Pull up a chair, sit back, relax, and enjoy the Friendship Derby. Or try to. Actually enjoying what comes next for Liverpool fans might turn out to be rather difficult, as a match many had circled on the calendar at the start of the season as a fun one—long-time friends Jürgen Klopp and his best man David Wagner—is looking more and more like a must win for the Reds.
That’s because a loss today would see Huddersfield, Wagner’s newly promoted side, leapfrog past Liverpool in the table and leave the Reds, at best, in tenth place after ten games. Depending on results elsewhere, a loss could mean falling into the bottom half of the table. Any way you come at it, after a dire two month stretch, a win is very much required.
Huddersfield, though, will be feeling confident of denying Liverpool that victory after they upset Manchester United last week. The Terriers—who were for a time in the 50s managed by Liverpool legend Bill Shankly—won last week’s league outing 2-1 and currently sit 11th and are starting to be talked about as favourites to survive their first season in England’s top flight in 45 years.
Looking at the margins, though, it’s not entirely clear how they’ve managed to secure such a, well, secure spot in the table a quarter of the way through the season given they have scored just seven goals and conceded 10. Still, they’ve shown an ability to hold on and secure the result on more than one occasion and won’t be heading to Anfield feeling over-awed.
For Liverpool (4-3-3)
Mignolet; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez, Moreno; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Following Dejan Lovren’s disastrous mid-week outing there’s certainly a case for starting him as a show of confidence, but most fans would probably rather see Joe Gomez given a chance to start at the position he’s projected to play as his career advances. I midfield, meanwhile, Gini Wijnaldum’s return means one of Emre Can or James Milner sits—and currently, Milner’s form is better.
In attack, meanwhile, Philippe Coutinho is expected to at least not start—and possibly to not even make the matchday squad—due a back injury that is not believed to be related to recent rumours of Barcelona renewing their interest in the Brazilian attacking midfielder. That should give Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain a rare starting opportunity for his new club.
Kickoff is set for 3PM BST/10AM EST tomorrow on CNBC in the US. Elsewhere, Optus Sport in Australia, TSN4 in Canada, DAZN in Germany, Star Sports Select in India, SuperSport 3 Africa in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, Astro SuperSport 3 in Malaysia and mio Stadium 107 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.