When you win 7-0 and the manager still isn’t happy then you know you have high expectations to meet.
Even in the midst of watching his Liverpool team lay waste to Crystal Palace, Jurgen Klopp concluded afterwards that he was ‘not over the moon’ with how things went and how they are going.
All manner of records fell in the game on Saturday, with Klopp claiming his 127th Premier League victory as Reds boss – overtaking Rafa Benitez to become the club’s all-time winning manager in the competition.
This was also the first time ever that Liverpool have won by a seven goal margin or higher away from home, the first time in Premier League history that seven different players from the same team have assisted goals in a single game and this was the first instance that Crystal Palace have conceded seven goals in a home match.
The floodgates opened as early as the third minute when Takumi Minamino – in for the rested Mo Salah – got on the end of a sublime team move to slot home the first, before Sadio Mane became only the fourth player in Premier League history to net against the same opponent in seven consecutive outings.
The Reds then showed off the other side of their game, counter attacking with pace and guile which resulted in Bobby Firmino tapping the third just before half-time, and that was essentially that at Selhurst Park.
Jordan Henderson added a fourth in the 52nd minute, before the introduction of Salah from the subs’ bench produced fresh impetus. His dazzling run and cross was met by Firmino for Liverpool’s fifth, before the Egyptian himself completed the rout with a headed goal and a fine solo run to make it a magnificent seven.
Klopp was delighted with his side’s efforts, but certainly not getting carried away. “Everything is pleasing, everything is good,” he said afterwards. “In the first half we competed well and played with good counterattacks, top finishing, top football keeping the ball in the right way.
“I am happy absolutely because it was a top game, but at a time like this it makes no sense to be over the moon about something. The problems and challenges don’t get smaller.”
With no midweek outing, all at the club can enjoy their Christmas turkey before welcoming West Brom to Anfield on Sunday the 27th.
Liverpool Team News
Many of us enjoy a spot of rest and recuperation at Christmas time, and there will be some rare time off for the Liverpool players this week after a hectic four months.
That will give tired legs a chance to heal and injuries some time to be worked on – although it could be February before the likes of Jota and Tsimikas are closer to a return.
James Milner is also out for the foreseeable, and so – unusually for Liverpool this season – Klopp could field essentially the same starting eleven for two games in a row, with Salah in for Minamino as the only change.
West Brom Form
Big Sam Allardyce has been handed the reigns at West Brom, and he must have been wondering what he’s let himself in for after watching his side’s 0-3 demolition at the hands of Aston Villa last time out.
That was the Baggies’ sixth defeat in their last eight games – a run that cost Slaven Bilic his job – and left the Midlanders turning rather questionably to Allardyce’s more prosaic approach.
West Brom have recorded a run of W0 D2 L4 against top-six teams so far, scoring six (albeit five of those were against Everton and Chelsea) and conceding 14.
Liverpool vs West Brom Betting Tips
There won’t be many bookmakers that offer even a sniff of value for this game, and actually you might argue that the 1/8 offered on a Liverpool win is actually value – that’s an implied probability of 88.9%, which is just about fair enough.
You could enhance your profit by taking the -1 handicap line – it seems likely that the Reds will win this game by a two goal margin or more, quite possibly. That can be backed at 4/11.
Alternatively, you could use the ‘bet builder’ style tools that many bookmakers offer to customise your own selections. For us, here’s one we’re going to try – Liverpool/Liverpool in the half time/full time market doubled up with Mo Salah to score first. You’ll get 2/1 on such an outcome.