Brighton vs. Liverpool
Premier League (8) | AMEX Stadium
October 8, 2023 | 2pm (BST)
The VAR debate will continue to rumble on but the players and manager are fully focussed on the football.
If you take last last weekend’s result out of the equation, Liverpool are unbeaten since April and are beginning to look more assured of themselves defensively.
Sunday’s match promises excitement and, ahead of the match, we’ve got all the key points to prepare you for the game.
Klopp’s injury updates
There was both good and bad news on the injury front for Liverpool.
Cody Gakpo “has a good chance” of playing after the international break and “is already out of his brace,” according to Klopp.
Klopp also gave an update on Conor Bradley‘s fitness.
The German said the youngster “is on the way back and is running but, in that age group and with these kind of injuries, you tend to give them rather three weeks more than not enough.”
2 suspended players
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you will have seen the fallout from last weekend’s officiating performance against Tottenham.
As a result, Curtis Jones will be suspended for the next three domestic matches. Liverpool appealed the red card but this was rejected, despite the referee sending Jones off based on just a freeze frame.
Diogo Jota will also miss the match after his two yellow cards in North London.
This is notwithstanding the fact that the Premier League‘s Independent Key Match Incidents Panel said: “The majority deemed the decision (second yellow) as incorrect as they felt it did not meet the threshold for a yellow card,” ESPN report.
Unfortunately, the one-match suspension can’t be overturned.
Front 3 pick themselves
The manager hinted at his team selection with his substitutes and post-match comments against Union SG.
Due to Gakpo’s injury and Jota’s suspension, the front three should consist of Salah, Nunez and Luis Diaz.
Predicted starting XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Endo, Szoboszlai, Mac Allister, Salah, Nunez, Diaz
Seagulls are flying
A late penalty scored by Joao Pedro saw Brighton earn their first-ever point in Europe, as Roberto De Zerbi’s side came from two goals down to draw with Marseille in the Stade Velodrome.
The result will give them a boost heading into the fixture vs. Liverpool, especially after their 6-1 humiliation against Aston Villa last weekend.
That scoreline was an anomaly, though, and Klopp said: “They made really big steps and super consistent, super formations, different players, lineups. Wow.
“In the end, you always see Brighton football and I couldn’t respect that more.”
No Liverpool reunion
Both players are out injured and not expected back until after the international break, meaning Milner won’t get the chance to face his club of eight years.
Brighton is the seventh different club of his long career but he has played for Liverpool most – 332 times in total.
Meanwhile, Lallana is also out but has already faced the Reds several times since leaving. In his six appearances against Liverpool following his departure, he has lost just once.
Righting last season’s wrongs
Klopp managed to joke about last season’s defeats at the AMEX when reminded of them in his press conference. The two losses must surely make the team more determined to win this weekend, though.
Kaoru Mitoma shone in those games, the cup fixture especially, and it will be vitally important Liverpool keep tabs on the Japanese.
The winger usually plays on the left, Liverpool’s right, which has been the area most exposed to counter-attacks so far this campaign.
Mac Allister back at Brighton
After a family reunion on Thursday, Sunday is set to be another strange day for Mac Allister as he plays against his former team for the first time.
The midfielder spent four years contracted to Brighton, playing the first two mostly on loan back in Argentina, and becoming a regular in his last couple of years.
After winning the World Cup, he was given a hero’s welcome on his return to the south coast, and has fond memories of his time there.
Playing with 11 helps
Liverpool have spent almost a quarter of this league campaign with fewer than 11 players on the pitch, in terms of minutes.
In fact, the four red cards collected this season totals more than the previous four seasons’ combined for Klopp’s team.
Although the dismissals haven’t all been entirely the players’ fault, the Reds will be on their best behaviour as they seek to win with 11 men – after all, football tends to be easier with a full complement!
Who are the officials?
Anthony Taylor has been given the job of referee for Brighton vs. Liverpool. His assistants are Gary Beswick and Adam Nunn, while Craig Pawson is the fourth official.
In Stockley Park, Chris Kavanagh will be the VAR and Matthew Wilkes will act as his assistant. We’re sure there won’t be any lapses of concentration this week!
10. Follow the match with TIA
TIA’s matchday live blog will be up and running from 1.15pm, with Sam Millne tasked with keeping you entertained and up-to-date.
Come on you Reds!