Liverpool return to Anfield tomorrow afternoon (2 pm GMT/3 pm BST) after a succession of away wins. Brighton and Hove Albion are the visitors as the Reds seek to keep their good start to the Premier League season going. Liverpool lies second on the table with 21 points, a point behind leaders Chelsea. The Seagulls lie an impressive 5th, with 15 points from 9 games.
Graham Potter has received widespread praise for his work with Brighton and rightly so. Their transformation to a possession-heavy style has been astounding to watch and has more than vindicated the decision to sack Chris Hughton. Their league finishes under Potter have been 15th and 16th, but they’ve steered clear of relegation battles and have entertained with their expansive style of play.
They managed to take 4 points off Liverpool last season, as a 1-1 draw at the Amex was followed up with a 1-0 win at an empty Anfield. In fact, those are the only times Brighton have avoided defeat against the Reds, with all eight previous fixtures ending in defeat. The Seagulls aren’t in great form coming into this game as they’re winless in their last five, with the 4-1 defeat to City their only loss in that period.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are unbeaten in their last 19 Premier League games (23 in all competitions) and are the top scorers in the league so far. They will come up against a side that doesn’t score a lot (9 goals in 9 games), but one that doesn’t concede a lot either (9 goals conceded, with 4 coming in the defeat to City). Brighton will pose a unique threat with the style they play. Liverpool will have to be at their best to get all three points.
For Brighton, Dan Burn misses out after hurting his knee in a fall during the midweek Carabao Cup clash. Danny Welbeck and Steven Alzate also miss out. For Liverpool, Harvey Elliott (ankle) remains out and has been joined on the sidelines for the next couple of weeks by James Milner (hamstring). Fabinho hasn’t resumed training and is also expected to be out whilst Thiago has only just resumed training and will not be rushed. Naby Keita though is fit and available.
The Egyptian has scored more PL goals (10) than the entire Brighton team this season (9). He’s in the sensational form right now, with his hat trick at Old Trafford the latest body of evidence supporting the ‘best in the world tag. He’s scored the most goals in the division, recorded the most touches in the opposition box, as well the biggest chances created. He’ll be looking to extend his run of scoring in each of his last 10 matches.
The 26-year-old hasn’t always been convinced in his three-year-plus spell at the club, and when he was hooked at halftime against Atletico Madrid, you feared for the worst. He has more than redeemed himself however with that commanding performance at Old Trafford; where he scored one, provided one, and was involved in another. It was the kind of statement performance that can kickstart his Liverpool career in earnest.
The Frenchman has been a regular source of goals for Brighton. His 25 Championship goals in the 2018/19 season helped power the Seagulls to the PL and he’s adapted to this level. He netted 10 in the PL in his first season in the competition and followed it up with 8 last season. He’s in good form this season and is Brighton’s top scorer again with 4 in 9 matches. Already halfway to last season’s tally, he’ll be confident of bettering his best ever tally in the top flight.
Back at Anfield again after a while away, expect Liverpool to come flying out of the traps, urged on by the home crowd. Brighton are no mugs though and should make this an entertaining encounter. They did manage a win here last season but will know it’s a whole different kettle of fish this time around.