Jurgen Klopp’s men have left it late yet again this season, to ensure Champions League qualification as they still need a point from their game against Brighton & Hove Albion, to finish in the top-4 of the points table. This will be the first time The Reds will play in the UCL in consecutive years, this decade and Jurgen Klopp will do what it takes to make sure that they do not give Chelsea a sniff on the final day.
But Brighton, who beat Manchester United last weekend, are not an easy team as Chris Hughton has got his side playing a disciplined brand of football, that has proven hard to beat. But The Seagulls have nothing to play for, except a chance to move closer to the top half of the table. So Liverpool are firm favourites but it will be important for the hosts to win individual battles inside the game. Here are the three such battles that can decide the outcome:
Mohamed Salah vs Gaëtan Bong:
Unlike most wingers, The Egyptian international loves to cut in regularly and play in the space between the full-back and the CB. This is where Bong will be tested. Salah will not only be willing to run beyond him on the wing but will also use him to make space for him and his teammates. So Brighton need their Cameroon international to step up and give Salah close company, to try and negate his effect on the game. If he is kept quiet, Liverpool will struggle to steal all three points.
Georginio Wijnaldum vs Davy Pröpper:
An all Dutch battle in the middle of the field is probably going to be one of the fascinating matchups in the game tomorrow. Wijnaldum has found some form recently and is crucial to Liverpool’s quick turn over of possession. When on song, the former Newcastle man is hard to mark and his turns and through balls could be too hot to handle for The Seagulls. Their only shot at keeping him quiet is his national teammate Propper, who has also been in decent form. The 26-year old needs to make sure that Wijnaldum does not have an impact on the attacking aspect of the game. He needs to be frustrated if Brighton are to take anything from this game.
Glenn Murray vs Dejan Lovren:
With 12 league goals this season, the 34-year old remains the most dangerous attacker for Brighton in this game. He will want to occupy the shoulder of Dejan Lovren, who is prone to mistakes. The former Southampton defender needs to be at his best for the entire game as even a small mistake can give Murray a chance and it is something the Reds will have to avoid at all costs.