Sheffield United vs Liverpool Preview: Reds eye first Bramall Lane win since 1990
(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Liverpool return to Premier League action on Saturday when they face newly-promoted Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

The Reds enter the fixture in good form, picking up three points in a resilient display on the road against Chelsea before advancing in the Carabao Cup after beating MK Dons 2-0 at Stadium MK on Wednesday.

The Blades have already produced some impressive displays in the top-flight since their automatic promotion from the Championship last season, gaining a point at Stamford Bridge in a 2-2 draw against Chelsea and recently beating Liverpool's neighbours Everton 2-0 at Goodison Park.

Surprisingly, Liverpool have failed to win on their last six visits to Bramall Lane, drawing three and losing three with their last win coming in August 1990.

Their last performance at the ground ended in a 1-1 draw back on the opening weekend of the Premier League in August 2006, with Robbie Fowler equalising for the Reds from the penalty spot after Rob Hulse headed in the opener for the home side.

The managers

As Liverpool aim to break their Bramall Lane curse at the weekend, Jurgen Klopp has spoken fondly of the work Chris Wilder has done at the club since his appointment in 2016, and admits that his side will have to give it their all to continue their flawless league start.

He said: "It’s incredible what Chris is doing there, I’m looking forward to meeting him, to be honest – it’ll be the first time we see each other,

“In the analysis period you always see a lot about the team, it’s really interesting what they do, they do really well in the system they play, really aggressive, good pressing and then when they have the ball there’s this slightly interesting pattern when the centre-halves overlap whoever is there, the winger or whatever. That’s interesting.

"Going up the way they did, against the teams like Leeds and Derby last year, it’s a big one. For sure, (he is) a really great coach and I’m looking forward to facing his team."

Blades manager Wilder has spoken frequently about his admiration for Klopp in recent days, highlighting the connection between the manager and the Liverpool fans.

In his pre-match press conference, Wilder said: "There are all sorts of different aspects in successful managers but I love his (Klopp's) connection with his players. There’s a genuine affection from him for them, and vice versa as well.

“I love his personality and the connection between staff and players there is huge. That goes into the fanbase as well."

“Liverpool are up there as the most knowledgeable supporters in the country, in terms of the players they’ve seen and the teams they’ve supported over the years. 

Whilst Wilder was full of praise for the recent winner of The Best FIFA Men's Coach of The Year, he insisted that his side needed to be valiant and unpleasant at the weekend when they face the European Champions.

"The players they have, the way they move the ball around and get it back too, are formidable." he began.

""We're in this game on a level playing field, in terms of a Premier League fixture. Of course there's enormous gaps between the both clubs at the moment and we're trying to make that gap a little bit closer.

"So I think if you ask all our players before the game, they want to get stuck into the opposition and they want to put individual performances on."

Team News

Both Sadio Mane and Divock Origi have returned to full training in the week, and are in contention to play against Sheffield United at the weekend.

Mane had picked up a slight knock against Chelsea last week, whilst Belgian Origi had sustained an injury early against Newcastle at Anfield just under two weeks ago.

Klopp confirmed: “Both trained [on Thursday]. Sadio and Div, completely normal. No issues.”

Xherdan Shaqiri is still recovering from a slight calf tear, and whilst Alisson could resume full training as soon as next week, the Brazilian 'keeper wont be in the squad for Saturday.

Wilder made ten changes to his side who were defeated 1-0 by Sunderland in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday - similar to Liverpool's rotational decisions against MK Dons on Wednesday.

Blades captain Billy Sharp won't be available through suspension, whilst David McGoldrick is a doubt due to a groin strain.

Predicted Line-Up

Sheff Utd: Henderson; Basham, Egan, O'Connell; Baldock, Fleck, Norwood, Lundstram, Stevens; Robinson, McBurnie (3-5-2)

Liverpool: Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane (4-3-3)

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