Brighton & Hove Albion vs Liverpool Preview: Reds look to continue winning form
(Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse via Getty Images)

Liverpool continue their pursuit of breaking the Premier League points record with a trip to Brighton & Hove Albion in midweek.

The Reds come into the game following their 2-0 win against Aston Villa, whilst Brighton also won against Norwich in their previous fixture.

Earlier in the season, Liverpool narrowly beat Brighton 2-1, after Virgil Van Dijk scored two headed goals in the space of six minutes to  give Liverpool the ascendancy before allowing Brighton to get back into the game.

Alisson was given a red card in the second half after he and Dejan Lovren failed to communicate with each other, forcing the goalkeeper into handling the ball outside of his box.

Adrian was brought on and instantly caught out by a quickly taken free-kick from Lewis Dunk. As a result, the final 10 minutes of the game were very nervy from Liverpool, who just about managed to hold onto the three points.

The Reds will be looking to repeat the result, albeit in the hope of a better performance than the one they produced against the Seagulls in November.

 

Form of both sides 

Liverpool’s form since football resumed hasn’t been amazing but they are now playing as Premier League Champions.

A 4-0 loss to Manchester City and a lacklustre 2-0 win against Aston Villa since becoming the Champions have left fans slightly disappointed. They will now be looking at this game to show the rest of the Premier League why they are the Champions. 

Against Villa, Liverpool struggled to find their top gear and didn’t score until the 71st minute. Should they play how they did in that game, they could very much struggle against a Brighton side who have looked strong since the restart of football.

Indeed, Brighton have taken seven points from a possible 12 since the restart, beating both Arsenal and Norwich and drawing to Leicester. A 3-0 defeat to Manchester United has been their only disappointment. 

This positive form has helped them move nine points away from safety and they are now likely to remain in the Premier League next season. However, they are not completely safe and still have something to play for.

 

Team news

Liverpool will assess the fitness of James Milner and Dejan Lovren ahead of their trip to Brighton.

Milner missed their previous game against Villa although may be fit enough to make the bench this time round. However, it would be unexpected for Milner to start the game after missing the last few contests.

Lovren was also missing from the team at Villa and could too make the bench. With Joe Gomez and Virgil Van Dijk the only two fit first-team centre backs, Klopp may look to give the Croatian some minutes should he be fit enough while Joel Matip is out for the remainder of the season.

Xherdan Shaqiri did however make the bench in Liverpool’s previous game and could be given some valuable minutes against Brighton. Shaqiri has had a difficult season and has struggled with injuries throughout the season. 

With Divock Origi struggling to show his worth and Takumi Minamino still to find his feet, Shaqiri could give Klopp another attacking option if he can find his form once again. 

Decisions to make for Jurgen Klopp

How Jurgen Klopp decides to line-up his team will be very interesting. 

As Liverpool look to break the points record in the Premier League, a strong team can be expected. However, Klopp could choose to make a couple of changes to his side to keep his players fresh.

He made three changes for the game against Aston Villa and could opt for  a  similar strategy in this game.   Whilst much of the team picks itself, one player that could make a surprise start could be Neco Williams

He has come on as a substitute in both of the previous two matches and has looked positive. Against Villa, Williams came on for Andy Robertson at left-back, and with Robertson’s form slipping since Liverpool became Champions, giving Williams his first Premier League start and Robertson a game off could be worthwhile.

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