Liverpool: 3 possible X-Factors against West Brom

Liverpool, Roberto Firmino (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Liverpool, Roberto Firmino (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) /
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Liverpool, Rhys Williams, Nathaniel Phillips
Liverpool, Rhys Williams, Nathaniel Phillips (Photo by PHIL NOBLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

Liverpool’s center back pairing

Ozan Kabak is currently out with an injury and not expected to play against West Brom this weekend, so Liverpool’s defense has taken yet another hit. Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams are fully expected to start again after surrendering two goals against United, and they really could have allowed more, to be honest.

Phillips has emerged as a quality defender, but Williams is just 20 years old and clearly not ready to play so frequently in the Premier League. The learning experience is good for him, so long as Jurgen Klopp makes sure his confidence stays intact, but there are going to be bumps in the road.

Williams and Phillips must be careful not to make any mistakes and allow West Brom easy chances. Matheus Pereira is going to be a threat whenever the Baggies counter, given that he’s one of the best threats on the ball in the league. And while Mbaye Diagne hasn’t fully settled into the Premier League, we can’t forget he scored 9 goals in under 900 minutes for Galatasaray in league play with an additional two goals in three appearances in the Europa League.

West Brom can score goals if Liverpool let them. This is a winnable matchup defensively for the young center backs, but chemistry and ball security are going to be vital.