It’s no exaggeration to say that Chris Hughton and his Brighton side face one of the toughest tasks in world football this weekend as they travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool. The Reds have started the season superbly, picking up maximum points from their opening two games, scoring six times and not conceding. Jurgen Klopp has built a squad with quality all over the park and their summer additions appear to have turned the Champions League finalists into title contenders in the eyes of many.
However the visitors won’t roll over and expect to be on the end of a hammering, nor will Klopp be expecting an easy game. That’s because the Seagulls showed last time out that they are not to be underestimated after beating Manchester United 3-2. Obviously, the fact that game was at home and this is away will have a major impact but it still proved that Hughton’s men are resolute and have quality of their own to cause trouble against anyone on their day.
Nevertheless, this will be a home banker in the eyes of many but it will be worth watching purely because of the superb football that the Reds have been playing in recent months.
Liverpool vs Brighton & Hove Albion Prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
It’s hard to give Brighton any real hope of getting something, purely because Liverpool are devastating at Anfield. They play with pace, purpose and have arguably the best front three in the game. Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have destroyed many teams in the past 12 months and Brighton will be aware of the challenge that faces them but it’s hard to see how they control that trio, along with Naby Keita who will add more creativity and drive from midfield.
To make matters worse, Liverpool don’t appear to be the soft touch that they once were. Virgil van Dijk is arguably the best defender in the league, a real leader and influential figure that has transformed the defence, whilst Alisson looks assured in goal since making his big-money move. There’s no real weakness and it could be a long evening for Brighton.
Our recommended tip: Liverpool -2
With that in mind, we will back Liverpool to win by three or more goals on the handicap. It might seem a tall order in a Premier League match but the reality is the Reds have the firepower to easily stick four or five past most in this league. They beat West Ham 4-0 without really getting out of second gear and they were actually quite poor going forward against Crystal Palace last time out and won by two.
Importantly for this bet, they are relentless in their style. There’s no sitting back to protect a lead, it’s high intensity football throughout and we could see the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri and Daniel Sturridge get a run out late on, with the duo providing further attacking options from the bench. There should be little problems for Liverpool against the Seagulls and a big win should be on the cards.
Given the contrasting history’s of these two sides, it won’t surprise you to know that this is a fixture that isn’t that regular in English football. In fact, the meeting at Anfield on Saturday evening will be just the 28th between the two sides. As expected, it’s Liverpool who have dominated in that time, winning 15 of the previous encounters.
The Seagulls last win against Liverpool came in 1984 and they head into this game in an alarming run of form against the Reds. Liverpool have won the last three games by an aggregate scoreline of 15-2, so you would forgive Brighton fans if they expected another hiding this time around.
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Players to watch: Naby Keita & Shane Duffy
Keita was a big-money signing for Liverpool and whilst the deal was completed over 12 months ago, this is the first time fans have had the chance to watch him play and it’s fair to say he’s been worth the wait. Blessed with real pace and superb technique and dribbling ability, he beats players with relative ease, loves to commit defenders and is another major attacking threat but from a deeper position. As well as that, he clearly has a great eye for the pass and was involed in several standout moments in the two games he has played so far. The talent is unquestionable and many already see why Klopp was so keen on the player and Keita will see this Brighton game as an ideal chance to get off the mark in his new colours.
For the visitors, they know it’s going to be a very tough evening and if they are to have any chance of getting anything from the game, their defence will have to be terrific. One man sure to be central to that is former Everton man Shane Duffy. He is a towering presence in the backline and showed against Man United that he can pop up with important goals and is a threat in the opposition’s box. He will need to maintain those levels from last week and will probably need to deliver a 10/10 performance if his side are to cause another shock this weekend.