MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Sheffield United vs. Liverpool: 10 key things to know as familiar face returns

Liverpool’s busy December continues with a trip to the Steel City as they look to continue to establish their title credentials against Sheffield United.

Sheffield United vs. Liverpool

Premier League (15) | Bramall Lane
December 6, 2023 | 7.30pm (GMT) 


The Reds got out of jail against Fulham with two brilliant late goals from Wataru Endo and Trent Alexander-Arnold, and will be keen to take that momentum with them to Bramall lane.

It was a win that lifted Jurgen Klopp and his team above Man City in the table after their controversial 3-3 draw at home to Tottenham.

Here, we’re listing all of the key details you will need to know ahead of our latest Premier League encounter.

 

1. Team news

The manager confirmed that the injury Joel Matip sustained during the Fulham win is “not good” and that a timeline for his return can’t be given just yet.

Klopp did add that Diogo Jota is “running” in training and that Alisson is “closer” to a return, but neither will be in contention for this one.

 

2. New manager bounce?

Liverpool will once again have to contend with the dreaded new manager bounce as they navigate the upcoming midweek meeting with the Blades.

It was confirmed the day before the game that Paul Heckingbottom had been removed from his post, with former boss Chris Wilder returning to the position he left two years ago in his place.

 

3. Second plays bottom

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 7, 2022: Sheffield United's goalkeeper Wes Foderingham during the Football League Championship match between Sheffield United FC and Fulham FC at Bramall Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as an easy game in the top flight.

That said, Sheffield United are propping up the table having won just one of their opening 14 Premier League games this season.

There is no room for complacency though, a rewind to our recent Luton trip should be enough to eradicate any of that!

 

4. The day for Mo’s double century?

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 8, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the American Express Community Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Mohamed Salah wasn’t able to chalk up his 200th goal for the club in the 4-3 win over Fulham, but will certainly have his eye on hitting that milestone on Wednesday.

Only four players in Liverpool’s history have managed to reach the landmark (Ian Rush, Roger Hunt, Gordon Hodgson and Billy Liddell) and it is just a matter of time before the Egyptian king adds his name to that list.

 

5. Tension on the touchline?

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - Thursday, September 26, 2019: Sheffield United's manager Chris Wilder during the FA Premier League match between Sheffield United FC and Liverpool FC at Bramall Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp will come up against Wilder for the first time since February 2021, following a period in which the pair exchanged unpleasantries about their differing opinions on the five-subs rule.

Wilder once branded the Liverpool boss as “selfish” for his views on player welfare, with Klopp sarcastically responding: “They have three subs and one point.”

 

6. A first for the subs?

It’s a stat that may make you read twice, but no Liverpool player has ever come off the bench to score against Sheffield United.

With the five-sub rule now in place (sorry Chris!), there will be plenty of opportunity for the Reds to put that right on Wednesday.

Klopp has made good use of his mid-game changes so far this season and has plenty of attacking quality to call upon should the situation require it.

 

7. More changes expected

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 16, 2023: Liverpool's Cody Gakpo during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have eight fixtures between the start of December and Boxing Day, meaning they will need to be smart with rotataion in order to maximise their chances of a good run.

Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott both sat out of Sunday’s clash and will be keen to get back into the action, while Cody Gakpo staked a claim for a starting role with an impressive cameo off the bench.

Matip’s injury means Ibrahima Konate is likely to come back into the lineup, while Klopp admitted Alexis Mac ALlister was “running out of gas” against Fulham and could be rested for the contest.

TIA predicted XI: Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Endo, Szoboszlai, Jones; Salah, Nunez, Gakpo

 

8. Klopp’s perfect record

Wednesday will be Klopp’s fifth outing against Sheffield United, winning the previous four before the Blades were relegated in the 2020/21 season.

The Reds have conceded just once in those four encounters, and the boss will be keen to maintain his winning streak as the festive schedule begins to ramp up.

 

9. Controversial referee pick

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 30, 2023: Referee Simon Hooper is all smiles during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Fresh from his howler in Man City’s meeting with Tottenham over the weekend, Simon Hooper will take charge of our meeting with the Blades.

Hooper initially called advantage following a tackle on Erling Haaland and the Etihad, only to pull play back while Jack Grealish looked to be in on goal.

The official was in charge for the now infamous Luis Diaz disallowed goal at Tottenham in September, but in fairness, the bulk of the blame for that mistake lies with VAR Darren England.

 

10. Follow the action with us!

If you’re looking for a biased take on proceedings as it’s happening, look no further than TIA’s matchday liveblog!

We are on hand to bring you updates as they are happening from Bramall Lane, starting at 6.45pm (GMT) ahead of kick-off at 7.30pm.

Another three points please, Reds!