May 13, 2018 at 3pm UK at ​Anfield
Attendance: 50,752
Liverpool
4-0
BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion
Salah (26'), Lovren (40'), Solanke (53'), Robertson (85')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Preview: Liverpool vs. Brighton & Hove Albion - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews the final day of Premier League action as Liverpool welcome the visit of relegation survivors Brighton & Hove Albion to Anfield.

Liverpool take on Brighton & Hove Albion at Anfield as Jurgen Klopp's men seek to wrap up Champions League qualification on the final day of the Premier League season.

As for the travelling Seagulls, Chris Hughton's charges are already safe following a memorable win over Manchester United last Friday, but will be hoping to end their closing game on a high having been beaten by Manchester City midweek.


Liverpool

Victor Moses battles with Trent Alexander-Arnold during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Liverpool on May 6, 2018© Offside

Liverpool move into their final game of the Premier League season still requiring a positive result against Brighton & Hove Albion in order to claim a top-four finish.

The narrative surrounding the Reds has centred on the club's remarkable march into the Champions League final where they will meet Real Madrid, but since the club entered into the latter stages of the European tournament, Klopp has seen his side struggle domestically.

With a squad knocked by injuries and arguably suffering from slight fatigue during the dying embers of the campaign, Liverpool now find themselves with just one victory in five games across all competitions. In the league, the Reds are without a win in three matches.

Klopp's charges have had to endure frustrating draws against both West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City of late, before losing out to Chelsea in a 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge last weekend. Victory for Antonio Conte's men leaves Liverpool just two points clear of Chelsea going into the final day of the season.

A point could be enough for the Reds depending on how Chelsea fare against Newcastle United, but Klopp will want to get back to winning ways in the club's last competitive match before taking on Madrid in Kiev at the end of the month.

Regardless of Liverpool's recent league struggles, the Reds have been in standout form when competing at Anfield this season and are now trying to go a whole season unbeaten at home across a top-flight term for the seventh time.

Welcoming Brighton, Klopp's charges also know that they have some rather impressive form when taking on newly-promoted sides. The Reds have not lost in 21 home Premier League matches against teams just promoted from the Championship.

Standout forward Mohamed Salah has gone slightly off the boil and is without a goal in his last two league games. The Egyptian striker needs just one more goal to break the record for the most scored in a 38-game Premier League campaign.

Recent form: WDWDDL
Recent form (all competitions): WDWDLL


Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton watches on during his side's Premier League clash with Crystal Palace at the Amex Stadium on November 28, 2017© SilverHub

Hughton takes his side up north having achieved Premier League safety during their first campaign in the league, courtesy of a monumental victory over United last weekend.

Hughton has arguably performed miracles with this Seagulls side and the manager will now go down as one of the most popular in the club's history. Brighton's success this term has been built on pragmatism and a collective approach to defending.

The club's fortunes had looked on a knife's edge considering that the Seagulls' last three games set them up against United, Manchester City and Liverpool, but Hughton was able to pull off a masterstroke before the pressure was acutely upon them by finding a way beyond Jose Mourinho's men.

The Seasiders will now head to Anfield buoyed with a new sense of belonging and confidence after securing safety, but Hughton will not be able to ignore his side's frailties on the road this term.

As things stand, Brighton are now on a 12-game winless run in away fixtures. The last time Albion won out on their travels was back in November, when they beat Swansea City in Wales.

Crucial to the club's survival this season has been the resurgent form of frontman Glenn Murray, and the 34-year-old is coming up against a club that he has enjoyed particular success against.

The veteran frontman has found himself directly involved in a goal in all three of his meetings with Liverpool in the Premier League, having scored twice and set up another when taking on the Reds in recent years.

The Seagulls are yet to win a competitive fixture against Liverpool in contemporary history and Hughton will know that the odds are stacked slightly against his side following the euphoria of the win over United. Whatever the result, though, the Brighton faithful will have much to celebrate over the approaching summer months.

Recent form: DLDDWL


Team News

Mohamed Salah and Victor Moses in action during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Liverpool on May 6, 2018© Offside

Hughton could name almost the same side that was defeated by Manchester City on Wednesday evening, although Murray may come in up top for Leonardo Ulloa.

Brighton's only injury issue is with Steve Sidwell, who has missed a number of games after picking up an ankle injury that has left the veteran midfielder out since January.

For the visiting Reds, Klopp does not have too many options to rotate despite the looming clash with Real in a few weeks. Salah should start as he aims to break the scoring record and he may be supported by Sadio Mane and Danny Ings, while Roberto Firmino could be rested.

There will likely be no respite for Liverpool's midfield trio of James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum as Klopp aims to seal a top-four spot without any shocks from Chelsea.

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Karius; Alexander-Arnold, van Dijk, Lovren, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Mane, Ings

Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:
Ryan; Bruno, Duffy, Dunk; Bong; Knockaert, Stephens, Propper, Izquierdo; Gross; Murray


Head To Head

The clubs' only Premier League meeting came in the reverse of this fixture earlier in the season. The Reds claimed a commanding 5-1 victory down on the south coast, Firmino bagging a brace at the Amex.

Prior to that, Liverpool also beat Brighton 6-1 at Anfield in the FA Cup during the 2011-12 campaign, building from a 2-1 League Cup win at Brighton earlier during the same season.

After 37 games this term, Liverpool have won 20, drawn 12 and lost five, while Brighton have won nine, drawn 13 and lost 15 games.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Liverpool 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

Klopp has little choice but to go with a side close to full strength as the Reds aim to wrap up another season in the Champions League ahead of the final in Ukraine.

Beyond European qualification, Salah also has the chance to break a Premier League record with what could prove to be at least his 32nd goal of the campaign.

Brighton have already secured safety and will likely be playing for pride and the outside chance of pulling down another giant when they travel to Anfield.


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Who will win Sunday's final-day clash between Liverpool and Brighton & Hove Albion?

Liverpool
Draw
Brighton & Hove Albion
Liverpool
77.5%
Draw
10.0%
Brighton & Hove Albion
12.5%
Steven Gerrard in charge of Liverpool under-19s on February 21, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City3832421062779100
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd38256768284081
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs38238774363877
4Liverpool382112584384675
5Chelsea382171062382470
6Arsenal381961374512363
7Burnley381412123639-354
8Everton381310154458-1449
9Leicester CityLeicester381211155660-447
10Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38128183947-844
11Crystal Palace381111164555-1044
12Bournemouth381111164561-1644
13West Ham UnitedWest Ham381012164868-2042
14Watford38118194464-2041
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38913163454-2040
16Huddersfield TownHuddersfield38910192858-3037
17Southampton38715163756-1936
RSwansea CitySwansea3889212856-2833
RStoke CityStoke38712193568-3333
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38613193156-2531

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