West Brom visit Liverpool in an FA Cup evening kick-off this weekend, with Alan Pardew looking to extend his team’s embryonic recovery.
Albion will be looking to reach the fifth round for just the third time in eight seasons and for their first victory at Anfield since February 2013.
If they do so, they’ll scoop £90,000 in prize money.
They make a relatively quick return to the famous venue having frustrated Jurgen Klopp’s men and achieved a 0-0 draw in December.
Clearly the Baggies season is all about staying in the Premier League – while Liverpool are juggling fixtures in three competitions.
What time is kick-off? How can you follow it?
For those not able to get to Anfield the game will be screened live on BT Sport 2. It’s a 7.45pm kick-off – and the showpiece event to a full day of FA Cup coverage on the channel.
Peterborough United take on Leicester City at 12.30pm, after that Newport County’s dream tie with Tottenham Hotspur will be shown from 5.30pm – and then the main event.
BBC WM will also cover the game and we’ll have live updates at birminghammail.co.uk
Jonny Evans’ availability will be monitored this week having been concussed at Everton on Saturday.
Evans left the field in the 80th minute at Goodison Park but is expected to make a swift recovery as the Baggies approach a busy domestic period.
Nacer Chadli and James Morrison are still out – and not expected to be back until March.
Pardew has spoken about the need to maintain momentum so could well adopt that same philosophy at Anfield.
That said he might be minded to hold Evans back either on fitness or commercial grounds.
How did they get here?
West Brom passed their Exeter examination with a minimum of fuss – early goals from Salomon Rondon and Jay Rodriguez meant they were never in danger at St James’ Park.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were made to work harder as they defeated Everton 2-1 at Anfield.
James Milner gave them a half time lead before Gylfi Sigurdsson levelled with a quarter of the match to go. Virgil van Dijk marked his debut with a winner six minutes from time.
LIVERPOOL: Karius; Milner, van Dijk, Matip, Gomez; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Can; Mane, Firmino, Salah
ALBION: Foster; Dawson, McAuley, Hegazi, Gibbs; Krychowiak, Brunt, Barry, Phillips; Rodriguez, Rondon
Pardew on the FA Cup
Before the trip to Exeter there was doubting where West Brom’s priorities lie.
Pardew said: “There’s pressure on us to win any game there’s no doubt about that but less pressure to a degree in this competition. It doesn’t affect our league position.
“For us it will be something to build on and gain momentum from. I don’t think it’s going to relieve the pressure of winning in the Premier League.”
Klopp on the FA Cup
Having been used to winter break in German football the Liverpool boss is mindful of the strain on his players weekend-after-weeked-after-weeked.
“If you really want to keep the level up, the quality high, then please, you have to think about it. And don’t tell me that there is an opportunity now, because we have two weekends with the FA Cup.
“You could cut those games, play them in midweek or whatever, and then we could stop the season earlier or start next season later. But nobody is doing it, at one point we have to start doing something…”
What are the bookies saying?
Liverpool are hot favourites – rated at just 2/7 to win.
The draw is a generous 5-1 with an Albion victory at 7-1.
West Brom striker Rondon will visit stricken James McCarthy in hospital, once the midfielder has undergone surgery on his double leg break.
McCarthy injured himself while trying to block Rondon’s second half shot in the 1-1 draw at Goodison Park on Saturday, and it was an incident that left the latter visibly upset.
Rondon took to Twitter on Saturday evening to send a message of support to Irishman McCarthy, something that was particularly well received by the Everton fan base.
He tweeted: “Absolutely devastated. Rivalries are forgotten about when a colleague suffers such an unlucky injury. Really hope to see you back playing again soon, @JMcCarthy_16. #GetWellSoonJames”
McCarthy is now facing as long as a year out, and will have an operation on his leg in the coming days.
Rondon will then go and visit the Evertonian when he is up to it.