Liverpool-West Brom Preview

The Associated Press

Coming off the kind of victory that defines a top-four team, Liverpool seek to run their unbeaten stretch to five matches on Sunday when they travel to The Hawthorns aiming to complete the double over West Brom.

Liverpool (14-4-5) took a noticeable step toward fulfilling European aspirations with a 4-0 thrashing of Merseyside rival Everton on Tuesday, moving three points clear of Spurs for the fourth and final Champions League spot and four ahead of Everton. Daniel Sturridge provided a first-half brace in a two-minute span while Luis Suarez added a goal and an assist for the Reds, who have taken 10 of 12 points after back-to-back losses at Manchester City and Chelsea during the holiday schedule.

"You realise it was about the team performance and the 4-0 win," said Sturridge, who missed a chance to complete a hat trick when he blazed his attempt from the spot over the bar. "I've helped the boys get a victory. There's 15 games left, so there's a long journey and there's nothing sealed yet, nothing guaranteed."

Liverpool improved to 11-1-0 when Suarez, who has a league-best 23 goals, finds the back of the net. His total is greater than eight of the bottom nine teams in the table, and equally impressive is Sturridge and Suarez combining for 36 goals despite missing a combined eight matches due to suspension and injury.

The Reds may need to continue their goal-scoring binge to be successful on the road. They have conceded 20 goals outside of Anfield in getting four wins and three draws in 11 matches, but they have lost their last four road games when scoring less than two goals.

West Brom (4-10-9) have claimed only one point from their last three matches and are still seeking their first victory under Pepe Mel. The Baggies squandered an early 2-0 lead in a wild first half that featured six goals and eventually lost 4-3 at Aston Villa on Wednesday, failing to find an equaliser after Christian Benteke converted a penalty kick in the 64th minute.

"Did we throw it away? Yes of course," said a flustered Mel to the team's official website. "The first 15 minutes at the start of the game were good for us but it is incredible to score three goals away and get no points.

"We are in a relegation battle - but the table is tight. Despite the fact we got no points today, the attack performed very well. We just need to stop these errors."

Suarez feasted on those errors in the reverse fixture in October, bagging a hat trick as Liverpool rolled to a 4-1 win at Anfield. Sturridge capped Liverpool's scoring, while James Morrison scored from the spot for West Brom's lone goal.

The Baggies, though, have won four of the last seven overall matches between the teams after losing the previous nine top-flight matches by a combined 23-0 scoreline.

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