It’s a new month and a fresh set of fixtures for Liverpool as they face Hull City on Saturday afternoon, as the Reds bid to put a disappointing January behind them.
Match: Hull City vs Liverpool
Venue: KCOM Stadium
Referee: Lee Mason
Date: Saturday 4th February
Time: 15:00 BST
Liverpool remain in the top four despite their poor January, one in which the Reds took just three points from four Premier League games. The winless run started at Sunderland, a 2-2 draw followed up by another point away at Manchester United. Then came the shock defeat at home to Swansea City, followed up by a much improved performance against Chelsea on Tuesday.
Liverpool were again poor in the first half, but fought back through Gini Wijnaldum to draw 1-1. Luckily, many around them also dropped points, leaving Jürgen Klopp’s men in the top four.
In between all those games there have been cup affairs, but the less said about them the better. Out of the FA Cup to Wolves, out of the League Cup to Southampton. Liverpool have won one game in nine.
Unfortunately for Klopp and co, they’re visiting a Hull team on the up. The Tigers have taken four points from their last three league games under new manager Marco Silva, one more than they managed in their previous nine under the sacked Mike Phelan.
They’ve seen lots of Manchester United recently, beating the Red Devils in the second leg of their League Cup Semi-Final despite ultimately going out, whilst drawing against Jose Mourinho’s team on Wednesday. They lost to Fulham in the FA Cup and Chelsea in the league around that time, those defeats coming after a 3-1 win over Bournemouth in the league, proving that they can indeed score goals.
There were no obvious knocks against Chelsea, meaning Klopp will be able to pick his first choice front three for the first time since November, with Sadio Mane likely to start after emerging off the bench against Chelsea.
Further back, one of Lallana, Henderson, Wijnaldum or Can will have to miss out, whilst any reemergence of Nathaniel Clyne’s rib injury could see Trent Alexander-Arnold come back into the fold. Other than that possibility plus Mane coming in, changes from the Chelsea game aren’t expected.
There will be no Robert Snodgrass to hurt Liverpool after he completed a transfer to West Ham, but Silva will have a host of new signings to pick from after Hull leapt into action late on in the window.
Kamil Grosicki, Alfred N’Diaye and Andrea Ranocchia all joined on Deadline Day and could be in line to appear in front of their home fans for the first time. As far as injuries go, Marcus Henriksen, Curtis Davies and Will Keane are all sidelined, as is Ryan Mason of course. Lazar Markovic, who hit the post against United, is unavailable to play against his parent club.
Liverpool Predicted XI: Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Matip, Milner; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Lallana; Mane, Firmino, Coutinho.
Hull Predicted XI: Jakupovic; Robertson, Maguire, Dawson, Meyler; Huddlestone, Tymon, Clucas, Evandro; Grosicki; Niasse.
WHEN THEY LAST MET
Liverpool were three goals and a man to the good within half an hour of their last game against the Tigers, eventually thrashing them 5-1 at Anfield in September. Milner grabbed two from the penalty spot as Coutinho, Lallana and Mane all scored, David Meyler getting Hull’s consolation goal.
- Hull’s clean sheet at Old Trafford was just their second of the league season
- Jürgen Klopp is on his longest winless streak as Liverpool manager
- Liverpool have lost their last two league games at Hull
PREDICTION: HULL CITY 1-3 LIVERPOOL
After correctly predicting a 1-1 draw in the last game, you’ll be pleased to hear that I’m backing a Liverpool win this time. Mane’s return will have a big psychological boost, and after a long two weeks for Hull as a club, they might have just taken their eye off this one a little bit.