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Nic Ladds 16th May 2009 - 7:40

Baggies bouncing back but it's too little, too late

Punters everywhere will be tempted to steam in to 4/11 shots Liverpool as they host bottom of the table West Brom but perhaps a word of caution should be heeded.

Rafa Benitez and all his players will know the title may have been decided by the time this game has kicked, as unless Manchester United lose to Arsenal, the title is theirs.

If Liverpool have what is perceived as little to play for then some may even be tempted by odds of 7/1 about West Brom or 19/5 about the draw.

The Baggies are battling and battling hard to retain their Premier League status and they're not doing a bad job of it having won two of their last three and have given themselves a glimmer of survival which you can be sure they will battle for all the way.

Despite this, you can be sure Benitez will not tolerate a loss and Liverpool do still need to hold off Chelsea to confirm second place.

When you consider that Liverpool have lost the least Premier League games and scored the most goals and West Brom have lost the most and scored the least then it does become difficult to picture a Baggies victory.

A startling statistic is that West Brom have never scored against Liverpool in seven Premier League games which gives large odds about the likes of Marc-Antoine Fortune and Chris Brunt at odds of 10/1 and 11/1 respectively scoring the first goal.

It is unlikely punters will look at the Baggies duo for the first goal however and the likes of Fernando Torres at 10/3 in the betting, Steven Gerrard at 9/2 and Dirk Kuyt at 5/1 are much more likely to be the punters' favourites.

Should this be a goal fest Kuyt at 5/4 to score anytime looks a nice price along with Yossi Benayoun and Ryan Babel at 2/1 and 15/8 respectively to bag a goal during the game.

If you look at the statistic that Torres has managed to score two goals on five occasions this season, West Brom could be the perfect team for him to notch his sixth brace at odds of 11/2 in the 'Player to score 2 or more' market.

When you consider Liverpool have failed to score in one of their last 15 Premier League matches it means you expect goals against the leaky West Brom.

The Baggies look now to be organised enough to avoid a real beating which means scores like 2-0 at odds of 9/2 and 3-1 at 10/1 look reasonable.

An unlikely 2-1 win to the home side is 25/1 while a possible 1-1 draw (Stoke did hold Liverpool at home) can be backed at 8/1.

Over two match goals looks a reasonable bet at odds of 8/15 with the under two goals option at 16/5.

If the match odds don't appeal to everyone at a short price then backing The Reds on the handicap looks a solid move with 6/5 on offer with them giving away 1 goal while West Brom are 15/8 in receipt of a goal.

Should Liverpool confirm their superiority from the kick off then 5/6 about Liverpool halftime/fulltime looks a fairly big price while draw/Liverpool is 100/30 and the best option for Baggies fans could be Liverpool/draw at a big looking 18/1 as late desperation from the home side could produce a crucial goal.

A lot for West Brom depends on how other teams get on and all their efforts could be futile if results don't go their way.

They will put that to one side though and give it their all as they really have nothing to lose considering they have been written off for months.

A menacingly in form Liverpool side though may be a bridge too far for Tony Mowbray's battlers and while they will fight until the bitter end, they are unlikely to have the tools necessary to unlock this organised Reds side.

Recommendation:
Liverpool -1 goal - 6/5
Dirk Kuyt to score anytime - 5/4

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