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10 key things to know ahead of Liverpool vs. Brighton

After 18 days without a game, Liverpool are back at Anfield searching for their third league win of the season as Brighton make the trip north with a new manager in tow.

Liverpool vs. Brighton

Premier League (7) | Anfield
October 1 2022 | 3pm (BST)


After postponements due to the Queen’s death and the first international break of the season, we’ve had to endure a long wait between one Liverpool game and the next.

But wait no longer. Jurgen Klopp‘s side are back, at last, and the first of 13 games in 42 days coincides with the start of the Seagulls’ new era.

Here are 10 key things to know ahead of kickoff.

 

1. It’s been a long break

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 13, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 2 game between Liverpool FC and AFC Ajax at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

On the day of the match, Liverpool will not have played for 18 days and will have gone 28 without Premier League action.

As Opta’s Michael Reid made known, excluding the enforced pandemic break, 28 days is the biggest gap between league games in a single season for the Reds since 1979!

Brighton, on the other hand, last played on September 4, in a 5-2 win over Leicester, to see them head into the clash without a match 27 days.

Safe to say there will be a number of cobwebs to blow away for both teams.

 

2. Do Brighton have a new manager?

New Brighton and Hove Albion manager Roberto De Zerbi during the press conference at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre, Brighton. Picture date: Tuesday September 20, 2022. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/PA Images

They do, his name is Roberto De Zerbi.

Graham Potter left Brighton for Chelsea at the start of September, taking a key piece out of the puzzle for a club who currently sits fourth in the table after taking 13 points from six games.

Brighton appointed De Zerbi ten days after Potter’s exit, with the Italian joining after spells with Shakhtar Donetsk and Sassuolo in recent years.

His style of play is not too dissimilar to what Potter instilled at the club but De Zerbi has expressed that he prefers to “control the game,” with a possession-based system readily used.

With this his first match in charge, it will give Klopp and co plenty to ponder as they analyse both Brighton and their new manager.

 

3. Will Lallana feature?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 30, 2021: Liverpool's former player Brighton & Hove Albion's Adam Lallana waves to the home supporters after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Adam Lallana has been sidelined with a calf injury but is expected to be part of Brighton‘s travelling squad, a starting place is not at all likely.

Enock Mwepu will be missing, though, due to illness, in what could be one of few changes for Brighton in what is De Zerbi’s first game.

Brighton could continue with a back three at Anfield, with Leandro Trossard selected for the XI alongside the likes of Danny Welbeck, Moises Caicedo and Lewis Dunk.

Possible Brighton XI: Sanchez; Veltman, Dunk, Webster; Lamptey, MacAllister, Caicedo, March; Gross, Trossard; Welbeck

 

4. 3 back in training, 4 still out for Reds

LEIPZIG, GERMANY - Thursday, July 21, 2022: Liverpool's Ibrahima Konaté during a pre-season friendly match between RB Leipzig and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. Liverpool won 5-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After one injury after another preceding the international break, the hope was that the gap between games would offer a circuit breaker for the Reds – we really did need it.

Jordan Henderson was the first to swap the treatment room for the pitch having returned to fitness to join the England team and feature for five minutes, boosting the midfield options.

Ibrahima Konate has taken a significant step forward and needs to train well before being in contention for Saturday’s squad, while Caoimhin Kelleher and Calvin Ramsay are being integrated slowly.

Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Curtis Jones and Andy Robertson are all unavailable but Klopp hopes the left-back will be back “next week or the week after.”

 

5. Klopp’s possible XI

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 27, 2022: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold (R) celebrates with team-mate Virgil van Dijk after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It’s exciting to be finally contemplating who could lineup for the Reds this weekend, it has been far too long.

The back five are likely to remain unchanged from the last outing, against Ajax, and the same could be said of the midfield despite Henderson’s return to fitness – meaning Harvey Elliott would keep his place.

In attack, the manager is not short on options, notably in the central role with Darwin Nunez, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota to choose from.

Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz are likely to be certain starters and it could be that Firmino is opted for having featured the least during the international break, game management is key in the next two months.

Predicted Reds XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Fabinho, Thiago, Elliott; Salah, Diaz, Firmino

 

6. Trent in the spotlight

Speaking to the press ahead of Saturday’s match, Klopp was, of course, asked about Trent Alexander-Arnold after failing to play a minute for England.

The boss did not want to create headlines but made it clear his decision would not be the same as Gareth Southgate’s:

“There are stories out there all the time that talk about him and say he’s not a good defender, but that’s not true.

“He is a good defender, he doesn’t always defend good, that is true as well, but that is what we’re working on, he is a young player, he is 23.

“There is space for improvement, definitely, but we only discuss it on the level we discuss it because his offensive impact is so extreme for us, it could be for each team in the world.

“My point of view, it’s an easy pick. Whichever team I would coach in the moment, I would sign him because he is exceptional.”

 

7. It’s quiz time!

BRIGHTON AND HOVE, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 12, 2022: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah scores the second goal from a penalty kick during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the AMEX Community Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

We have a quick quiz for you ahead of the match, we want to see if you can name all of Liverpool’s goalscorers against Brighton since 2011.

There are 18 to name and just three minutes to do it, let us know how you get on in the comments section!

 

8. Did you know?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 6, 2022: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring his side's second equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If Mohamed Salah scores against the Seagulls, he will move into outright eigth place on the club’s all-time league goalscorers list ahead of Sam Raybould and just two behind Jark Parkinson.

The No. 11 currently has 120 goals in the league for Liverpool, and another strike against Brighton on Saturday will also move Salah ahead of Sir Kenny Dalglish as the club’s leading scorer against the Seagulls.

The Egyptian has two Premier League goals so far this season, his last coming at Man United in August.

 

9. The man in the middle

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 6, 2022: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson sits injured as referee Andy Madley looks on during the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The referee for Saturday’s game is Andy Madley, who found himself in a spot of bother in his last league outing.

West Ham suffered a 2-1 defeat away to Chelsea and both the referee and VAR were criticised as “an absolute disgrace” after a late goal was overturned for the Hammers after a supposed foul.

No action has been taken against the officials or those who made comments regarding the decisions.

Madley has overseen the Reds on six different occasions in the Premier League, the most recent being the 2-2 draw at Fulham on the opening day of this season.

The VAR is Simon Hooper.

 

10. Follow the match live with us!

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 13, 2022: A general view showing the on-going construction of the Anfield Road upper tier seen before the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 2 game between Liverpool FC and AFC Ajax at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Frustratingly, the first game back for Liverpool is a 3pm kickoff, which means the match is not live on UK television – but we will have a full worldwide guide for you on Saturday, though.

What will be live, though, is This Is Anfield’s matchday live blog, with Sam Millne at the helm to keep you entertained and up to date with all the action from 2.15pm.

Up the Reds!