Liverpool host a winless Sheffield United in the Premier League on Saturday evening, the Reds looking for a win having dropped points in their last two Premier League fixtures.
Here’s all you need to know about Saturday’s meeting at Anfield:
Having suffered a humiliating 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa prior to the international break, Liverpool bounced back with an improved display against highflying Everton in the Merseyside derby on Saturday, although were denied victory after some somewhat controversial VAR decisions.
Firstly, Toffees’ stopper Jordan Pickford escaped punishment for a reckless challenge on Virgil van Dijk in the penalty area, before a late Jordan Henderson winner was ruled out due to an offside call that appeared impossible to detect.
Not only were Jurgen Klopp’s men left with two points dropped but had to face the news that influential defender Van Dijk will be sidelined for the foreseeable future, while midfielder Thiago also picked up an injury following a robust challenge from Everton forward Richarlison – the Brazilian picking up a red card for his troubles.
Despite the frustrations of that fixture, Liverpool responded professionally with a 1-0 win over Ajax in the Champions League on Wednesday, midfielder Fabinho showcasing his ability to slot in at centre-back and ease the pain of losing Van Dijk.
As for the weekend’s clash with the Blades, Klopp should be able to count on Thiago once again, while Joel Matip is also pushing for a return having missed the midweek clash in Amsterdam.
Sheffield United: LLLLD
After their excellent showing in their first season back in the top flight, the Blades have suffered a worrying drop in form of late, picking up just one point so far this term – a point that came against fellow strugglers Fulham last weekend.
Ever since the restart of the Premier League back in June, Chris Wilder’s men have looked a little off the pace and will need to bounce back quickly or else they’ll be staring down the barrel of another spell in the Championship.
The club have, however, made some notable moves to bolster their squad, ‘keeper Aaron Ramsdale arriving from Bournemouth to replace Dean Henderson, while young forward Rhian Brewster was plucked late in the window from Liverpool to offer some firepower to a strike force that has struggled for goals of late.
Brewster could well make his full debut against his former club on Saturday, although the likes of John Fleck, Lys Mousset and Jack O’Connell are all unavailable – with the latter figure likely to miss the remainder of the season.
Liverpool 2-0 Sheffield United, 2 Jan 2020
Liverpool went into this meeting in superb form having gone 36 league games unbeaten since their last defeat against Manchester City almost exactly a year prior, while the Blades had found themselves eighth in the table after an impressive start to the season.
Jurgen Klopp’s men made their customary excellent start with Mo Salah firing home after just four minutes, although the away side almost responded immediately, though John Lundstram saw his volleyed effort fizz just wide.
The home side doubled their lead midway through the second half as Sadio Mane rifled home after his initial effort had been saved by ‘keeper Dean Henderson, the Englishman having an inspired game between the sticks to keep the scoreline at just 2-0.
Liverpool would go on to cruise to victory and onwards to the league title, while the Steel City side would finish the season in a hugeky respectable ninth.
Liverpool: Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Gomez, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane.
Sheffield United: Ramsdale; Basham, Ampadu, Egan; Baldock, Berge, Lundstram, Norwood, Stevens; Brewster, McGoldrick.
Who is the referee?
How can I watch?
Those in the UK can watch the game on Sky Sports Box Office, while those in Ireland have the option of watching on Premier Sports ROI 1.
What time is kick off?
Saturday 24th October, 20:00 BST
Sheffield United 11/1