At the end of an exhausting league campaign, Liverpool are still in need of at least a point from the final game of this season, if they are to qualify for the Champions League next season. They play Real Madrid in the final of the competition for this season but will want to wrap up a place in the top 4 of the domestic points table, when they welcome Chris Hughton’s Brighton to Anfield on Sunday.
The Seagulls lost to Manchester City in the last round but have lost just one of their last four games, including a victory over Manchester United. They can finish as high as in the 10th place, if other results are favourable but having secured top-flight status, they have very little to play for in this game and might not be at their best.
Liverpool, who are just three points above Chelsea in the table, need the Blues to drop points against Newcastle United on Sunday or need to take a result, which is enough, thanks to their positive goal difference. But Klopp’s men have won just one of their last five games, and are fresh from a loss to Chelsea and are not in the best of forms at the moment.
They will have to field their strongest XI and will also have to hope that none of their first team stars pick up any injuries that might affect their chances in the UCL final later this month. The manager seems to believe that this game is a final of sorts and will want his team to play likewise. But Brighton have proven hard to beat in the past and are sure to put up a fight. Here is the team news, predicted lineups, predictions and odds for this clash:
The Reds will be without long-term absentees Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, all of who have been ruled out for the rest of the season. Emre Can is still being ignored while Adam Lallana will undergo a late fitness test before the game. Sadio Mane is also suffering from a niggle and is unlikely to start.
Expected lineup (4-3-3): Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Milner, Wijnaldum; Salah, Ings, Firmino
The Seagulls have no real injury issues to worry about ahead of this game. Isaiah Brown and Steve Sidwell are the only players not travelling to Anfield this weekend.
Expected lineup (4-3-3): Ryan; Bong, Dunk, Duffy, Bruno; Stephens, Gross, Pröpper; Knockaert, Izquierdo, Murray
Liverpool – 1/5
Draw – 7/1
Brighton – 14/1
Liverpool 4-2 Brighton