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Buoyant Reds Look For Sixth Win In Seven Games – Swansea City vs. Liverpool Preview

Liverpool go in search of a fourth successive Premier League victory on Saturday lunchtime, as Jurgen Klopp‘s side visit Swansea City.

Swansea City vs. Liverpool

Saturday, 1st October 2016, 12:30pm (BST)
Liberty Stadium
Premier League
Referee: Michael Oliver

Last weekend’s 5-1 win over Hull City helped ease fears over the Reds’ ability to beat lesser teams, but Swansea will be another hurdle to leap.

It is Liverpool’s first genuinely winnable away game in the league since their 2-0 loss at Burnley, and they must show that they can be ruthless on their travels.

The Liberty Stadium has not been an easy place for the Reds to visit, with their only win coming in March 2015, thanks to a fortuitous Jordan Henderson goal.

Swansea gave Man City a good game last Saturday, and the eventual 3-1 scoreline was very harsh on Francesco Guidolin’s side.

The Swans sit 17th in the table, with Guidolin on the brink of losing his job, but they can cause any team problems on their day – as Klopp said in his pre-match press conference, four points so far doesn’t reflect how they’ve been playing.

Liverpool look in fantastic shape at the moment, however, and given the confidence flowing through the team, failure to win would be a real disappointment.

A sixth win in seven matches, in all competitions, would be just what the doctor ordered, ahead of another international break.

Last Meeting: Swansea City 3–1 Liverpool

SWANSEA, WALES - Sunday, May 1, 2016: Liverpool's Brad Smith is shown a second yellow and the a red card and sent off by referee Roger East during the Premier League match against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 

Opposition View

We spoke to Swansea fan Kevin Elphick (@Kevin_Elphick) to get his thoughts ahead of the game.

You currently sit 17th – is Francesco Guidolin’s time up, or have you played better than the table suggests?

17th is a fair reflection. We’ve not played well at all and it was only last week against Manchester City that we performed to the levels we want to see.

Guidolin’s time shouldn’t be up yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s sacked if we lose on Saturday.

Personally, I think he deserves a few more games at least, especially considering some of the names that have been linked to replace him.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 24, 2016: Swansea City's manager Francesco Guidolin during the Premier League match against Everton at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

That leads us nicely to discussing Ryan Giggs, who has been linked with replacing Guidolin. Would you be happy with that?

No, like I said, not many fans have been happy with any of the names mentioned. We’d like to see someone come in with Premier League credentials and experience at least.

But Giggs is still a better option that Bob Bradley, but you’re still wondering whether or not we’d be better off with either of those two in charge.

Which Liverpool players do you fear ahead of the game? And who do you see as key to Swansea’s chances?

Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana have impressed me so far in the Liverpool team but it’s Jurgen Klopp‘s philosophy of energetic pressing that I feel will trouble us the most, and we have to be wary of that on Saturday.

Hopefully we’ll also play with a high press like we did against Manchester City.

What is your prediction? How will the game pan out?

I think Liverpool will edge it. You’ve been in top form recently and scoring plenty of goals and some say it’s an impossible task for us.

But having said that, we looked quite strong vs City and were quite comfortable at 1-1 before the penalty completely changed the game.

We’ll do well to limit Liverpool to just 2 goals, and of course we’ll need to score at least that many to get a point.

We managed more shots on target than City did last weekend, but only managed the one goal compared to their three, so we’ve got to start being more clinical.

 

Liberty Stadium

SWANSEA, WALES - Wednesday, January 23, 2013: A general view of Swansea City's Liberty Stadium as snow falls before the Football League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg match against Chelsea. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Capacity: 20,520

Away fans pubs: The Landore Social Club is always welcome to away fans, “offering good food and cheap beer, whilst some away fans tend to have a drink outside the Harvester near the stadium”, according to Kevin.
 

Team News

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 27, 2016: Liverpool's Dejan Lovren after the 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur during the FA Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp has all of his key players available for Saturday’s match, with a lack of injuries one of the perks of mainly playing one game a week.

Divock Origi is a minor doubt with a foot problem, though, while Joe Gomez is still recovering after a long-term absence.

Mamadou Sakho has been playing for the U23s this week, although Klopp has hinted that he has cleared the air with the centre-back, following the Frenchman’s outburst on social media last week.

The Liverpool manager will again have to choose who makes up his attacking unit, with Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Daniel Sturridge all vying for a starting berth.

As has often been the case, it is likely that Sturridge will be the man who starts on the substitutes’ bench, although Klopp can never be second-guessed.

Fit-again Dejan Lovren is expected to come back in for Ragnar Klavan at centre-back, despite the Estonian producing a dominant performance against Hull, and Loris Karius will start in goal ahead of Simon Mignolet.

Guidolin has very few injury concerns of his own, with Nathan Dyer the only noticeable absentee. The winger has undergone ankle surgery, in order to remove extra bone growth in his ankle.

Federico Fernandez’s progress is being monitored, having missed the defeat to City with a slight groin injury.

 

Form

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 24, 2016: Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates scoring the third goal against Hull City during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)

Won 5-1 vs. Hull
Won 3-0 vs. Derby
Won 2-1 vs. Chelsea
Won 4-1 vs. Leicester
Drew 1-1 vs. Tottenham

Swansea – Last five results (all competitions)

Lost 3-1 vs. Man City
Lost 2-1 vs. Man City
Lost 1-0 vs. Southampton
Drew 2-2 vs. Chelsea
Lost 2-1 vs. Leicester

 

Klopp’s View

The boss was in reserved form for his pre-match press conference, but praised Saturday’s opponents and warned the Reds there are no excuses:

 

One to Watch: Gylfi Sigurdsson

There was a time when Gylfi Sigurdsson was a Liverpool transfer target, and the Iceland international is now arguably Swansea’s most important player.

Football - FA Premier League - Swansea City FC v Manchester City FC

The 27-year-old’s quality on the ball and team ethic off it make him integral to his side, with his free-kick brilliance a particular area of expertise.

Sigurdsson has that priceless ability to unlock a defence, and the Reds will have to be switched on against him.

 

Odds, TV Info and Live Stream

Liverpool are the unsurprising favourites to pick up all three points, considering the respective recent form of the two sides.

Klopp’s men are 4/9 to go into the international break with a smile on their faces, while a Swansea win is 7/1. The draw is 7/2.

Live coverage gets underway from 11:30am on Sky Sports 1 in the UK, which is available to live stream with a NOW TV day pass.

This Is Anfield readers can get 10% off a NOW TV Sports day pass here.

Kick-off at the Liberty Stadium is at 12:30pm BST.

If you can’t watch the game, make sure you follow our matchday liveblog to keep up to date with events at the Liberty Stadium. Download the This Is Anfield app for iPhone or Android here.

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