Liverpool travel to face a struggling Huddersfield side in the Premier League as the Reds aim to bounce back from their defeat to West Brom.
Huddersfield have had a terrible run leading up to the fixture against Liverpool, with the Terriers winless in the last 6 Premier League games. The run has seen them slip precariously close to being drawn into the relegation battle, with the club now just 2 points above the drop zone.
Liverpool, on the other hand, have suffered back-to-back defeats, to Swansea and West Brom in the Premier League and FA Cup respectively. With the Reds now out of both the domestic cups, Jurgen Klopp will be looking towards his team to not let off any steam in the Premier League.
Liverpool are fourth, 2 points ahead of Tottenham. And, with Spurs set to face Manchester United, they can increase the gap to potentially 5 points with a win over Huddersfield, who themselves would be looking to put some daylight between them and the teams in the relegation battle.
Liverpool ran off comfortable winners in the previous fixture, with goals from Daniel Sturridge, Roberto Firmino and Georginio Wijnaldum. Ahead of their latest meeting, let us take a closer look at the two sides.
Team News & Tactics
Martin Cranie, Terence Kongolo and Danny Williams are doubtful for the match and are likely to join the likes of Jon Gorenc Stankovic and Elias Kachunga as the absentees for the Tuesday fixture.
Danny Williams was forced to come off with a dead leg in their FA Cup match against Birmingham and is unlikely to be fit in time. But, David Wagner would hope centre-back Kongolo is able to overcome his knock and take part in the game.
Liverpool have looked shaky and David Wagner would hope his side can take advantage of the visitors’ clamouring defence. Laurent Depoitre and Tom Ince are likely to be entrusted with the responsibility of spearheading the attack while Aaron Mooy takes the field as more of a converted quarter-back.
All eyes though, will be on fan favourite Zanka, who will partner Christopher Schindler in central defence, and will have the unenviable task of keeping the Liverpool attack at bay.
David Wagner, like Klopp, is unlikely to compromise on his playing style to secure a result and this could be a match where we see the manager pull out one or two tactical ploys in order to surprise his mentor.
The 4-2-3-1 has not worked in recent times and we may see a shift to a 4-1-4-1 or a 4-1-3-2 in order to win the midfield battle.
Probable Lineup (4-1-3-2): Lossl; Smith, Zanka, Schindler, Malone; Mooy; Ince, Pritchard, Van La Parra; Depoitre, Mounie
Jordan Henderson took some part in the narrow FA Cup loss to West Brom and is likely to start against Huddersfield on Tuesday. But, Jurgen Klopp is likely to make a few other changes to the lineup that lost to West Brom.
Loris Karius will mostly replace Simon Mignolet as the goalkeeper for the game, while we could see Joe Gomez and Andrew Robertson return to guard either flank. In midfield, Klopp will have to choose whether to start his captain Jordan Henderson.
The Liverpool attacking trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah is likely to be ordered to wreak havoc on the Terriers’ defence. There have been calls to bench Mane after his shoddy display against West Brom. But, Klopp is likely to trust him again on Tuesday.
Like always, Klopp will direct his side to be their unrelenting self in attack while trying to put on an improved display at the back. Their defence still looks susceptible to counters and set-pieces, something they would gradually look to correct, atleast the defending from set-pieces, with the arrival of Virgil van Dijk, who himself would look to put in an improved shift.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Karius; Gomez, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Chamberlain, Henderson, Can; Salah, Firmino, Mane
1. Liverpool Asian Handicap -1.5 @ 2.030
2. Liverpool to score in both halves @ 2.00
1. Over 4.5 Match Goals @ 5.50
1. Liverpool have failed to score in and win their last two matches on a Tuesday (0-1 vs Hull in April 2015 and 0-2 vs Leicester in February 2016).
2. Second-half struggles – Huddersfield have scored the fewest (7) and conceded the most number of goals (30) in the Premier League after the half-time.
3. Huddersfield have scored just 2 goals in their last 5 Premier League games, a huge contrast to Liverpool, who have smashed in 13 in the same number of matches.
4. Mohamed Salah has 4 goals and 3 assists to his name in his last 5 Premier League games.
5. Huddersfield are winless in their last 11 encounters against Liverpool in all competitions, with their last win dating back to 1959.
Player to Watch
The Senegalese was subject to much criticism for his performance over the weekend and he would be eager to rectify it soon. His impact has been marginalised a bit since Salah’s arrival in the summer. But, Mane remains a key member of the squad and he will be keen to show the critics that the wasteful performance against West Brom was just a one-off.
Huddersfield 2-4 Liverpool
Liverpool and their struggles against weaker teams have become more than just a frustrating habit. It is now beginning to stifle their campaigns. Jurgen Klopp though, will be looking for a response from his team, after the abysmal display against West Brom.
Both the sides will be eager to win and Liverpool’s shaky defence is likely to ensure a goal glut on Tuesday. But, it will be a goal glut that Liverpool will manage to win, at least that is what we predict to happen on Tuesday.