Match Preview: Liverpool vs Sheffield United
Date & time: October 24th, 2020 - 8pm
Is it on: Sky Sports Box Office
Ref: Mike Dean
A one nil win away to a good, young, attacking Ajax side in the week was exactly what LFC needed. The clean sheet will have done the make-shift back line the world of good too.
It'll have little bearing on the match at home to Sheffield United tonight, but a reaction was needed after the defeat to Villa, and while the performance gave that in the Derby, the result was disappointing.
An slow start against Ajax was expected, and we got it, but the lads held firm and could've won more comfortably in the end.
Thankfully, we face an opponent at Anfield this evening that has only taken a single point from 15 this season. They have conceded only 7 (Liverpool have let in 13) but scored just twice). Rhian Brewster will hopefully become their talisman. After we've played them.
But tonight is a must-win, and an eminently winnable, game that Liverpool have to approach the right way. By going for the throat from the off.
A win could potentially see us go top, if other results go in our favour. But more likely is that we simply close the gap on our local rivals and go above Aston Villa, who lost last night at home to Leeds. Obviously.
Injuries & Suspension
The game in mid-week looked concerning on paper, with players like Van Dijk, Alisson, Matip, Thiago, Keita, etc. missing on top of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain long-term.
But it was reassuring indeed to see the captain returning at half-time and picking up the pace immediately.
The word from Jurgen on Friday morning was that the likes of Alisson Becker, Thiago, Keita and Matip are all in contention for tonight's game but I don't expect all of them to be risked in a game that, on paper, we should be winning without them all.
So injury-wise, we're still going definitely be missing Virgil and Ox. The latter is a huge miss, no doubt, but if those four mentioned above are all returning imminently, then the team has no excuses for not at least approaching the sort of form and performances of last season.
The picture looks a bit better for Sheffield United as well, who will only be missing Lys Mousset (last season's top scorer for Sheff Utd), John Fleck and Jack O’Connell. But they will have former Red Rhian Brewster available for selection tonight.
Last 5 games:
Liverpool (all comps): W-L-L-D-W
Sheff Utd (all comps): L-L-L-L-D
Predicted Line up
If the likes of Thiago, Alisson, Keita and Matip all supposedly likely to be available, it would be tempting to throw them all back in.
But all of them are far too important for us, long-term, and the team we put out in the week, along with the lads that came on, showed that we can still put top-class opposition to the sword even when we're missing half of our first-team.
Sheffield United won't present the same problems that Ajax did, but I'd still expect to see a couple of changes. Particularly with the game at Anfield against the Danish champions coming up on Tuesday.
Predicted starting XI: Adrian, Trent, Fabinho, Gomez, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Keita, Mane, Salah and Jota.
Subs: Alisson, Matip, Milner, Jones, Minamino, Firmino and Origi.