Liverpool welcome Sheffield United to Anfield in a huge Saturday Night Football clash at both ends of the Premier League table.
Victory for Jurgen Klopp’s Reds will send them second but a dominant win of seven or more goals would send them to the summit, whilst Sheffield Utd could climb out of the relegation zone with a win.
Thiago Alcantara could return for Liverpool after sitting out Wednesday’s Champions League win at Ajax with a knock to his knee sustained in last weekend’s Merseyside derby.
Naby Keita (fitness) could also feature but Alisson (shoulder), Konstantinos Tsimikas (thigh), Virgil van Dijk, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (both knee) and Joel Matip (muscle) are ruled out.
Sheffield Utd could be without Max Lowe after he suffered concussion during last weekend’s draw against Fulham.
John Fleck (back), Lys Mousset (toe), Jack O’Connell (knee) and Simon Moore (finger) are also absent.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last five meetings against Sheffield United in all competitions (W4, D1).
- Sheffield Utd have lost three of four previous Premier League trips to Anfield (W1, L3).
- Liverpool have scored seven goals without conceding in their last three league matches against Sheffield Utd.
- Sheffield Utd’s Oli McBurnie has won more aerial battles than any other Premier League player in the opening five matchweeks, winning 33 aerial battles.
- Coming into this weekend, no Premier League player has played more through balls than Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah’s five through balls.
Although Liverpool are without Van Dijk, this is a must-win match if they want to genuinely put early pressure on Everton in the title race and if they play like they did last weekend but tighter, this should be a comfortable win.
Sheffield Utd meanwhile have shown plenty of fight in recent games but their defending will have to be top notch if they’re to beat this Liverpool team, especially after finding their scoring boots in their last two outings so should be capable of at least giving the Reds a good game.
Clinical set pieces and solid defending though will likely be the Blades best hope of snatching a win but I can’t see Liverpool losing this if they bring their attacking game.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Sheffield United