| Sunday, September 12th |
Premier League | Elland Road
4:30PM GMT/11:30AM EST
Welcome back from the September international break — objectively the worst of all the international breaks. Liverpool will look to erase the disappointment of their draw against a 10-man Chelsea with a victory against Leeds United away at Elland Road.
The big news is that, after some confusion and doubt, the Brazilian players on the both Liverpool and Leeds teams will be allowed to play in this match. That means Alisson will be guaranteed inside the goal and Fabinho may get the start in the midfield. Unfortunately, ban or not, Roberto Firmino is out with a hamstring injury. For Leeds, that returns Raphinha to contention for Marcelo Bielsa.
Last season, Mohamed Salah scored a hat trick against Leeds United at Anfield. On Sunday, he’ll only need one goal to get him to lucky 100 in the Premier League, an incredible achievement considering the length of time he’s played in England.
The Whites sit in 15th place in the table after the first three matches. They’ve managed two draws and a loss, which isn’t the worst way to start to their second season back in the Premier League, despite the heavy opening day loss to Manchester United. After ending last season in a strong 9th place, Leeds will be pushing to earn their first victory and return to winning ways.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Jota, Mané
As mentioned, the big discussion in the days leading up to the match was about whether or not the Brazilian players would be allowed to take part. That decision was made in the clubs’ favors, and so Fabinho and Alisson will be eligible.
In addition to Firmino, Takumi Minamino and James Milner are also out injured. Van Dijk has been cleared after an injury scare with the Netherlands that probably provoked a collective PTSD response from Liverpool fans around the globe.
For Leeds United, only Robin Koch will be on the sidelines for this match. As with Alisson and Fabinho, Raphinha has been cleared to participate in attack for Bielsa.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jürgen Klopp: “They have obviously a specific way of playing football, with a strict man marking system philosophy or idea in terms of defending, and then very very flexible, very brave, very dynamic [mode] in possession.”
Marcelo Bielsa: “The affection the fans transmit in the Premier League at Elland Road, you can see for yourself. Of course, makes you emotional and increases the desire to win the game.”
Referee: Craig Pawson. Assistants: Lee Betts, Richard West. Fourth official: Andy Madley. VAR: Darren England. Assistant VAR: Peter Kirkup.
Kickoff is set for 4:30PM GMT/11:30AM EST tomorrow. In the meantime, The Liverpool Offside team will keep you updated with all of the team news and match buildup as it becomes available, along with providing a matchday liveblog and post-match recaps and reaction. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account and have your say on the action as it happens.