Liverpool vs. Brighton
Saturday, November 30, 2019 – 3pm (GMT)
Referee: Martin Atkinson
The Reds aren’t quite finding their top level at the moment, despite positive results being churned out on a regular basis.
Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Napoli in the Champions League was a flat showing and they now have work to do to make it into the last 16.
It’s a return to league action this weekend, as Jurgen Klopp‘s side aim to add another three points to their unrivalled tally.
Liverpool have still only slipped up in one game this season and they are setting the most relentless pace in Premier League history.
Next up is the visit of Brighton—a side playing good football under new manager Graham Potter, with aspirations of a mid-table finish.
The Seagulls won’t be fancied by many, but they created problems for Man City at the Etihad back in August, despite eventually losing 4-0.
That being said, Liverpool remain the most formidable team in Europe on current form and anything other than victory would be a big shock.
The hope is that the Reds win convincingly for once, having not beaten anyone by more than one goal in the league since Newcastle on September 14.
Sooner or later, an opponent will be on the wrong end of a hiding—could Saturday be that day?
Liverpool have been dealt a huge blow with the news that Fabinho is set to miss the rest of the year with ankle ligament damage.
Joel Matip is also still unavailable, but he is Klopp’s only other absentee.
Gomez will likely return to the substitutes’ bench, with Dejan Lovren‘s impressive form keeping him out of the team at centre-back.
Klopp has some thinking to do in midfield, with Fabinho‘s absence leaving a huge void following an imperious start to the season.
He is suspended for the game, regardless of injury.
Brighton have Lewis Dunk and Aaron Connolly back from suspension and injury respectively, but Solly March is a doubt.
Possible Brighton XI: Ryan, Montoya, Webster, Dunk, Burn; Gross, Propper, Stephens, Mooy, Connolly, Maupay
Last 5 at Home to Brighton (All Competitions)
Won 1-0 – August 2018 (Salah)
Won 4-0 – May 2018 (Salah, Lovren, Solanke, Robertson)
Won 6-1 – February 2012 (Skrtel, Bridcutt OG, Carroll, Gerrard, Dunk OG, Suarez; Lua Lua)
Drew 2-2 – January 1991 (Rush x2; Small, Byrne)
Won 4-0 – October 1985 (Dalglish, Walsh x3)
Did You Know?
Firmino is yet to score at Anfield this season – a statistic that is scarcely believable.
There is so much more to the 28-year-old’s game, of course, but his lack of ruthlessness in the final third has to be a slight worry.
Firmino’s overall tally of four goals for the campaign isn’t exactly earth-shattering, so it would be nice to see him find the net on Saturday.
In many ways goals are an added bonus, considering his world-class creativity, intelligence and selflessness, but he shouldn’t completely avoid the microscope.
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Brighton – Last five results (all competitions)
Speaking at Melwood on Friday, Klopp praised Potter and how his Brighton side “play proper football“:
“We play Brighton with a very, very exciting development.
“When you see them playing now—how they play, the way they play, the possession they have; I think they are seventh or so for possession in the league.
“Against City they had 48 [percent] or so, they play proper football.
“They really have their own plan and I respect that a lot. Graham is doing a really good job there.”
TV & Liveblog Info
For the second Saturday in a row, Liverpool kick off at 3pm (GMT), meaning the game isn’t live on UK television.
In fact, that will also be the case next weekend, when the Reds travel to Bournemouth.
This is Anfield’s matchday live blog will be in full swing as always, however, with Joanna Durkan keeping you entertained.
Join her from 2.15pm, as Liverpool look for another priceless victory.