Another weekend and another Premier League fixture for a Liverpool side who have taken just five points from their last five league matches. Not the form expected from one of the big teams, and hopes of a first Premier League title appear to have disappeared quicker than usual this season as the Reds sit in ninth place. After the horror show at Wembley on Sunday, they’ll be hoping for a quick bounce back this time out against Huddersfield. This is a team that will be very content with their start to the campaign as they sit just one point behind Liverpool, in eleventh position.
Liverpool Team News
Unsurprisingly, Simon Mignolet will be in goal tomorrow, but after a disastrous performance against Tottenham, the Belgian will be relieved to return to Anfield this weekend. He has conceded just one goal at home this season, compared to the 15 he’s shipped away from home. The Liverpool defence is obviously much more comfortable performing in front of a home crowd and Huddersfield have failed to score in their last three away matches, so they’ll be hoping this trend continues tomorrow.
There could be some changes to the back line, as Dejan Lovren was subbed of before halftime last time out. Although Jurgen Klopp refused to single Lovren out in the press conference, instead blaming the defence as a whole, the Croatians confidence must be shot. Furthermore, the fact that Klopp brought Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on, shows how little faith the boss has in Ragnar Klavan at the moment. I believe Joe Gomez will come into partner Joel Matip at centre-back, which is perhaps a long-term solution, with Trent Alexander-Arnold starting at right-back.
Georginio Wijnaldum missed the Tottenham game and although he has returned training, there is the depth in central midfield so there should be no need to risk him, if there is still a niggle. Wijnaldum will probably take a spot on the bench and I’d expect Oxlade-Chamberlain will join Jordan Henderson and Emre Can in the centre of the park.
The familiar front three of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah will start together again. With Huddersfield expected to play quite defensively, the same advice should be offered to the forwards. They’ve struggled to get the final ball right in recent weeks and even when they do, the finishing has been a little off the mark. As Liverpool likely to have a lot of the ball, these boys will need on top form to create chances and when they do, make sure they are taken.
Predicted Lineup: Mignolet; Moreno, Matip, Gomez, Alexander-Arnold; Henderson, Can, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Coutinho, Firmino, Salah.
Huddersfield Town Team News
Huddersfield have been quite lucky this season and have managed to field a fairly similar team most weeks, similar to Liverpool. However, they did lose record-signing Steve Mounie early on to a foot injury and he missed five games as a result. The striker came on during the win over Manchester United last weekend, but will probably have to start on the bench again tomorrow, due to Laurent Depoitre’s goal and man of the match performance.
Elias Kachunga was removed from the United game after sustaining a back injury, but has been fit enough to train all week. Kachunga should be ok to start on the right-hand side of midfield once again. Collin Quaner is another name who is expected to be fit enough to travel after spending over a month out with a calf problem. He played for the Under-23s in midweek and will likely make the bench, whether or not the striker makes it on is another question.
Liverpool will have to be wary of centre-back Christopher Schindler. The German has constantly been performing at a high level and is without a doubt their player of the season so far. A reliable head at the back, the Reds will have to play well to break him down. Also, Aaron Mooy is a very dangerous attacking midfielder, and whether he is linking up with Depoitre or Mounie, he can create chances against a shaky Liverpool defence.
Predicted Lineup: Lossl; Lowe, Zanka, Schindler, Smith; Williams, Hogg; Ince, Mooy, Kachunga; Depoitre.
Each week it’s getting harder and harder to be optimistic about Liverpool’s chances. However, based upon the strength of their opponents and their consistent home performances I do believe they’ll be able to get the job done. It won’t be easy though as Huddersfield will be very stubborn and difficult to break down, so I reckon an ugly 1-0 win for the Reds tomorrow.