Liverpool vs Sheffield United Preview – Blunted Blades arrive at Anfield with a point to prove

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THE DETAILS

Venue – Anfield, Liverpool

Referee – Mike Dean

Date & Time – Saturday, October 24th @ 20:00

Current Odds – Liverpool 2/9, Draw 11/2, Sheffield United 11/1

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Liverpool have a tough season ahead of them with so many injuries to contend with. The obvious one is Virgil van Dijk who is out for the whole campaign, but the injury list also seems to be getting longer by the day. Squad depth has never been more important for Jürgen Klopp’s Redmen.

The Reds now have three consecutive home games so that should help reduce fatigue among the squad, hopefully reducing the potential for further injuries in the coming weeks.

FORM

Liverpool Form

Liverpool are third in the Premier League with 10 points from their opening five games. Last weekend, they were very unlucky not to take all three points from their 2-2 draw at Everton.

On Wednesday, The Reds flexed their muscles in the Champions League for the first time this season, winning 1-0 at Ajax. Perhaps the most pleasing aspects from the game in Amsterdam were the clean sheet for a Fabinho-led defence and the evident strength-in-depth when Jurgen Klopp was able to make a triple substitution after an hour, replacing the front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané with Xherdan Shaqiri, Takumi Minamino and Diogo Jota.

With three home games in a row now, The Reds have a chance to gather some momentum and get some more wins under their belt.

Sheffield United Form

Sheffield United’s last league win, or win in any competitive fixture, was in July when they beat Chelsea 3-0 at Bramall Lane. Since then, The Blades have lost seven of their eight Premier League fixtures.

Last weekend, they picked up their first point of the season in a less-than-impressive 1-1 draw at home to bottom-of-the-table Fulham.

Chris Wilder’s side has one point from a possible 15 so far. They have managed to score just two goals in five league games, conceding seven. They’re currently 19th in the table.

TEAM NEWS

Liverpool Team News

Liverpool are without Virgil van Dijk, Alisson Becker and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Saturday’s game.

Thiago Alcântara, Joël Matip, Kostas Tsimikas and Naby Keïta will all face fitness tests before the weekend.

Joe Gomez and Fabinho formed a pretty solid partnership for Liverpool’s win at Ajax on Wednesday night. Expect to see more of the same against Sheffield United as Klopp is unlikely to risk Matip too soon with defensive cover so short at the moment.

I think Thiago will return in midfield with Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum ahead of him.

Roberto Firmino has looked jaded at times already this season. He may need a short break but I don’t know if he will be given that rest on Saturday.

Sheffield United Team News

John Fleck, Lys Mousset, Jack O’Connell and Max Lowe are all unavailable for Sheffield United this weekend.

Chris Wilder has stuck with his 3-5-2 formation, dropping back to a 5-3-2, or even a 5-4-1, when out of possession. However, it’s not served them well at all so far this season.

New-boy Aaron Ramsdale will start in goals for Sheffield United with Dean Henderson having returned to his parent club, Manchester United, at the end of last season.

It’s likely that David McGoldrick and Oliver McBurnie will lead the line for The Blades.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Adrián; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Fabinho, Robertson; Thiago, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mané

Sheffield United XI (3-5-2) – Ramsdale; Basham, Egan, Robinson; Baldock, Berge, Norwood, Lundstram, Stevens; McBurnie, McGoldrick

WHEN THEY LAST MET

Liverpool beat Sheffield United 2-0 at Anfield last season with goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané.

The Reds also won at Bramall Lane in 2019, thanks to a Gini Wijnaldum strike which led to a Dean Henderson howler.

PREDICTION

LIVERPOOL 3 – 1 SHEFFIELD UNITED

Sheffield United are struggling this season so Liverpool should take all three points from Wilder’s team again. With or without Van Dijk and co, The Reds have enough talent in the squad to beat The Blades, especially with Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah in the form they have been in so far.

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