Liverpool VS Brighton – LIVE Reddit Soccer 12/03/2022
Gameweek 29 of the 2021/22 Premier League season gets underway less than two days after the end of the previous round of fixtures. The action begins at the Amex Stadium on Saturday afternoon, with Brighton & Hove Albion playing hosts to Liverpool in the lunchtime kick-off. Brighton & Hove Albion were the surprise package in the first half of the 2021/22 Premier League season, as it looked like they had an outside chance of clinching a European spot. But their form has subsided lately, and the Seagulls are currently on a run of four successive top-flight defeats. Such a run has dropped them to 13th on the table, although a relegation scrap is highly unlikely.
On the other hand, Liverpool’s campaign has turned for the better in the new year, with the Reds only suffering their first loss of 2022 earlier this week. Before the inconsequential defeat to Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League, the Reds had been on a 15-game unbeaten run, which has partly helped them bridge the gap to Manchester City in the Premier League standings. The reverse fixture was an engaging affair, as Brighton & Hove Albion came from two goals down to hold Liverpool to a 2-2 draw at Anfield back in October. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.
Graham Potter does not have any new injury concern hampering his preparations ahead of the visit of Liverpool. On Saturday, the Brighton & Hove Albion manager will be bereft of the services of just one first-team player, with Adam Webster nursing a groin injury. Jeremy Sarmiento (thigh) and Enock Mwepu (hamstring) are closing in on returning to action. As per Potter during his pre-match press conference, Mwepu has resumed full training and will soon be in contention to feature in the starting eleven again. But the Brighton boss will likely ease the duo back into the thick of the action.
Webster’s continued absence means Shane Duffy retains his spot in the central defensive unit. The veteran centre-back will line up alongside Joel Veltman and captain Lewis Dunk, with the trio covering Robert Sanchez in the Brighton goal against Liverpool. The 3-5-2 has once again become the preferred formation for Potter, and the three central midfielders will have the onus on them to keep things tight in the middle of the park. The creative responsibility will rest on the shoulders of the two wing-backs.
Tariq Lamptey and Marc Cucurella will provide the width higher up the pitch, with the duo in charge of whipping in dangerous crosses in the Liverpool box. Neal Maupay is on the cusp of making history at Brighton, meaning he should start on Saturday, with Leandro Trossard likely to get the nod over Danny Welbeck for the other striker’s berth. Unlike his counterpart in the Brighton & Hove Albion dugout, Jurgen Klopp has been handed a blow on the team news front ahead of the trip to the Amex Stadium. The Liverpool boss could be without a few first-team players on Saturday.
Klopp revealed in his pre-match press conference that a few issues with COVID-19 have hit his squad. Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, and Thiago Alcantara have missed training ahead of the game, and the trio will likely miss out against Brighton. But there is some good news, as Roberto Firmino is in contention to feature after regaining full fitness. But Firmino will likely be eased back into the thick of the action, with the Brazilian expected to secure his first start since recovering from his injury after the international break. But he could be in line for an appearance off the bench, along with Diogo Jota. That means Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Luis Diaz should form the attacking trifecta for Liverpool.
A few changes are in the offing behind the three attackers, with Jordan Henderson among those set to return. The Liverpool captain will likely line up alongside Fabinho and Naby Keita in the middle of the park, with Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott backup midfield options. If van Dijk has indeed tested positive for COVID-19, Joe Gomez will make a rare start in the Premier League. The Englishman will then pair up with Joel Matip at the heart of the Liverpool defence, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson the two full-backs. There is no looking past Alisson Becker in the Liverpool goal.
Facing an uphill battle to end a four-game losing streak in the Premier League, Brighton & Hove Albion welcome Liverpool to the Amex Stadium on Saturday lunchtime.
The Seagulls went down 2-1 to Newcastle United last time out, while Jurgen Klopp’s side sealed their spot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League in midweek.
It is certainly ironic to see Brighton and Liverpool locking horns at 12:30pm once again – nearly two years on from Klopp’s impassioned rant at the Amex over lunchtime games following his side’s European endeavours – but the Seagulls do not enter the contest in the best of form.
Graham Potter’s side have lost their grip on a top-half spot after a dismal run of results and could not stop the Newcastle United juggernaut at St James’ Park, with Ryan Fraser and Fabian Schar netting before Lewis Dunk’s consolation in a 2-1 defeat.
The Seagulls did at least manage to end a three-game streak without a Premier League goal, but a fourth successive defeat in the top flight leaves them down in 13th in the table ahead of the weekend’s fixtures as one of three sides currently sat on 33 points.
The two-point gap to 10th-placed Southampton is by no means insurmountable following the Saints’ midweek loss to Newcastle United, but Potter’s side have lost their golden touch in recent weeks and have also conceded at least two goals in each of their four recent defeats.
Brighton have also picked up just one win from their last 10 Premier League matches at the Amex since the start of October – taking just two points from the last 12 on offer at home and scoring a mere 10 goals on familiar territory all season – and Liverpool are in no mood to let up.
Alexis Sanchez did not have many fond memories of Anfield from his time as an Arsenal player, and his miserable Merseyside streak continued in the Champions League, with two high challenges on Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho seeing him sent for an early bath in the second leg of their last-16 tie.
Sanchez’s red card came two minutes after Lautaro Martinez’s thunderbolt had given Inter hope of turning the tie around, but Klopp’s side safely made it through to the quarter-finals 2-1 on aggregate following their first-leg success at San Siro.
However, the Reds’ 12-game winning streak in all competitions came to an end at the hands of the Nerazzurri, while they also lost at Anfield for the first time in over a year, but domestically, this club has gone from strength to strength in 2022.
Indeed, a 1-0 win over West Ham United last Saturday marked the Reds’ seventh triumph on the bounce in the Premier League, although they remain six points behind leaders Manchester City with a game in hand, and every game is now a cup final for the quadruple-chasing visitors.
Liverpool’s seven-game winning run in the Premier League has also seen them concede a mere two goals while scoring a whopping 19, although they have failed to win any of their last three against Brighton, who managed to rescue a 2-2 draw at Anfield earlier this season.