Liverpool welcome Brighton and Hove Albion to Anfield this weekend, with the hosts looking to continue their 23-game unbeaten run.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Sunday’s encounter:
Liverpool recorded arguably one of their finest ever victories at the weekend, as a first-half blitz saw them run out 5-0 winners over bitter rivals Manchester United on Sunday, with the victory moving them up to second and just a point off leaders Chelsea.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 26, 2021
The win was all the more impressive given that Jurgen Klopp’s side didn’t appear to even have to get out of third gear, such was the dismal display of their opponents as well as their own clinical finishing.
After surviving an early Bruno Fernandes chance, the Reds went on to go ahead just moments later through Naby Keita, before goals from Diogo Jota and a Mo Salah brace made it 4-0 heading in at the break – the first time that United had ever trailed by four goals after the first-half of a Premier League game.
Salah added his third – and Liverpool’s fifth – just after the interval to inflict even more torment onto the home side, with the Egyptian also becoming the first player to net a Premier League hat-trick at the Theatre of Dreams, as he continued his remarkable recent run of goalscoring form which has seen him net 15 goals in just 12 games this season in all competitions.
The Reds followed that up with a 2-0 win as they secured their place in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals after seeing off a spirited Preston side at Deepdale, with second-half goals from Takumi Minamino and an outrageous Divock Origi scorpion kick sealing a hard-fought win.
How many attempts would it take you to pull off a scorpion kick like this? What a goal from Divock Origi! 🤩 🦂 pic.twitter.com/EodwDoh2gI
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) October 28, 2021
As for this weekend’s clash, Klopp is likely to be without James Milner after he limped off with a thigh injury at the weekend, while fellow midfielder Thiago Alcantara is also a doubt.
Meanwhile, Brazil international Fabinho – who missed Sunday’s win – is in contention for involvement, as too is Keita, despite the former Leipzig man having been forced off following Paul Pogba’s reckless, red card challenge against United.
After a fine start to the new season, it’s been a frustrating last few weeks for Graham Potter’s side, with the Seagulls having failed to win any of their last four league games, including their most recent 4-1 defeat at home to Manchester City.
That clash saw the champions produce a stunning first-half display to all but wrap up the win inside the opening half an hour, as goals from Ilkay Gundogan and a Phil Foden brace put Pep Guardiola’s in total control heading in at the break.
The hosts had come from behind to beat City at the back end of last season, yet despite a strong second-half performance, Brighton couldn’t find a way back into the game, with Alexis Mac Allister’s late penalty proving a mere consolation, as substitute Riyad Mahrez added a fourth in the fifth minute of injury time.
That defeat – after a run of three successive draws – still leaves Potter’s men flying high in fifth and just two points behind West Ham United in fourth, with it already shaping up to be a fine campaign for the south coast side, having been a relegation-threatened team in recent years.
Wednesday night also saw the Seagulls’ Carabao Cup run come to an end, as they were knocked out on penalties after an entertaining clash with Leicester City at the King Power Stadium, with spot-kick misses from Neal Maupay and Enock Mwepu ultimately proving costly after an initial 2-2 draw in normal time had taken the tie to shootout.
As for this weekend, Brighton will once again be without Steven Alzate and Danny Welbeck, with both players set for an extended stint on the sidelines.
Liverpool 0-1 Brighton, 3 February 2021
It was Brighton who ran out winners win the two sides last met back in February, with the Seagulls capitalising on a shoddy Liverpool display to take all three points at Anfield and condemn their hosts to a second successive home defeat.
Having seen their lengthy unbeaten run on their own turf come to an end a few weeks prior against Burnley, Jurgen Klopp’s side laboured once again in this meeting, with the visitors looking impressive in attack and remarkably comfortable in defence.
That strong display was rewarded on 56 minutes as the aforementioned Alzate looped in a somewhat fortuitous effort to give his side the lead, with what was the game’s first attempt on goal, after Dan Burn had steered the ball back across the box.
Despite the expectation of a fight from the hosts, there was no such late rally as the injury-hit Reds limped their way towards defeat, with the result essentially ending their hopes of retaining the title.
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Jones, Henderson; Salah, Jota, Firmino
Brighton: Sanchez; Webster, Dunk, Duffy; Lamptey, Lallana, Moder, Gros, Cucurella; Maupay, Trossard
Who is the referee?
What channel is Liverpool vs Brighton on?
Irish readers can watch, or stream, the match on Premier Sports, although the game is unavailable for UK readers.
What time is kick off?
Saturday 30 October, 15:00 BST
Liverpool – 1/4
Brighton – 10/1
Draw – 5/1