Liverpool vs Hull City: Match preview and predicted line-ups
Hull City have never beaten Liverpool at Anfield as they had to the Merseyside ground this weekend, but given their only two victories up against the Reds have come in the last four games between the two sides. Saturday afternoon will see Mike Phelan take his Tigers side to Liverpool as they seek to maintain a positive start which sees them comfortably sitting in 12th position following play-off promotion last season. Liverpool, on the other hand, are six places higher and will be looking to prove their abilities against the lower sides of the league after falling to defeat at Burnley.
Liverpool finally seem to have found some form after an inconsistent start to the campaign. Their biggest worry will come in that their only game against a bottom half side, Burnley, resulted in their only defeat this season. On the other hand, Jurgen Klopp has seen his team defeat Arsenal, Chelsea and Leicester convincingly, whilst picking up a promising point at White Hart Lane against Spurs. EFL Cup victory saw a rotated line-up see off the challenge of Derby County, with some of the side’s bigger stars expected back in action on Saturday afternoon.
Hull meanwhile have enjoyed a good start to the season despite low hopes and expectations. Beginning the season with victories over Leicester and Swansea set the side up well, but results have become less impressive since, with defeats to Manchester United and Arsenal either side of a draw up against Burnley at Turf Moor. Midweek saw the Tigers pick up a last gasp victory against a struggling Stoke side to see them through in the cup to face Bristol City in the next round.
Liverpool predicted starting XI Hull predicted starting XI
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Liverpool are expected to return to a line-up more similar to that which lined up against Chelsea last week. Simon Mignolet will, for now, retain his place in the starting line-up, but Jurgen Klopp is unlikely to risk Daniel Sturridge after the striker missed much of the week’s training with a slight injury. Philippe Coutinho, who impressed at Derby, will line up alongside a fit again Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane up front.
Hull have named an unchanged line-up for every game this season but will be forced into at least one change with Jake Livermore serving a suspension for his sending-off at Arsenal last weekend, Harry Maguire is expected to take his place. Ryan Mason may also push for a start after a good performance in midweek but is unlikely to start.
Suspensions and Injuries
For Liverpool, Emre Can may return to the bench having overcome an ankle injury, but Jurgen Klopp is in no rush to hurry the German midfielder back. Adam Lallana and Georgino Wijnaldum missed out on EFL Cup action at Derby as precautions but have trained fully since the fixture, and Daniel Sturridge is also back in training and expected to be available. Defender Mamadou Sakho and young midfielder Sheyi Ojo are close to comebacks and are back in training, whilst Joe Gomez is now training on his own as he nears a return to fitness.
Hull’s injury crisis finally seems to be easing, and they are expected to only be missing those out with long term injuries. Jake Livermore will continue to serve a suspension for his sending off against Arsenal last weekend. Michael Dawson, who scored the winning goal the last time these two sides met in April 2015, is nearing a return but will not be fit enough to play any role against Liverpool, whilst fellow defender Alex Bruce is expected to return in December, with Moses Odubajo and Allan McGregor expected back in January.
It’s impossible to see past the attacking options that Liverpool have for this fixture. Having conceded four against Arsenal last weekend, it seems unlikely that Curtis Davies and co. will be able to replicate their form of the start of the season and hold the likes of Mane, Firmino, Coutinho and Sturridge at bay. We’re going for a Liverpool win.
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