Liverpool vs Brighton
| Wednesday, February 3rd |
Premier League | Anfield
8:15PM BST /3:15PM EST
After an uncharacteristically busy transfer deadline day, it’s back to the grind for Liverpool, and their first challenge of February is a tricky fixture with a Brighton side that caused them all kinds of trouble back in November.
Graham Potter’s men have been a source of much discussion this season, as the Seagulls have looked cohesive and impressive in nearly every match all year, putting up impressive underlying numbers — they sit seventh in the expected goal difference table — but have failed to convert all the good play in to points, and despite their controlling 1-0 win over Tottenham at the weekend, they remain in 17th place, albeit seven points clear of the drop.
Exactly why the Albion’s results haven’t matched their performances is difficult to say, but they certainly gave the Reds all the could handle in the reverse fixture, as the teams drew due to a farcical injury time penalty, despite Brighton winning the shot battle 11-6, holding Liverpool to zero big chances, and missing a penalty and a one-on-one in the first half.
Potter will have to manage without Tariq Lamptey, Danny Welbeck, and former Red Adam Lallana, while matchday decisions will be made regarding the fitness of Alexis MacAllister and Joel Veltman.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Henderson, Robertson; Thiago, Wijnaldum, Jones; Mané, Firmino, Salah
With Joël Matip’s season-ending ankle injury, Liverpool will be without all three of their senior centre-backs until summer, and with Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak having arrived only yesterday, it is unlikely either man will be a candidate to start tomorrow night. Fabinho also looks set to miss another match or two, and as such, a return to the pairing of Jordan Henderson and Nat Phillips appears probable.
Naby Keïta remains unavailable, so midfield will likely feature three from Thiago, Georginio Wijnaldum, Curtis Jones and James Milner, with Xherdan Shaqiri and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, both coming off dynamic-looking cameos at the weekend, could be dark horses for a rare start.
Up top, Sadio Mané should be back in contention following a slight muscle worry on Sunday, while Roberto Firmino was rested and is expected to start. Mohamed Salah will be raring to get back out there after his wonderful brace against West Ham.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “I have not enough words to say how much I respect what Graham is doing there. The way they play is really good and unbelievable. So they have a clear idea, good players in the right positions.”
Graham Potter: “Liverpool is a machine. Incredibly well-coached. They’ve been one of the teams of the modern time.”
Referee: Kevin Friend
Assistant referees: Simon Beck, Adrian Holmes
Fourth official: Paul Tierney
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.