Venue – Anfield, Liverpool
Referee – Martin Atkinson
Date & Time – Saturday, November 30th @ 15:00
Current Odds – Liverpool 9/50, Draw 6/1, Brighton 14/1
Yes, Wednesday night was disappointing. But it’s a return to Premier League action on Saturday as Brighton travel to Merseyside. Time to put the smiles back on the faces of the Anfield faithful.
Liverpool struggled to a 1-1 draw with Napoli on Wednesday night in the Champions League. Though the reaction on social media after the game was bordering on hysterical from the fair-weather fans (or the clueless ones – you pick), there still needs to be a significant improvement from Jurgen Klopp’s side as they enter a hectic December fixture schedule.
There would be no better way to put that under-par performance to bed than beating Brighton comfortably at Anfield on Saturday afternoon. Do that and Liverpool will at least maintain an 8-point lead ahead of Leicester City at the top of the Premier League table.
Graham Potter can be relatively happy with the job he has done so far for Brighton. After a very worrying start to the season, his side now sits a very respectable 12th-position, just three points off Sheffield United who are 6th.
They have lost their last two games although they were away to Manchester United and home to second-placed Leicester City.
With Arsenal away to follow this game, Brighton could be looking at four straight defeats. Let’s hope it’s at three after Saturday’s game anyway.
Liverpool Team News
Fabinho picked up an ankle injury against Napoli but the Brazilian midfielder was already set to miss the Brighton game due to suspension anyway.
Joel Matip is out through injury while Naby Keita and Harvey Elliott will face late fitness tests to determine if they are available to make the matchday squad.
Trent Alexander-Arnold should regain his starting berth at right-back in place of Joe Gomez. Dejan Lovren will continue in central defence with Virgil van Dijk while Andrew Robertson will be at left-back.
In Fabinho’s absence, I think Gini Wijnaldum will get the nod at the base of Liverpool’s midfield with Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ahead of him.
The front three should be Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané.
Brighton Team News
Graham Potter will be missing Jose Izquierdo due to the knee issue which has kept the midfielder out for some time now.
Bernardo and Aaron Connolly are both doubtful and will face late fitness tests before the trip to Anfield.
Last time out, Potter set Brighton up with a three-man defence against Leicester but up until then, The Seagulls were generally lining out in a 4-4-2 shape. It’s doubtful that they will try a three-man backline against Liverpool’s attack so expect a 4-4-2 formation from the visitors.
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Brighton XI (4-3-3) – Ryan; Montoya, Dunk, Duffy, Burn; Alzate, Propper, Stephens, Trossard; Maupay, Connolly
When they last met
Liverpool took six points from Brighton last season albeit in two difficult fixtures. Jurgen Klopp’s Redmen won both games 1-0. The Anfield meeting was settled by a Mohamed Salah strike in the first half.
LIVERPOOL 2 – 0 BRIGHTON
Liverpool struggled to get out of second gear on Wednesday night although, under Carlo Ancelotti, Napoli were extremely well set up, defensively. Brighton will pose a different kind of question to The Reds. I expect Liverpool to have all the answers they need, however, winning by at least two goals.