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Sunday, June 23, 2024

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Premier League: Liverpool vs Sheffield United; ‘That’s the problem – we know how good he is’

Liverpool will be back in Premier League action on Saturday night against Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United. 

The reigning Premier League champions have just came off the back of a 1-0 away win against Ajax in their opening Champions League group game so there is certainly some optimism even without a certain Dutchman at the back.

A clean sheet in a scruffy hard fought win are sometimes the most satisfying victories and the squad will have been buzzing with a good start however all attention is now back to defending their crown in the league.

Defeat against Aston Villa and a draw against Everton in the Merseyside Derby means Klopp’s men are winless in two and want to get back on track.

There will be a striker who will be standing in their way though, and that is youngster Rhian Brewster who is likely to get his full debut for The Blades.

He was sold in the summer even though all the staff at Anfield rate him ever so highly but there is a buyback clause on him for the next three years effectively making the deal a very expensive loan if Brewster proves himself to be good enough.

In his press conference Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: “We all know him very well. That’s the problem – we know how good he is.

“Rhian used to be our boy but still we feel he is. I wish them (Sheffield United)  a nearly perfect PL season – all world class games but two games off when they play us.”

That’s been the problem for Sheffield United, no world class games.

After an amazing first season back in the top fight which saw them competing for European places until the last few games Chris Wilder and his side have struggled at the start of this season with only one point in five games.

Inevitably they will be trying as hard as ever and with Brewster leading the line it’s almost written in the stars for him to get his first Premier League goal against the team that have made him the player he is today.

A big surprise that Klopp revealed in his press conference is that Alisson is in contention even though reports suggested at the time he got injured the Brazilian would be our for up to six weeks.

It may be a risk to throw Alisson straight back in the starting lineup with such a tight schedule so Klopp may stick with number 2 Adrian who kept a clean sheet on Wednesday but did not look convincing, at all, with Fabinho having to spare his blushes with an outstanding goal like clearance.

The Brazilian midfielder had an exceptional game dropping back into the centre back role and it remains to be seen whether he will start there yet again on Saturday alongside Joe Gomez. 

Starting their first game together as a pair paid off but Joel Matip is also in contention so Fabinho may be pushed up to his preferred role in midfield. 

Another player who is back in contention is Thiago who had a splendid performance against Everton but wasn’t risked against Ajax as he was recovering from Richarlison’s red card challenge on him in the derby.

So it’s a strong Liverpool side available for their game back at Anfield, in his press conference Klopp said: “We’re looking forward to 3 home games in a row. 

“That’s good. I just love Anfield, a great place. I love the atmosphere even without the people as it’s just our home.”

So the German will be hoping the unbeaten record at home will carry on.

The front three all had half an hour off against Ajax with Diogo Jota, Takumi Minamino and Xherdan Shaqiri all coming on to replace them. The back-up front three impressed getting the game over the line with their hard work. 

With Firmino’s form continuing to be questioned and also a tight schedule it might be a pleasant surprise for fans and even Firmino himself to see one of the three players who came on replace him in the starting 11.. 

Minamino would be the most likely as he is more naturally suited to the central role but Jota has looked a star in the making when he has came on so it’s anyone’s guess to who may replace Liverpool’s number nine but his importance is always underrated so it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he were to start again.

Ridiculously the game is a pay per view fixture even though it kicks off at 8pm on Saturday night. 

The £15 price is a disgrace in the middle of a worldwide pandemic and last weekend Newcastle supporters donated heavily to food banks instead of paying for their game.

I’m not here to tell you what to do but the Government have despicably said no to free meals to starving children over this half term and Christmas so maybe take that into consideration when deciding to pay for the game or help out around your local area.

So enjoy the reds on Saturday night with a good conscious unlike the Tories, because what else are you going to be doing really? 

Written by Elliot Thompson

READ MORE: LFC Foundation and Action for Children partner to launch new youth mental health programme

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