Brighton vs Liverpool
| Wednesday, July 8th |
Premier League | American Express Community Stadium
8:15PM BST / 3:15PM EST
After animated shouts of “Next season starts now!” from Manchester City fans following their 4-0 win over Liverpool last week, the Citizens went ahead and lost to Southampton, effectively setting them three points back of the Reds, who did as they had done all year — just enough to win.
The sort of anemic performance Jürgen Klopp’s charges put on against Aston Villa at the weekend could see them punished by Brighton, however, as Graham Potter looks to make absolute sure of Premier League survival. Nine points clear of the drop, the Seagulls are only theoretically in danger, but the 45-year old will undoubtedly be looking to make thing mathematically secure as soon as possible.
Although the scoreline read 2-1 after their clash at Anfield back in the fall, Brighton were being soundly beaten before an Alisson moment of madness and some Martin Atkinson trickery brought a little excitement back into the final fifteen minutes of the game. The hosts sport a clean bill of health ahead of the game.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Mané, Firmino, Minamino
For the Reds, Joël Matip misses the rest of the season with a foot injury, while Dejan Lovren on current evidence should be nowhere near a starting spot, meaning Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk will partner in the centre of defence once more. Andrew Robertson has been putting on some of his worst performances in a red shirt in the past week, and looks to be in need of either match fitness or some time on the bench, so James Milner could be an option at left-back.
All three midfield starters were eventually substituted on Sunday, but the assumption should be that Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum will be reinstated next to Fabinho in place of Naby Keïta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Goalscorer Curtis Jones could also be in contention, but is more likely to see minutes as a substitute again.
Up top, both Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah played a full 90 at the weekend and although both players are chasing another Golden Boot, at least one is likely to be rested from the start. Divock Origi’s performance against Villa was abysmal, and Takumi Minamino could be preferred. Roberto Firmino should be back in starting XI.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “A team in a good run and pretty much full of confidence about the results they had since the lockdown. We need to be ready for that.”
Graham Potter: “We’ve taken seven points from four games after lockdown. It’s a decent return. It’s amazing what points can do for morale. We’ve only had four defeats in 2020. But we still want to get points.”
Referee: Craig Pawson
Assistant referees: Constantine Hatzidakis, Dan Robathan
Fourth official: Keith Stroud
VAR: Simon Hooper, Derek Eaton
Kickoff is set for 8:15PM GMT/3:15PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
In the meantime, and as always, 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 the action as it happens.