It's either a blessing or a curse when matches take place so close together, and the sentiment is largely determined by the outcome. Anything other than a win here will only serve to worsen the mood around Liverpool, which is in mid-summer form in terms of pessimism about transfers that haven't happened yet and operating around the status quo when it comes to general malaise. A top four finish is almost certainly gone, but there's still something to be salvaged here, and Brendan Rodgers' squad aren't going to find out what it is unless they pick up a string of good results.
They should be set up to get all three points here, at least on paper, but the reality is that Liverpool have found it tough work against Hull City since Rodgers arrived, including earlier this season in a 0-0 draw and in this very same fixture in December of 2013, when the hosts came out 3-1 winners. Steve Bruce oversaw a momentum-building victory over the weekend as Hull look to stave off relegation; away to Crystal Palace, Bruce's side got a 2-0 win to go one point ahead of Sunderland and 16th on goal difference.
Bruce could welcome back Mohamed Diame for tomorrow night's match, though Nikica Jelavic, Robert Snodgrass, Curtis Davies, and Andrew Robertson should all be ruled out along with David Meyler, who's serving a three-match suspension. Against Palace, Bruce chose Steve Harper in goal, James Chester, Paul McShane, and Michael Dawson at the back, Ahmed Elmohamady, Jake Livermore, Tom Huddlestone, Stephen Quinn, and Robert Brady in midfield, and Dame N'Doye and Sone Aluko up front. Abel Hernandez, who started the season well, was on the bench along with Alex Bruce, Gaston Ramirez, and Maynor Figueroa.
Manquillo Skrtel Lovren Moreno
Lallana Coutinho Sterling
Rodgers will likely have the same squad available as he did at the weekend save for Alberto Moreno, who only suffered a slight knock and should be fit here. Daniel Sturridge, Lucas, and Mamadou Sakho remain ruled out, while the likes of Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson should be out of contention for starts here after playing a full 90 minutes against West Brom.
There's been a shift away from the 3-4-2-1 in recent weeks, and while Emre Can is everyone's favorite everything, it seems a waste to continue to use him at fullback when he's far better as the right-sided central defender in a back three or in the midfield. If it's four at the back, then, hopefully Hull will see Rodgers deploying an actual fullback on the right, and if it's not Johnson, it would be an awfully good time to resurrect Javier Manquillo's body. Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren will surely partner again centrally, while Moreno should make the start on the left.
Starting Gerrard on the bench would mean Joe Allen returns to the side, and the hope for many will be that he would be joined by Can and Jordan Henderson. As was the case before the West Brom match, that seems to be a midfield that can push things along a bit more effectively than one with the captain included, even if Gerrard was marginally better in a deep role against a side who sat on the draw from the start, barely had possession, and that didn't try to exploit any gaps when they did have the ball.
A 15-minute cameo against West Brom should be enough preparation for a start for Adam Lallana, who will join Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling if he does. Lazar Markovic perhaps should have featured at some point on Saturday and could do so here, but Mario Balotelli's first start in over five months seems as though it likely won't be replicated despite the striker showing more than a few glimpses of positive play.
Kickoff is set for 7:45PM BST/2:45PM EST on Tuesday, with NBCSN airing the match in the US. Our coverage will continue with any breaking team news, team sheets when they’re released, and live coverage tomorrow including full viewing options and post-match reactions. If you haven’t already, sign up for an SB Nation account and join us for it.
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