Reds set for tough tests when Premier League action resumes

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Liverpool’s title defence has begun with a record of 5W 2D 1L. The Reds have made it through a number of tough opening fixtures including Everton, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Since the 7-2 humbling at Villa Park, Liverpool have been on top form (even with the absence of Virgil van Dijk) but still remain in the middle of a defensive crisis.

The return of Joel Matip against Manchester City bolstered Liverpool’s chances at the back but recent injuries to Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander Arnold have made things difficult again.

Here we will take a look at Liverpool’s first three Premier League fixtures after the international break.

Leicester City – 22 November 19:15, Anfield

Leicester currently sit top of the Premier League table with six wins and two losses from their opening eight fixtures.

Jamie Vardy has once again been Leicester’s star man up front. The Englishman is in contention for the golden boot with the most goals so far (8) alongside Mo Salah, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Hueing-Min Son.

The Foxes are also in the middle of a defensive crisis and Brendan Rodgers has just one senior centre back (Jonny Evans) at his disposal.

However, he won’t have to worry about the attacking presence of Mo Salah after the Egyptian tested positive for coronavirus on Friday afternoon.

Leicester have also seen injuries further up the pitch to James Maddison, Wilfred Ndidi and Timothy Castagne, but Leicester just keep on winning and, like Liverpool, their resilience is becoming their greatest asset.

It took a late penalty from James Milner to secure all three points for Liverpool last November before The Reds thrashed Leicester 4-0 on boxing day.

Leicester looked like title contenders at the time and Klopp will be hoping that Liverpool can overcome the challenge again and get back on top.

Brighton – 28 November 12:30, Amex Stadium

Brighton have made a poor start to the season with just one win from their opening eight fixtures.

The Seagulls were unable to get three points from West Brom last month and lost 3-0 to Newcastle in September.

Brighton have also suffered from problems in the dressing room this season after Neal Muapay was dropped for their fixture against Spurs due to concerns over his ‘inflated ego’ (101 Great Goals)

Tariq Lamptey is the one to watch from Graham Potter’s side and he might offer a glimmer of hope for Brighton going forward.

The 19-year-old caused Neco Williams all kinds of problems when the Reds faced Brighton last season before Andrew Robertson came on after the interval.

Full of pace and creativity, Lamptey is one of the up and coming stars for England and Klopp’s men will have to be on high alert to shut him down.

With no European football to contend for, Brighton might be able to capitalise on an injury ridden Liverpool side, but the stats suggest otherwise.

If Liverpool are up for the fight, it shouldn’t be too difficult for them to get past Brighton who, on average, concede 1.75 goals per game.

Wolves – 5 December 15:00, Anfield

With wins against Crystal Palace, Fulham and Sheffield United, Wolves still haven’t been able to win back to back Premier League games so far this season.

Nevertheless, they have been brilliant up front and Jimenez has been at the centre of it all with four goals whilst Neto and Podence have both provided two assists.

Wolves sit 8th in the Premier League table but face a tough run of fixtures before Christmas including Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Southampton which will challenge their worth as a top four team.

Having taken Diogo Jota from Wolves in the summer, Klopp will be hoping that he can use one Nuno’s most prominent strikers to his advantage.

About the Author

Matthew Hardiker
I'm a Journalism and Creative Writing graduate from Manchester who has written and edited content for a student magazine The Demon and for The Leicestershire Press. I have followed Liverpool FC and been passionate about writing since I was a child and I hope that I can use my writing experience to create unique and engaging content here on Friends of Liverpool.