Brighton vs Liverpool Preview - Reds hoping for a pleasant summer visit to the beach
Venue – Amex Stadium, Brighton
Referee – Craig Pawson
Date & Time – Wednesday, July 8th @ 20:15
Current Odds – Brighton 5/1, Draw 10/3, Liverpool 8/15
Liverpool struggled at Everton in their first game back after the COVID-19 season hiatus. Next up, they took Crystal Palace apart at Anfield. 24 hours later it was confirmed that The Mighty Reds were Premier League champions as City fell at Chelsea. Then City hammered Liverpool at the Etihad. The Reds responded by beating Aston Villa at Anfield on Sunday. But they couldn’t take them apart like we hoped they would. Yes, Villa were well set up and deserve plenty of credit for their performance on the day, almost going ahead via some attacking breaks themselves. However, truth be told, no-one could blame Liverpool if they were finally running out of steam in the 2019/20 campaign. They’ve broken records along the way while blowing a phenomenal Manchester City side out of the water in the title race. Anything from here on in is a bonus. Well done, Reds, well done.
Graham Potter’s Brighton currently sit in 15th place. They are very close to guaranteeing their Premier League survival for another year, at least.
The Seagulls have won two, drawn one and lost one of their four games since returning to action in June. The single defeat was in their last home game, losing 3-0 to Manchester United.
Last time out, Brighton won 1-0 away to bottom-of-the-table Norwich City. They beat Arsenal 2-1 at the Amex Stadium just a few weeks ago.
Liverpool got back to winning ways with a 2-0 win over Aston Villa on Sunday at Anfield. Goals from Sadio Mané and Curtis Jones were the difference on the day.
It was an important result for The Reds as they looked to respond after being well beaten at City (4-0) last Thursday night.
Of their last three away games in the Premier League, Liverpool have lost two and drawn one. They’ve lost four of their last five matches away from Anfield in all competitions. They’ll be looking to put that right at Brighton on Wednesday.
If Liverpool can win four of their last five games they’ll set a new Premier League points record of 101.
Brighton Team News
Brighton players Steven Alzate and Jose Izquierdo are both out injured.
Graham Potter likes to mix the team’s shape up, depending on who the opposition is. He has used 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2 and 4-2-2-2 shapes intermittently this season. It would probably make the most sense for Brighton to go with a 4-2-3-1 formation against Liverpool.
Aaron Connolly is normally the one to come out of the starting lineup when Potter reverts to one man up front. Pascal Groβ will replace Connolly and slot in as the extra midfielder.
Liverpool Team News
Joël Matip will miss Liverpool’s remaining games due to the foot injury he suffered in the 0-0 draw at Goodison Park. Dejan Lovren is also out with a knock. The Croatia international missed out on being a part of the squad to play Villa last Sunday, too.
Jürgen Klopp is likely to rotate the midfielders again with Fabinho having only played 60 minutes against Aston Villa. Also, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum both played just 30 minutes each so will be eager to be back in the starting eleven at Brighton.
Naby Keïta had a good game on Sunday but played 85 minutes so it’s unlikely Klopp will start him again at Brighton.
Roberto Firmino should start on Wednesday night after being left out of the starting lineup against Villa. I think Klopp will continue to play Mohamed Salah as the Egyptian forward continues his quest for his third consecutive Premier League Golden Boot award.
Sadio Mané could make may to give Takumi Minamino some playing time against Brighton. Mané will still most likely come on for a significant period in the second half.
The back four should remain the same. Andy Robertson is not 100% fit at the moment but neither is James Milner so Robertson might get the nod to continue at left-back.
Brighton XI (4-2-3-1) – Ryan; Lamptey, Webster, Dunk, Burn; Pröpper, Bissouma; Groβ, Trossard, Mooy; Maupay
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Keïta; Salah, Firmino, Minamino
WHEN THEY LAST MET
Liverpool won 2-1 when the sides met at Anfield in November. On a day when Alisson was red-carded for a handball outside the box and Virgil van Dijk scored both goals for The Reds. Lewis Dunk scored from the free-kick resulting from Alisson’s handball but Brighton were not able to make the extra man pay in the last ten minutes to grab a late equaliser.
BRIGHTON 1 – 2 LIVERPOOL
Brighton are close to securing their Premier League status for another season. Seven points from their remaining five games will guarantee it, however, they realistically probably need just three more. Liverpool are still in pursuit of Manchester City’s 100-points record total from two seasons ago so will have plenty to motivate them. The Reds remained patient against Villa on Sunday and got their reward in the end. Brighton may have to come at Liverpool a bit more than Villa did, seeing as they are the home team. Therefore, there *should* be more goalmouth action to look forward to in this game.