With the international break behind us, Liverpool return to Premier League action with an away game against David Wagner’s Huddersfield Town.
Liverpool will embark on a trip to the John Smith’s Stadium, as they gear up to face off against Huddersfield Town on Saturday, in matchweek nine of the 2018-19 Premier League.
The Reds sit third in the Premier League table following their goalless draw against leaders Manchester City prior to the international break. Jurgen Klopp’s men are unbeaten in their eight league games and will be looking to extend that streak with another victory this weekend.
Huddersfield Town, on the other hand, find themselves stuck in the eighteenth position in the table, having picked up just three points from their eight matches. The Terriers are one of the only three teams yet to register a victory this season and manager David Wagner is under intense pressure to turn things around at the John Smith’s Stadium at the earliest.
Team News & Tactics
The Terriers have been hit with a spate of injuries heading into Saturday’s game. Defender Terence Kongolo is ruled out for the encounter, along with Tommy Smith and Danny Williams, while question marks remain over the availability of Isaac Mbenza, Ramadan Sobhi and Philip Billing. Aaron Mooy and Christopher Schindler are expected to be fit and available.
Wagner is very much likely to set his team up in the 4-2-3-1 formation when Liverpool come visiting. In goal, Polish keeper Jonas Lossl will start for the home team. Erik Durm, a former ward of Klopp during his time at Borussia Dortmund, should get the nod at right-back, while Chris Lowe is likely to be fit and available for selection and should start at left-back.
In the heart of the defence, it will be the established partnership of Schindler and Mathias ‘Zanka’ Jorgensen. Australian international Mooy should take one of the two pivot positions and will be a key presence for the Terriers, with seasoned campaigner Jonathan Hogg expected to team up with him.
Rajiv van La Parra will look to provide the attacking threat from the left flank, while Elias Kachunga could come into the starting XI on the opposite wing. Summer signing Alex Pritchard will occupy the No.10 role and try to create chances and hurt the visitors.
Neither of Steve Mounie and Laurent Depoitre have been in the best of form for Huddersfield this term. However, the latter is likely to keep his spot in the starting lineup for Saturday’s game.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lossl; Durm, Schindler, Jorgensen, Lowe; Hogg, Mooy; Kachunga, Pritchard, La Parra; Depoitre
Liverpool were dealt a number of injury scares following the international break, with Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita all returning with problems during the two-week layoff. However, Salah and Van Dijk are expected to be fit, having trained with the team. James Milner and Mane will also be assessed before the game, but Keita has been ruled out.
There are no changes expected to the 4-3-3 formation that Klopp usually sets his team up in, with Brazilian international Alisson Becker expected to be taking his spot under the sticks.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, who did not start against City, is expected to return at right-back, while Andrew Robertson is a guaranteed starter on the opposite side. Joe Gomez will start in the heart of the defence, with Van Dijk also expected to feature, having overcome his injury troubles, meaning there is no space for Dejan Lovren in the side.
Milner is expected to feature from the get-go as well, having trained with the squad prior to the game, along with Netherlands international Gini Wijnaldum. Captain Jordan Henderson will sit in front of the back four and look to dictate the tempo of the game.
Salah hasn’t been in the best of forms coming into the game, but Klopp will back his star man to come good on Saturday. However, Mane, having recently undergone a minor surgery, might not be risked, with Xherdan Shaqiri expected to feature on the left flank. Roberto Firmino will spearhead the attack for the Reds.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Shaqiri;
- Liverpool are without a win in their last four matches in all competitions, having begun the season with seven consecutive victories.
- Huddersfield Town are without a win against Liverpool in their past 12 meetings in all competitions, drawing three and losing nine. They have failed to score in the last seven of those fixtures since a 1-1 draw at Anfield in April 1962.
- Liverpool need two goals to become the first club to score 100 top-flight goals against the Terriers.
- Huddersfield have not won in 12 Premier League games (D5, L7) – their longest winless league streak since 2000. They are also enduring their longest run without victory from the beginning of a top-flight season.
- Liverpool are one win away from becoming the fourth Premier League team to record 200 Premier League away victories.
1. Huddersfield Asian Handicap +1.5 @ 1.910
2. Under 2.5 Match Goals @ 2.00
3. Liverpool Clean Sheet – YES @ 1.66
1. Huddersfield Clean Sheet – YES @ 8.00
2. Huddersfield to win @ 11.00
Player to watch
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
It has been a slow start to the 2018-19 season for the Egyptian attacker, considering the lofty standards he set for himself last season, when he ran away with the Premier League Golden Boot award. Salah, so far this season, has managed just three goals in eleven appearances across all competitions.
The 26-year-old hasn’t found the back of the net in four games on a trot now, since scoring in Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Southampton last month. Moreover, he has failed to score in his last seven away games for Liverpool in all competitions.
Having recently recovered from an injury he picked up on international duty, the Egyptian will be raring to get back on firing all cylinders again, as Liverpool look to end their four-match winless run.
Huddersfield Town 0-2 Liverpool
Huddersfield Town find themselves in a precarious position very early into the season. The biggest problem for Wagner’s men this term has been the lack of goals – the Terriers have scored just four goals in eight league games this term, which is the joint lowest record along with Cardiff City. They have failed to score in six successive Premier League home matches since April 2018.
On the other hand, Liverpool have the most miserly defence, along with Manchester City, in the Premier League this season, having let in just three goals. In fact, the Reds have faced just 21 shots on target in their eight matches, a record only bettered by City (16).
Liverpool’s attackers might not have hit the form of last season yet, but given the home team’s struggles in front of goal, coupled with the Merseysiders impressive defence, a win for Klopp’s team seems inevitable at the John Smith’s Stadium.