BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION VS. LIVERPOOL
| Saturday, January 14h |
Premier League | AmEx Stadium
3PM GMT/10AM EST
Brighton have built on strong performances over the past few seasons to find new levels of success under new manager Roberto De Zerbi. Under their former manager, Chelsea’s Graham Potter, the Seagulls always looked very good, but underperformed statistically (they famously undershot their xG over long periods).
We’re seeing a difference now, with Brighton coming into this match in 8th place, just below Liverpool, with 27 points and a goal difference of +7.
Their form recently has been impressive, with high-scoring wins in their last two outings (5-1 away at Middlesbrough in the FA Cup and 4-1 away at a struggling Everton). They lost 4-2 at home to league-leaders Arsenal, though put in a good showing, and beat Southampton 3-1 away in the first match back after the World Cup break.
They are, quite frankly, exactly not what Liverpool need at the moment. Strangely, they do win more away from home that at home, but have managed impressive wins at home against the likes of Chelsea and Leicester this season.
In terms of personnel, they will be without Leandro Trossard, who has been training with the reserves due to an attitude problem. Trossard scored the hat trick in Brighton’s draw at Anfield earlier this season, and is their top scorer. De Zerbi confirmed, however, that he is not on the team list to face Liverpool. Jjakub Monder is also out with an injury.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Konaté, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Gakpo, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Injuries are still a major issue, with Roberto Firmino “not close” to a return, despite initial assumptions that he would return quickly. Worryingly, Darwin Núñez is a doubt, as an issue kept him out of training. Manager Jürgen Klopp awaits information on his availability.
James Milner and Stefan Bajcetic have returned to full fitness, but there have been no improvements elsewhere.
Given the absences, we could see a different formation tomorrow, though Klopp has seemed to prefer plugging the gaps in the set formation with who he has available.
Alongside Firmino, Liverpool remain without Diogo Jota, Luis Díaz, Arthur Melo, and Virgil Van Dijk. Up front, we could see Cody Gakpo make his first start in the league after making a good impression in the cup against Wolves; this is obviously all the more likely if Núñez is unavailable.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “Brighton deserve respect.I don’t think anyone underestimates them anymore but who would have thought their possession stats would increase after Graham Potter [left]. We have the chance to go their and cause real problems.”
De Zerbi: “There are two or three great teams who have a problem and we are trying to take their place [in the league table]. It’s about mentality.”
Referee: Darren England Assistants: Dan Robathan, Wade Smith Fourth Official: Tim Robinson VAR: Neil Swarbrick Assistant VAR: Timothy Wood.
Kickoff is set for 3PM GMT/10AM 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.