Premier League summit in sight for Klopp’s Reds – Brighton vs. Liverpool Preview
Liverpool will go top of the Premier League with a positive result at Brighton on Saturday afternoon, as the Reds look to maintain their 100 percent record at the Amex.
Brighton vs. Liverpool
Saturday, November 28, 2020 – 12.30pm (GMT)
Premier League (10)
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Jurgen Klopp‘s side suffered a rare defeat in midweek, losing 2-0 to Atlanta in limp fashion at Anfield, halting their Champions League progress.
The result was no disaster, with qualification to the knockout stages still highly likely, but it still highlighted the lack of depth currently available with so many injury problems hampering the champions.
The biggest game of the week arrives this weekend, as Liverpool head to the Amex looking to reach the league’s summit.
A win or a draw will be enough to achieve that, although Tottenham can return to the top when they visit Chelsea on Sunday.
Brighton are 16th in the league currently, although their performances arguably justify a higher ranking, with some good football on display under Graham Potter.
The Seagulls outplayed Man United at home, for example, only to lose at the death, while sloppy late points were also dropped against West Brom.
Liverpool go into the game as overriding favourites, but it has the potential to be tricky if the Reds aren’t switched on.
Klopp’s men are often excellent when a response is required, however, so you wouldn’t bet against a resounding victory on Saturday.
Jordan Henderson was back involved in parts of team training on Thursday and Klopp has confirmed that the skipper could be available this weekend.
It is a welcome boost for Liverpool, who still have numerous fitness issues.
Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez could both miss the remainder of the season, with the pair recovering from serious knee injuries.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is still missing with a calf problem, meaning either James Milner or Neco Williams will deputise at right-back.
Thiago and Naby Keita are also still unavailable in Liverpool’s midfield, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a long-term absentee and Xherdan Shaqiri is another player on the treatment table.
Klopp rested several key men against Atalanta, with a far stronger starting lineup expected at the Amex.
Andy Robertson should come back in for Kostas Tsimikas at left-back, while Rhys Williams will likely make way for Fabinho at centre-back.
Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino could both start, especially if Klopp opts for a 4-2-3-1 formation, allowing Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane to feature as well.
Tariq Lamptey is a huge loss for Brighton, with the impressive right-back suspended after getting sent-off at Aston Villa last weekend.
Meanwhile, former Liverpool man Adam Lallana faced a late fitness test, but Leandro Trossard is back from injury.
Last 5 Away to Brighton (All Competitions)
Won 3-1 – July 2020 (Trossard; Salah x2, Henderson)
Won 1-0 – January 2019 (Salah pen)
Won 5-1 – December 2017 (Murray pen; Can, Firmino x2, Coutinho, Dunk OG)
Won 2-1 – September 2011 (Barnes pen; Bellamy, Kuyt)
Won 3-2 – January 1991 (Small, Byrne; McMahon x2, Rush)
Did You Know?
Despite Liverpool sitting in a perfectly healthy position in the table, they have only won one of their four away league games this season.
That came against 10-man Chelsea back in September, but the Reds have otherwise failed to fully click on the road.
The only defeat was the freakish 7-2 defeat at Aston Villa, with respective 2-2 and 1-1 draws at Everton and Man City also taking place.
The fixtures have been tough, in fairness, but another win is needed away from home, in order to boost the on-the-road points haul.
Brighton – Last five results (all competitions)
Won 2-1 vs. Aston Villa
Drew 0-0 vs. Burnley
Lost 2-1 vs. Tottenham
Drew 1-1 vs. West Brom
Drew 1-1 vs. Crystal Palace
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Lost 2-0 vs. Atalanta
Won 3-0 vs. Leicester
Drew 1-1 vs. Man City
Won 5-0 vs. Atalanta
Won 2-1 vs. West Ham
Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Friday, Klopp warned his team to expect a tougher test than Brighton’s recent scores suggested:
“We have analysts and they are really honest and they tell me in the first second if a team is tough to play. If we see Brighton’s results they don’t look like it, but they are in a really good moment, playing good football.
“They always have possession, a football-playing side, they adapt a little bit the system and do it really well. They didn’t score often enough to get the results but we cannot go there and expect they won’t finish their situations. We have to be ready for defensive work, they make the pitch big and it’s hard work, that’s what we have to be ready for.
TV & Liveblog Info
Brighton vs. Liverpool will be shown live in the UK on BT Sport 1, with coverage starting at 11.30am (GMT) and kickoff at 12.30pm.
Chris Williams is in charge of This Is Anfield’s matchday live blog, keeping you entertained from 11.45am (GMT).