th best in the Premier League.
No Liverpool player matches that, let alone beats it. Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson come closest, with 1.9 each – 12th best.
But let’s be honest – West Brom will play for a point. And with that in mind, more notable is Jack Livermore’s absence.
The West Brom captain is fourth-best for tackles at the club, and seventh-best for interceptions. He’s also their go-to for ‘breaking up play’ – fouling, really.
Livermore fouls 2.3 times per game, which is the second-most in the Premier League. While it’s difficult to call that a skill, it’s a way of playing that frustrates counter-attacking teams.
With him gone, there is a clear hole in their midfield, though.
So Liverpool will have to watch Pereira today as he’s a creative force. But you can certainly argue that West Brom would swap him for Livermore.
He’ll be a big absence at Anfield and the Reds will surely capitalise.