West Brom defender Liam Ridgewell heads for Anfield tonight claiming the return of the Baggies’ ‘dynamic duo’ can inspire them back to winning ways.
The Baggies defender hopes the chance to reunite Youssouf Mulumbu and Claudio Yacob in the heart of midfield can spark a change in fortunes for Steve Clarke’s team, who are winless in eight matches.
The pair formed a formidable partnership as their side climbed to third in the table in the autumn but have not played together since December 1, since when Albion have won just twice in 12 matches.
Ridgewell, who is set for a recall in place of the suspended Goran Popov, said: “Claudio sits in there and allows Youssouf to go and roam and try to nick the ball off people.
“Claudio knows what he’s doing and gets things done. They work as a very good pair.
“That’s not to take away from George Thorne, who has done a very good job and Chris Brunt has filled in as well.
“It all about a squad, but it’s good to have those two fit and back playing.”
Mulumbu has shaken off a knee problem to be available for the first time since he returned from African Cup of Nations duty while Yacob started against Tottenham last week for the second time since a lengthy injury lay-off.
Shane Long and Steven Reid have also returned recently from injury and Ridgewell is hoping a fitter squad can also help the Baggies recapture their early-season form.
“You pick up injuries throughout the season and you have to change the team, but I’m sure the gaffer wants to pick a solid, settled team and a settled back four or back six,” said the full-back.
“I’m sure he wants to keep people playing every week and try to keep that solidity like we had at the start of the season.
"We must have gone quite a few games without changing too much. We kept the same players and it worked.
“When I was at Blues we went 15 games with the same back four or back five and had a great run, and facts like that don’t lie.
"I’m sure the gaffer wants to get people back into the team and back doing what they’re good at.”