| Saturday, October 29th |
Premier League | Anfield
7:45PM GMT/2:45PM EST
Leeds have not had the best start to the 2022/23 Premier League season. Following the loss to Fulham at the weekend, manager Jesse Marsch said that it was his job to “stop the bleeding” — not exactly an encouraging place to be.
Their loss at home to Fulham was their fourth straight loss in a league campaign that has seen them win only twice and manage six losses and three draws.
The table doesn’t tell the full story, however: Leeds have faced hard lines this season with goals ruled out and penalties missed. Many of their losses have been quite close, with the scoreline not quite reflecting the story of the game (or the xG stats, come to that).
All this is to say that while results suggest Leeds are struggling, they’re actually playing decently and not taking their chances (or facing hard lines, particularly against Arsenal — something Liverpool can empathize with).
The result of this game will, obviously, very much depend on which version of Liverpool shows up. Given the above, if the Reds give Leeds chances and look disjointed creatively, as they did against fellow league-strugglers Nottingham Forest, this could be a hard watch. On the other hand, a cohesive Liverpool playing under the lights at Anfield could and should be too much for Leeds.
In terms of team selection, Marsch will be without Stuart Dallas and Adam Forshaw, who remain sidelined. Speaking Thursday night, Marsch noted that 48 hours of monitoring would be required before making a fitness decision on Leo Hjelde, Joe Gelhardt, Rodrigo, Luis Sinisterra, and Tyler Adams — all of whom are questionable to play.
Marsch sees a Liverpool side that can be exploited by intensity; Liverpool will hope to be not that version of themselves on Saturday.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Elliott, Fabinho, Jones; Salah, Firmino, Núñez
Manager Jürgen Klopp is seeing more players return to the side, as Curtis Jones’ recent minutes and interviews emphasize that he’s nearing 100 percent fitness. Ibrahima Konaté, too, is “available” for Leeds, and we could see his return to the side — either to start or as a substitute to get game minutes back into his legs.
Arthur Melo remains sidelined with a long-term injury, but the club are not considering cutting his loan short in January per Klopp. Thiago is back and Jordan Henderson is “fine” after his knock against Ajax, so both experienced midfielders are in contention to start. Joël Matip remains out, and this match is “too soon” for Naby Keïta. Long-term injuries continue to sideline Luis Díaz and Diogo Jota.
Thus Klopp, who will not face a touchline ban following his red card against Manchester City, will have a lot of decisions to make in his line-up decisions for midfield and defense.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “For different reasons, I didn’t think of the general situation of the league. But I saw Leeds now, I saw the last three games and there was a massive difference between the performances they put in and the results.”
Jesse Marsch: “It has to be our best game, our best counter-pressing game, it has to be our most disciplined game, and it has to be our most intensive game. In those standards we have to know make sure that we’re at our highest level.”
Referee: Michael Oliver Assistants: Stuart Burt, Simon Bennett Fourth Official: Craig Pawson VAR: Stuart Attwell Assistant VAR: Matthew Wilkes
Kickoff is set for 7:45PM GMT/2:45PM EST tomorrow. Stick with The Liverpool Offside team to keep yourself up to date with team news and match buildup, live updates, and post-match 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.