Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Prediction: Liverpool vs Brighton and Hove Albion

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 30 Sep 2022

209 Views

Verdict: Total goals under 3.5

Best odds: 8/15

Bookmaker: 888sport

Liverpool are set to welcome Brighton and Hove Albion to Anfield on Saturday afternoon as club football returns to England following the last international break ahead of the World Cup. It’ll surely be an interesting match, for several reasons, the main being the fact that neither of these teams stand where many will have expected them to stand at this point of the season, but also because Brighton have posed quite a few problems for Liverpool in the last two years.

Liverpool

The runners-up from last season started this campaign in rather underwhelming way. Having played six matches so far, they’ve only managed to accumulate nine points and are currently in eight place. Brentford in ninth are on the same tally, while Arsenal at the top have double that. It’ll be a long game of catching up if the Merseysiders are to even hope of getting another shot at the title.

It started with two frustrating draws, 2-2 away to Fulham and 1-1 at home against Crystal Palace, and then came a shocking 2-1 defeat away to arch-rivals Manchester United. After that they bounced back with a 9-0 thumping of Bournemouth and a 2-1 win over Newcastle, both at home, before the Merseyside Derby against Everton at Goodison Park ended goalless.

With the two matches scheduled to take place since, at home against Wolverhampton Wanderers and away to Chelsea, postponed in relation to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the last two matches Liverpool have played to date were a 4-1 defeat away to Napoli and a 2-1 win over Ajax at home in the Champions League.

With the international break following that, it’s hard to judge where exactly Liverpool stand with form at the moment, but there can be very little doubt that Jurgen Klopp spent the time devising a strategy to for his team to gain some momentum and find consistency.

Team News

Players who remain out of contention through injury for the time being are midfielders Curtis Jones, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, as well as defender Andy Robertson. The good news for Klopp is that defender Ibrahima Konate has returned to the fold, as has newcomer Calvin Ramsay.

Nonetheless, it’ll likely be Joel Matip who starts alongside Virgil van Dijk in the heart of defence. Kostas Tsimikas will be deputizing for Robertson on the left again, but on the right, Trent Alexander-Arnold will have strong motivation after Gareth Southgate’s controversial decision to leave him out of the England squad that faced Germany on Monday.

Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara can hardly have any real alternatives in the middle of the park, with Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Harvey Elliott all eyeing the third spot.

Upfront, Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah will start on the flanks, but through the middle, Klopp will have the luxury of choosing between Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota, and Darwin Nunez.

Brighton and Hove Albion

The season has so far gone differently for Brighton. It started with a morale-boosting 1-2 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford, and after a goalless draw at home against Newcastle, they beat West Ham 0-2 away as well. Then came a 0-3 win away to Forest Green in the Carabao Cup, followed by a 1-0 win at home over Leeds United, a 2-1 defeat away to Fulham – their only one so far, and eventually a 5-2 thrashing of bottom side Leicester City at home.

All in all, four wins, one draw and one defeat from the opening six Premier League matches is certainly a lot better than many of the Brighton faithful will have hoped for, and the 13 points the team won under Graham Potter has them currently in fourth place.

However, the Seagulls have lost Potter since. The 47-year-old got the chance to replace Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea, and with a compensation fee exchanging hands, he’s made his way to Stamford Bridge where he’s expected to lead a new era under the new ownership.

Meanwhile, Brighton have appointed Roberto Di Zerbi in his place and the coach that enjoyed much success with Sassuolo before spending just over a year with Shakhtar Donetsk will now be looking to continue the positive run which his predecessor started.

Team News

Adam Lallana, who spent six successful years at Liverpool, winning the Champions League as well as the Premier League, is on his way back from a calf problem and he reportedly faces a late fitness test before it’s decided if he’ll face his old club. If not, he’ll surely want to travel to Merseyside nonetheless and at least sit in the stands of the stadium where he remains a popular figure.

Jakub Moder is out and won’t return before February at the earliest due to a serious knee injury, while fellow midfielder Enock Mwepu is ill and a huge doubt for this match.

It remains to be seen how Di Zerbi will want to arrange his men for his first match in charge, and that will obviously influence the names he puts in the starting XI. He preferred a 4-2-3-1 setup at his previous clubs, but it remains to be seen if he endeavours to change the 3-5-2 system that beat Leicester so convincingly in the last match.

But with Mwepu likely to miss out, that would probably mean Leandro Trossard joining Danny Welbeck upfront and Tariq Lamptey competing against Pervis Estupinan for the role of the left wing-back, opposite of Solly March on the right. At the back, there shouldn’t be any need to change anything about the trio of Lewis Dunk, Joel Veltman and Adam Webster, and in the middle, Pascal Gross and Moises Caicedo should be providing a bit of protection for a more adventurous Alexis Mac Allister.

Conclusion

All said and done, Liverpool are obviously the favourites to win this match, despite the difference in fortunes this season so far, and anything else would be a great surprise. But it probably won’t be easy, and Klopp’s men will have to work very hard for over 90 minutes to book the three points.

Verdict: Total goals under 3.5

Best odds: 8/15

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

SHARE OR COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

WE RECOMMEND

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Live Scores

advertisement

Betting Guide Advertisement

advertisement

Become a Writer
More More
Top
1
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x