Swansea City vs Liverpool Preview: Can Swans end Reds' 18-game unbeaten run?

Swansea City will hope to become the first Premier League team since October to beat Liverpool when they host the in-form Reds at the Liberty Stadium on Monday night.

Swansea City vs Liverpool Preview: Can Swans end Reds' 18-game unbeaten run?
(Picture: Getty Images - Andrew Powell)

Bottom-of-the-table Swansea City will hope to end Liverpool's winning streak as Carlos Carvalhal looks for a first league win at the Liberty Stadium on Monday night.

The Reds have won all of their last five league and cup matches including a breathless 4-3 defeat of Manchester City last time out, inflicting on the league leaders their only loss of the season.

Jürgen Klopp's men have not tasted defeat since October having gone 18 unbeaten across all competitions since then, while Swansea have won just four of 23 Premier League games this season.

The South Wales outfit currently prop up the top-flight table and even a win would not lift them into 19th due to their poor goal difference - having scored a mere 14 goals this season.

Since being appointed just days after Christmas, Carvalhal has overseen two wins, two draws and a defeat - including an FA Cup third-round replay win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in mid-week.

It was Liverpool's emphatic 5-0 thrashing of Swansea that proved his predecessor Paul Clement's final match in charge and the start of their five-game winning run and they will be braced for another difficult evening here. 

The Portuguese boss even handed this clash the "David versus Goliath" narrative usually used for potential FA Cup giant-killing ties between clubs at opposite ends of the English footballing pyramid.

But Swansea's hopes of victory are not quite that far fetched. They will, though, need to produce a masterful defensive display - with the Merseyside club netting at least twice in all of their last six league outings - or for Liverpool to significantly underperform.

The visitors' red-hot form means Swansea are an incredible 12/1 with some bookmakers to claim three points - with anything but victory sure to have a deflating impact on a side brimming with confidence.

For unfancied Swansea, any result would be a huge morale boost even with their recent improvement under Carvalhal and would be exactly the shot in the arm they need in their hopes of staving off relegation.

 

Team news

Swansea will have defender Mike van der Hoorn fit although he was taken off injured in their draw with Newcastle United in their last league match.

Renato Sanches is back from a hamstring injury sustained in their initial cup clash with Wolves on January 6, with Tammy Abraham hoping to be passed fit after missing the last four games with an abdominal injury. Wilfried Bony is expected to start up top.

Àngel Rangel is still returning to full fitness from a hip problem but could play with right-back Kyle Naughton returning from a three-match suspension.

Virgil van Dijk is expected to make his first league appearance for Liverpool after scoring the winner on his debut in a Merseyside derby cup clash earlier this month.

The £75 million Dutch defender has been hampered by a hamstring strain which kept him out of the win over City.

Winger Mohamed Salah - with 24 goals and nine assists in 30 appearances - is back from illness, while centre-backs Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan have endured similar bouts of sickness.

Lovren is unlikely to feature, alongside skipper Jordan Henderson and Alberto Moreno absent due to hamstring and ankle problems, though Klavan and striker Daniel Sturridge are available.

Loris Karius will start in goal for the third successive match, doing so for the first time since December 2016, despite his criticised display against City. 

 

Recent form (all competitions)

Swansea City: WLDDW

Liverpool: WWWWW

Latest result

Swansea City 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers (FA Cup)

Liverpool 4-3 Manchester City (Premier League)

 

Match facts

Liverpool have won seven of their last 10 Premier League meetings to Swansea (D1, L2). Both of the Swans' wins have come in the last four clashes.

Swansea have only scored six of their 27 goals across 13 Premier League games against Liverpool at the Liberty Stadium.

The Welsh side have also kept just one clean sheet in 10 top-flight matches, conceding 20 goals.

Swansea have lost each of their past three Premier League games played on a Monday, conceding at least three goals in each fixture.

The Swans have scored only six home league goals this season, fewer than any other side.

By contrast, the Reds have scored 29 Premier League away goals this season, more than any other team.

Klopp's charges have scored 85 goals in all competitions this season, just seven shy of their total for last season.

Jordan Ayew has scored in three of his past five Premier League appearances, after failing to find the net in his previous 15.

Roberto Firmino has scored five goals in his last three league games against Swansea, with braces in each of his last two.

This is Liverpool's first away league game against a club starting the day bottom of the Premier League since February 2016, when they won 6-0 at Aston Villa.

 

Referee

Neil Swarbrick will oversee his 14th Premier League game of the season - his third involving Liverpool.

The 52-year-old officiated their wins over West Ham United and Leicester City and was also the man in the middle for Swansea's defeat at Chelsea.

Swarbrick, a member of the Select Group of Referees since 2011, has dished out 32 yellow cards but not a single red card in the league so far this term.