BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION VS. LIVERPOOL
| Saturday, March 12th |
Premier League | Amex Stadium
12:30PM GMT/7:30AM EST
Are Brighton our bogey team? They’re not not our bogey team, certainly: while they don’t often beat us, we drop points to them unlike any side not named Manchester City. We last beat Brighton in our title-winning season, scoring three to their one after we’d clinched the title in July 2020. Since then, there have been two draws and a loss, with both draws being comebacks on their part (though the late penalty Danny Welbeck won at home last season would not be a penalty under this season’s rules).
The Seagulls are not in good form ahead of this game, coming in having lost four consecutive league games to the likes of Newcastle, Aston Villa, Burnley, and Manchester United. Their home form hasn’t been great this season either, as they’ve been averaging just 1.08 points at home this season.
While Brighton have not been scoring loads of goals, the streaky Neal Maupay is their main man to watch, having bagged 26 league goals in total for Brighton (9 in all competitions this season) — should he score one more goal and he will become Brighton’s highest scorer in the Premier League (Glen Murray also scored 26).
Enock Mwepu, who is also a threat in front of goal, is returning after two months out with a hamstring injury; Jeremy Sarmiento is also returning. Defender Adam Webster is thus the only absence for Brighton.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Keïta, Thiago; Salah, Mané, Díaz
Jürgen Klopp’s injury update was somewhat heartening, with Roberto Firmino back in contention after his injury. Fabinho is out with a “complicated” issue; James Milner is also unavailable. While there were a few “little things” (many panicked when Virgil Van Dijk and Ibrahima Konaté were not pictured in training earlier this week), per Klopp every one else is currently in training.
This is good news ahead of a tricky period, and Thiago and Diogo Jota returned from injury against Inter Milan and the League Cup final respectively — both got valuable minutes even if neither perhaps looked 100% fit. Thiago is closer than he was last week, but will likely be unavailable for this match.
While Mohamed Salah likes to score against plenty of Liverpool’s opposition, he does have a liking for Brighton historically, having been involved in 10 goals in his last nine appearances against the Seagulls (5 goals, 5 assists). In fact, even when the team has played poorly against Brighton, Salah has been a bright spot — perhaps most notably in the 1-1 draw at the Amex last season.
Liverpool have scored 1,998 Premier League goals, and could become the second team to reach 2,000 after Manchester United. Incredibly, 10% of all of Liverpool’s Premier League goals have been scored by Sadio Mané (86) or Mohamed Salah (114); these are truly special times to be a Red.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “[Brighton away] is one of the trickiest games in the Premier League because of the work Graham [Potter] is doing and the way they play. That’s just the Premier League. There is no game where you can take it a little bit easy. Not at all. You have to be always at your absolute best.”
Graham Potter: “They have played at an incredible level for a consistent amount of time now. Full respect for them, for Jurgen, for his staff and players because of what they have achieved. Alongside Manchester City, in terms of pushing the level of the Premier League up consistently they have been incredible. I think they do it in a really impressive way, [with a] clear identity that the team has developed and worked over a period of time and they have a great understanding now. I always like playing against Liverpool because they are one of the best and it is very rare that in anything in life you get to face the best so you should look at it as a massive challenge and a huge opportunity.”
Referee: Mike Dean Assistants: Eddie Smart, Mark Scholes Fourth Official: Simon Hooper VAR: Stuart Attwell Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis.
Kickoff is set for 12:30PM GMT/7:30AM 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.