Whether Liverpool’s early title bid is made of steel or marshmallow will be discovered once West Brom have passed through Anfield this weekend.
The Baggies have proven themselves to be the Reds’ bogey team over the past three seasons but are still rated as long 7/1 shots for victory while the hosts are 4/11 odds on favourites and the draw priced at 15/4.
But given just how successful the midlands side have been over Liverpool recently, as well as stringent defensively, a bet on a visiting win to nil at 19/2 isn’t as speculative as it sounds.
West Brom have beaten Liverpool four times in the last three seasons
Starting with a Chris Brunt-inspired 2-1 win at home in the 2010/11 season, West Brom have triumphed over the red part of Merseyside in four of the last five league clashes.
That run of supremacy also includes wins in their last two trips to Anfield and on both occasions the visitors left with sheets pristinely clean.
Steve Clarke’s men are yet to experience defeat on the road
In four league away days this season West Brom are yet to experience the sour taste of defeat and have conceded just two goals.
Admittedly only one of those four ended in victory but that was against defending champions Manchester United, proving that under the former Chelsea man, West Brom are a match for most.
Liverpool’s form isn’t as electric as it was at the season’s start
Brendan Rodgers has only lost one game in the last five, but that doesn’t tell the full story.
There have been two wins, against current league no-hopers Sunderland and Crystal Palace, but Newcastle and Swansea stalemates as well as defeat to the rising Saints hint that things aren’t all that rosy at Liverpool when compared to their early season streak of three straight wins.