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
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!
Safe to say there will be a number of cobwebs to blow away for both teams.
2. Do Brighton have a new manager?
They do, his name is Roberto De Zerbi.
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?
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
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.
5. Klopp’s possible XI
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
9. The man in the middle
The referee for Saturday’s game is Andy Madley, who found himself in a spot of bother in his last league outing.
No action has been taken against the officials or those who made comments regarding the decisions.
The VAR is Simon Hooper.
10. Follow the match live with us!
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!