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Brighton vs Liverpool: Reds desperately need win to boost top four hopes

Liverpool will be looking to get back to winning ways when they take on Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

jurgen klopp liverpool 2020

Liverpool will be looking to get back to winning ways when they take on Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Reds have endured a hugely disappointing campaign so far and a torrid start saw them lying in the bottom half of the Premier League table at one stage. A mini revival before the World Cup break led to Jurgen Klopp’s men pushing up the table and fans were hoping the club would kick-on when domestic football returned just before Christmas.

It initially seemed like they got their wish as Liverpool started well following the restart of Premier League football. They impressed during a 3-1 victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park on Boxing Day before beating Leicester City 2-1 at Anfield just before New Year in a game that saw Liverpool register 21 shots on goal.

However, just three days later the Merseysiders produced one of their worst performances of the season to lose 3-1 at Brentford. They followed that up with another unconvincing display to draw 2-2 with Wolves in the third round of the FA Cup last weekend. The hosts were extremely fortunate not to go out at Anfield as Wolves appeared to score a late winner which was controversially ruled out by the referee and his assistant for offside.

Jurgen Klopp is now under pressure to get the Reds back to winning ways and close-in on the top four. Liverpool currently sit sixth in the table, seven points off fourth placed Manchester United after 17 games played. Even victory over Brighton on Saturday won’t see them leapfrog fifth-placed Tottenham as the Londoners are five points ahead – although they have played a game more.

It’s certainly not been the season most fans and pundits expected from Liverpool. The good news is they still have plenty of time left to get their campaign back on track. However, they come up against an in-form Brighton team this weekend who’ll be quietly confident they can get a positive result at the Amex Stadium.

Roberto De Zebri has followed on where Graham Potter left off following his move to Chelsea. The Seagulls have been playing some lovely football and currently sit eighth in the division – just one point behind Liverpool – so they can climb above the Reds with a win on home soil this weekend.

How to watch

Unfortunately, Brighton versus Liverpool wasn’t selected by the broadcasters to be shown on live TV. As always, Liverpool tickets will be extremely difficult to get hold of, especially for a big away game like this. Fans should use reputable reselling sites if they want to try and get hold of a ticket for the game. Those who aren’t lucky enough to have a ticket to attend the game in person will have to wait for official highlights to be shown on TV on Saturday evening – although you can follow all the action on Twitter, Sky Sports News, etc, during the match.

Team news

Brighton didn’t pick up any fresh injury concerns from their FA Cup win over Middlesbrough but Leandro Trossard remains a doubt after missing that game with a calf problem. The Belgian will be assessed to see if he’s fit to return.

Midfielder Jakub Moder is certain to miss out this weekend and he’s still recovering from a knee injury but reported Liverpool target Moses Caicedo will be looking to impress his suitors in the middle of the park.

As for Liverpool, they continue to have injury concerns that have blighted their season. Virgil van Dijk is the latest big name to be put on the sidelines after he picked up a thigh injury earlier this month. The Dutchman is set to miss at least four weeks, which is a huge blow for Klopp.

In van Dijk’s absence, Ibrahima Konate is expected to start alongside Joel Matip in the middle of defence on Saturday afternoon. That means Joe Gomez and Nat Phillips will have to make-do with a place on the bench.

Diogo Jota is still recovering from a long-term calf injury that’s hampered him for several weeks. Luis Diaz is also still on the treatment table after suffering a set-back in his recovery from a knee injury that has already kept him out for two months.

On-loan midfield Arthur is another injury concern for the Reds as the Brazilian is out with a thigh injury. However, there could be some positive news for Klopp as Roberto Firmino is back in full training. The forward has been missing with a calf injury recently but he should be back in the squad this weekend. James Milner could also return from his own thigh complaint.

Expected line-ups

Lewis Dunk will return for Brighton after being rested in the FA Cup. Alexis Mac Allister should keep his place in midfield while youngster Evan Ferguson will be hoping he’s done enough to keep his place up front.

January signing Cody Gakpo is set to make his Premier League debut for Liverpool. The Dutchman made his bow in the FA Cup against Wolves and did reasonable well. He showed flashes off his ability but struggled with the pace of the game at times. However, with Firmino not match fit yet, and Jota and Diaz still injured, Gakpo is expected to keep his place in attack along with Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah.

Brighton: Sanchez; Lamptey, Dunk, Webster, Estupinan; Caicedo, Gross; March, Mac Allister, Mitoma; Ferguson

Liverpool:  Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Konate, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago; Salah, Gakpo, Nunez


This should be an excellent game at the Amex Stadium between two teams who’ll be looking to play football. Brighton aren’t the sort of side to sit back with 10 men behind the ball, especially at home, and De Zebri will be looking to make a statement with another positive result against one of the Premier League big boys.

However, their style of play could play into Liverpool’s hands. The last thing Klopp wants is to play against a deep block of 10 players who are just focussed on defending. So it would be good news for Liverpool if Brighton come out and try to go toe-to-toe with them.

Obviously Liverpool’s injury issues are a concern as they’ll miss van Dijk’s presence in defence, while the absence of Joto and Diaz blunts Klopp’s options in attack. However, they are still able to bring in quality replacements like Konate in defence and Gakpo and Nunez in attack, so Liverpool will still be able to field a terrific team on Saturday afternoon.

If they play like they did against Brentford then the Reds have no chance of winning this game. However, we expect Klopp to rouse a response from his squad and they should produce a much better display this weekend. A 2-2 draw wouldn’t be a shock, but we’re backing Liverpool to just edge it. Brighton 1-2 Liverpool

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