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Baggies urged to follow Blues

In-form West Bromwich Albion are being urged to take a leaf out of neighbours Birmingham City's book as they return to the Capital One Cup trail.

Holders and eight-time winners Liverpool are the third-round visitors to The Hawthorns, where Steve Clarke's men have won three Premier League games out of three without conceding a goal.

And Albion's players will be reminded of the success of Birmingham in winning the competition as they attempt to add to the grief of opponents they beat 3-0 on the opening day of 2012-13.

"It's an exciting tie and to play against the holders is good, especially at home," the head coach's joint assistant, Keith Downing, said. "It's a competition you can win. Birmingham showed that a couple of seasons ago.

"There's seriousness about the competition and the head coach is very keen to show that. The competition for places here is strong and we feel whoever we have out will give us an opportunity to win the game. But it will be tight and difficult. I don't think the first game will have much bearing on it."

Albion rode their luck, in particular with several glaring misses by Luis Suarez, before running out 3-0 winners in Brendan Rodgers' first League match as Liverpool boss.

They have since beaten Everton 2-0 and Reading 1-0 in the Black Country to sit on the tails of the pacesetters while the Merseysiders have continued to endure a miserable start, Europa League apart, that has left them floundering in 18th place.

But Downing insists Liverpool won't be languishing for long.

"I have watched them a couple of times recently and, against Manchester United, they were the better side - even with ten men," he added. "I thought they played exceptionally well and there was a controversial sending-off. At Sunderland, they earned a valuable point which could have been all three, so they are a good team.

"They are in a transitional period but there are signs Brendan is getting it right."


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