When Liverpool last faced Swansea City, an important Europa League semi-final second leg against Villarreal was merely days away. The result? Heavy rotation and a 3-1 defeat in South Wales. Jürgen Klopp fielded an admittedly young side to protect most of his senior players with a first leg deficit to overturn at Anfield four days later. That result effectively guaranteed Swansea’s Premier League status—a feather in the cap for Francesco Guidolin who was appointed in January. Five months later, matters are quite different indeed.
Without any European commitments or injuries to likely starters ahead of the international break, Jürgen Klopp will not be giving youngsters a chance for minutes as he did in May. Liverpool are in scintillating form heading into tomorrow’s game after winning a third consecutive Premier League game by battering a hapless Hull City 5-1 at Anfield, but the nagging ghost of that 2-0 defeat to Burnley will not be laid to rest without consistency against struggling sides in the league. Swansea have some good players, but with the persistent doubts surrounding the future of head coach Francesco Guidolin, this is a game Liverpool should win.
Football, of course, is full of surprises. Various modal verbs are upturned with dizzying frequency in predicting the outcome of matches, but with Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City locking horns on Sunday, there's an opportunity to close the gap on at least one of those sides before international football takes centre stage for a week or so.
For Liverpool (4-3-3):
Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner
Lallana, Henderson, Wijnaldum
Mané, Firmino, Coutinho
Liverpool’s only change from the previous game is expected to be Dejan Lovren coming in for Ragnar Klavan. Danny Ings is poised to return to the bench after one of Divock Origi’s feet went from good to bad. Such is life, but the young striker will be back. Mamadou Sakho is back in action after his misguided exploits on social media but is far away from a place in the first-team squad. Essentially, Liverpool are good to go and will hope to gegenpress another opponent into submission.
Swansea are hungry for points, especially considering that the Welsh side haven't snared a Premier League win since the opening day—essentially why Guidolin is under enormous pressure entering this game. Klopp may be the media darling of the moment after his appearance on Monday Night Football alongside Jamie Carragher but isn't getting carried away after an exciting start to the season. The Reds haven't kept a clean sheet in the league, which should give Swansea some encouragement despite hovering above the relegation zone after six games.
Swansea don't have too many injury concerns ahead of a chance to provide some positivity around the club. Nathan Dyer is a long-term injury concern and is out for two months with an ankle injury, and Federico Fernández's is doubtful after missing the last match with a slight groin tweak. The Swans have usually fielded one striker up front with the delightful Gylfi Sigurðsson in behind, but will desperation see Borja Bastón paired with Fernando Llorente for the first time this season?
Kickoff is set for 12.30PM BST/ 7.30AM EST tomorrow on Sky Sports 2 in the UK and NBC Sports Live/NBCSN in the US. Elsewhere, Optus Sport in Australia, TSN4 in Canada, Star Sports 4 Asia in India, Astro SuperSport 3 in Malaysia, and 102 (HD) mio Stadium in Singapore are carrying the match. You can find full listings at LivesoccerTV.
We'll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it's released, our live matchday thread and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on all the action as it happens.