Match Preview

Match Forecast: Liverpool v Brighton – Champions League beckons

This weekend, it’s crunch time for the home side as only a draw will see them qualify for next seasons Champions League. However, should they lose, and Chelsea beat Newcastle United away, qualification hopes will be resting on the final!

With Brighton securing their stay in the Premier League after a win over Manchester United at home last Friday, it’ll be interesting to see how the Seagulls set up. Now, I’m not expecting them to “down tools” completely, but the fact they have nothing to play for, means that they won’t be as intense as they were for the past 37 matches.

Team news

The only fresh injury worry is Joe Gomez but Emre Can is in rehab following a back problem. The 24-year-old hasn’t featured since being substituted on 27 mins during the 5-0 win over Watford in March.

Klopp mentioned that Adam Lallana is “as fit as he could possibly be”. He’s been stepping up his recovery in Cape Town over the last month having suffered a hamstring injury in late March.

With Gomez being ruled out of the World Cup, having sustained an ankle injury during the home draw against Stoke City, Klopp stated that the defender wasn’t “clever” to carry on with an injury, but “sacrificed” himself for the good of the club.

Chris Hughton has set the objective for the season ahead. “Our next step always has to be to stay in the league – we’re still learning and improving and we’ll try to add to the squad where we feel necessary”.

There are no injury worries for the Seagulls.

Prediction

As I said earlier, I don’t think Brighton will “down tools”, having already secured their safety, but they may play with a little less intensity, but I’m not implying (or at least trying not to) they will be rolled over by Liverpool.

“It’s about how we stop Liverpool’s threat and get ourselves into the game. We’re expecting a tough game against a strong side”.

With all that being said, Liverpool are favourites to grab the final Champions League spot this weekend, especially with their unbeaten at home (won 11, drawn seven). Maybe Brighton can use becoming the first side to win at Anfield as an incentive.

I would predict a win for Liverpool. Should their famous front three start, I can’t see them not scoring. However, with the Champions League final two weeks away, Klopp may rather not risk injuries. We’ll see on Sunday.

Featured Image Credit: Gene Hunt

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