Swansea vs Liverpool Preview | Team News & Predictions
Jurgen Klopp’s side travel to the Liberty on Sunday afternoon to face Francesco Guidolin’s side. The Reds will be looking for a win to help build momentum ahead of their second leg in the Europa League semi-final against Villarreal on Thursday night.
Liverpool currently lie 7th in the Premier League, four points behind fifth placed West Ham with a game in hand. The Reds look set to miss out on the Champions League places but with their Europa League excursions, Klopp’s side could yet find themselves competing amongst the elites next season.
Liverpool have scored 17 goals in their last six Premier League away games. They have dropped 19 points from winning positions in the league this season – the highest figure in the top flight prior to the latest round of matches. The increasing form of Daniel Sturridge has been a real positive for Klopp in recent weeks. The Englishman has scored in six of his last seven league appearances, including each of the last four.
In his pre-match press conference, Jurgen Klopp reflected on the noon kick off time having been in Spain on Thursday night. He stated that “We could have started at two or four, so four hours more and that sounds absolutely okay. It is Sunday, all English people will have lunch and we play football. I am pretty sure no one slept immediately when we got home (in the early hours of Friday). It wouldn’t make sense to start with the same line-up. We need fresh legs and fresh minds at Swansea.”
Swansea currently lie in 15th place with 40 points from a total of 35 Premier League games. The Swans could win four successive home games in the top flight for the first time since March 1982. They have won 1-0 in their last three matches at the Liberty Stadium, and have kept six clean sheets in their last nine Premier League home matches. Furthermore, their last five league games have all been by a 1-0 scoreline.
Despite a relatively low league, Swansea can certainly challenge Liverpool on Sunday. The likes of Montero and Sigurdsson have impressed throughout the season with the latter scoring a number of quality goals to convey his quality in the middle of the park. The Reds will need to close him down in order to ensure the Swans don’t come out on top but will be confident of getting something out of the game themselves with the attacking quality at Klopp’s disposal.
In his pre-match press conference, Francesco Guidolin stated that “We need points. After that we can speak about other situations and other problems, but all I want is to make sure we are safe mathematically. I have spoken to the players and they convince me they are ready to play to the final game.”
Head To Head
Liverpool are unbeaten in eight league and cup games against Swansea (W6 D2), winning the last five. The Swans have never won a league match at Anfield, drawing three and losing twelve. Thus, Liverpool will fancy themselves heading into Sunday’s encounter.
Swansea will be without striker Alberto Paloschi and midfielder Leroy Fer on Sunday against Liverpool as the pair continue to be sidelined with hamstring injuries. However, Jefferson Montero, Ki Sung-Yueng and Bafetimbi Gomis are vying for starting places.
Liverpool will most certainly rest a number of big names ahead of their second leg with Villarreal. Philippe Coutinho is unlikely to start after going off at half time on Thursday night after feeling unwell while Roberto Firmino may also be rested after featuring in Spain. Daniel Sturridge is set to start after being rested in Europe, much to the surprise of the Liverpool fans.
Simon Mignolet will remain in goal alongside the defensive quartet of Alberto Moreno, Dejan Lovren, Kolo Toure and Nathaniel Clyne. Kolo Toure didn’t put a foot wrong on Thursday night and was exceptional in the absence of Mamadou Sakho and could play another key part in the outcome of Sunday’s game.
Joe Allen and Lucas could provide the anchor in midfield while Sheyi Ojo could get another few minutes with Klopp’s expected rotations. Daniel Sturridge has been in good form of late and will be looking to improve upon his scoring record at the Liberty stadium.
Prediction: Swansea 1-2 Liverpool