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Liverpool vs. Middlesbrough: Preview, Team News, and Ways to Watch

Liverpool battle against Middlesbrough in their last hurdle for Champions League football.

Middlesbrough v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

No one could have guessed that this last game against Middlesbrough would end up being this important to Liverpool’s season, but here we are. If the Reds win, they snag, at least, a Champions League play-off spot. If they lose, it’s almost certainly another season of the Europa League.

This is a game that Liverpool should win. That means almost nothing when it comes to Liverpool. They hammered West Ham (excited to be the first person to ever make that joke. Please credit me if you use it in the future) last weekend, but lost to Sunderland before that. Against the lesser sides, they’ve been consistently inconsistent, but this isn’t a normal mid-season match. The Reds will be playing this game knowing that it will make or break their season. That should be enough to boost them over the line.

With Roberto Firmino still not in training, it seems likely that Klopp will return to the formation that led to such positive results against West Ham, which means Sturridge and Origi up front together again and Coutinho back in the midfield. A little more Sturridge/Coutinho magic in this game wouldn’t go amiss.

Last time these two teams faced each other, the Reds put three past them -- two goals scored by Adam Lallana and the third created by Lallana and finished by Origi. Both of these players should be available for Sunday. A three goal victory could also be enough for Liverpool to land in third place, depending on the result of Manchester City’s game against Watford.

Middlesbrough have already been relegated this season, and will have nothing left to play for except pride on Sunday. Among those injured are Victor Valdés, Gaston Ramírez and Daniel Ayala.

For Liverpool:

Mignolet; Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner; Wijnaldum, Can, Coutinho; Lallana, Sturridge, Origi

Question marks still remain around Roberto Firmino’s availability, but it’s highly likely that Klopp will go with the same line up as last week. Sadio Mané, Jordan Henderson, and Danny Ings remain out injured for this game.

Kickoff is set for 3:00PM BST/10:00 AM EST Sunday on Sky Sports 1 in the UK and NBC Sports Network in the United States. Online radio coverage is provided by BBC Radio. Elsewhere, Optus Sport in Australia, TSN4 in Canada, Star Sports Select HD1 in India, Supersport3 Africa in Kenya, and Astro Supersport in Malaysia 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.

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