After a slow start to the season, Liverpool will be desperate to secure three points on Saturday, however they face a tough opponent in Brighton who they have defeated just once across the last four meetings.
After nearly a month without a Premier League fixture, Liverpool return to action this weekend when they welcome high-flying Brighton to Anfield.
The Reds have made their worst start to a new season since the 2015/16 campaign after winning only two of their opening six league encounters. They did bounce back from a heavy Champions League defeat to Napoli though by securing a late 2-1 victory over Ajax at Anfield before the international break.
Jurgen Klopp’s men will now look to build some momentum in the league and try to claw back some of the gap between them and the division’s early pacesetters. Brighton, though, represent a far from ideal opponent in which to try and start a winning run.
They have lost only one of their opening six league matches and start the weekend inside the top four, just five points behind top-of-the-table Arsenal, with a game in hand. Not only are they in great form, but they also boast having gone undefeated in each of their last two visits to Anfield (W1, D1).
A big question, though, and a potential source of optimism for Liverpool, is how will they fare now without the new Chelsea boss Graham Potter. His philosophy on the south coast was heavily centred around fluid and expansive football. He made use of good technical profiles and coached them to be apt at making clever movements off the ball to help create overloads and expose team weaknesses.
One of the things they exposed well against Liverpool, particularly in last season’s 2-2 draw at Anfield, was beating the Reds’ high defensive line. On several occasions, late runs from deep saw Brighton attackers beat the offside trap and get through one-against-one on Alisson’s goal. The Seasiders registered six shots on target in that game, the joint most Liverpool faced across the whole of last season.
With Potter now gone, it’ll be interesting to see whether new manager Roberto De Zerbi can help implement a game plan that brings about similar success.
De Zerbi attracted most of his initial plaudits at the Italian side Benevento where he instilled a possession-based and attacking style of football. He suffered relegation from Serie A during his only season in charge, yet his commitment to playing this brand of football attracted the attention of fellow Serie A side Sassuolo.