After a hard fought season, Liverpool are still in need of a point to secure Champions League football for next season, going into the last game of the league campaign. The loss against Chelsea last weekend has left them with some work to do today when they welcome Chris Hughton’s Brighton to Anfield. The Reds are undefeated in the league this season at home and though they have won just one of their last five games, are favourites to take all three points from this game.
The Seagulls beat Manchester United last weekend but lost to Manchester City in the mid-week. That loss was their first in four league games and the manager will hope that his side can put up a fight in this game. But they have already secured top-flight status and have very little to play for, in contrast to Liverpool. Chelsea play Newcastle United in the last round and if they win, The Reds will need to take at least a point, which will help them qualify on goal difference. Here is the predicted lineup Jurgen Klopp might field for this tie:
Liverpool will be without Matip, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, all of who are long-term absentees. Emre Can is no closer to first-team action while Adam Lallana will hope to at least make the bench. Klopp revealed in his press conference that winger Sadio Mane has picked up a fresh injury and is doubtful for this clash.
Expected lineup (4-3-3):
Loris Karius has settled the nerves at the back for Liverpool and is now Klopp’s no.1. He will keep his place under the bar for this clash. Dejan Lovren and Virgil van Dijk are slowly forming a solid partnership at the back and will hope for an easy game.
With Gomez absent, Trent Alexander-Arnold should start at right-back while Andrew Robertson should keep his place at left-back for the last game of this season.
Skipper Jordan Henderson was one of the brightest players for Liverpool against Chelsea last weekend, having come off the bench. He will start this game in a no.6 role, with James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum starting in the other two midfield roles.
Klopp has no reason to rest any of his first-team stars, more so as he is still in search of a point.
The Reds are likely to be without Sadio Mane for this tie and might push Roberto Firmino to the left flank in the attack. Mohamed Salah should start from the right flank while Danny Ings will get another chance to prove his worth before the summer transfer window opens.
Here is how they might line up: