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Thursday, February 22, 2024

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FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Brighton vs Liverpool – ‘the sport for everybody with a Scouse soul’

Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool Football Club to be the destination for ‘everybody with a scouse soul’ and he is going the right way about it after Curtis Jones became yet another homegrown scouser to net his first Premier League goal against Aston Villa. The Toxteth born midfielder scored to make it 2-0 after having a breakthrough season for Klopp.  

Now the wait is to see whether himself and other youngsters will get more chances to not just prove themselves but to get a Premier League medal with five games left. The likes of Neco Williams and Harvey Elliott as well as Curtis Jones still need more games to get a medal but with the progress the trio have made this season they will more than likely be given the chance through merit and not out of sympathy. 

Whether they get the chance to even possibly start on Wednesday against Brighton remains to be seen with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp keeping his cards very close to his chest in the press conference for the match by not giving any team news away. He made a few changes in the previous game against Aston Villa and it is fair to say they were a mixed bag. 

Divock Origi, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita were the changes. Origi’s first half saw him have one touch inside the box with zero chances created, zero take-ons and zero shots. His second half did not improve, and he was subbed off for Roberto Firmino after an hour. To say it was a poor game for the Belgian would be an understatement and with just three goals in the league this season he has come under scrutiny recently. 

Oxlade-Chamberlain barely had a touch of the ball never mind make an impact on the game in the first half and like with Origi his second half did not improve therefore he was subbed off for Wijnaldum. As well as Firmino and Wijnaldum Jordan Henderson was subbed on but not for Naby Keita. The Guinea international survived the triple substitution and he was the one who made the difference assisting Sadio Mane with an exquisite pass.  

So Naby Keita will be hoping he can continue his good form with another start against Brighton who in Klopp’s opinion ‘are a really good football team’. Brighton were in a relegation battle at the start of Project Restart but after a few good results it could be argued that they are now safe with nothing to worry about as The Seagulls are now nine points away from the relegation zone and the bottom three are seriously struggling to pick up points in the run-in. 

Brighton manager Graham Potter will make it as difficult as possible for Liverpool to tear their defence to pieces as with eight clean sheets so far Brighton will be a stern test. Just like it was back at Anfield in the reverse fixture as it took two set pieces and two headers from Virgil Van Dijk to win Liverpool the game. 

Liverpool will need to improve after a disappointing showing against Aston Villa and Klopp will know that more than most so he may go with his strongest and most trusted line-up. Certainly, after the impact the triple substitution made on Sunday adding much more fluidity to the attacking play which will be needed from the off on Wednesday night. 

It also remains to be seen whether Dejan Lovren will be fit enough to feature on the bench after missing the last two games through injury. Brighton will definitely be without winger Jose Izquierdo who is still suffering from a long-term injury. Also, Steven Alzate can be considered a doubt as Graham Potter said he was struggling in training. 

Some more midweek football for Liverpool supporters to enjoy but the red side of Merseyside will be hoping for a game that does not feel like a chore to watch as the record points is still within sight and this team deserve to be history breakers. 

Written by Elliot Thompson

READ MORE: Plans in place for essential repairs to Croxteth Hall

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