Liverpool entertain Hull City this weekend, in a game in which Jurgen Klopp’s men will highly fancy their chances of getting their third league win in a row.
The Reds go into the game in good form, following league wins over Leicester and Chelsea and a comfortable win over Derby in the EFL Cup in mid-week.
Meanwhile, Hull go into the game with question marks still in the air over Mike Phelan’s future at the club and a slight downturn in league form.
A 2-1 away win at Stoke in the EFL Cup will have risen confidence but defeats to Manchester United and Arsenal, as well as a narrow draw with Burnley have meant that a defeat to Liverpool will see Hull in some real need of points again.
This game, played at a new-capacity Anfield, will be seen as an examination of Liverpool’s credentials. After wins over Leicester, Chelsea and Arsenal this season, a defeat to Burnley has raised questions over the Red’s ability to do it to teams who play defensive, and so this game is a barrier Klopp’s side will be wanting to pass.
What else however, can we expect from the game on Saturday? Here’s three things to look out for:
Plenty of Liverpool chances
Which ever attack Klopp chooses for this game, there is no doubt that they will create opportunities. But will they take them? Sadio Mane has a 100% shot accuracy rate this season, but only has two goals to show for it. However, the Senegalese international has created five opportunities for his team-mates, through his constant running-in behind.
Adam Lallana also has a 100% shot accuracy rate and only has two goals to his name. However, the Englishman has created seven chances for his team-mates. Meanwhile, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino have created over 20 chances between them.
All the quick and exciting football is creating chances for the Reds, and there will be plenty on display on Saturday. But can they find a way to make them count?
Hull have been involved in late goals in the last three games, in one way or another. They conceded a late goal to Marcus Rashford and Manchester United to lose the game in the last seconds after a resolute performance. Against Arsenal, they conceded two late goals to finish them off after Robert Snodgrass had got them back in the game from the penalty spot. More recently, Hull scored a late winner against Stoke in the EFL Cup, in what was the last seconds of the match. If this pattern is to continue, it may be worth watching the game until the dying seconds.
Another Curtis Davies quality defensive performance
Hull’s good start to the season came through the most part by quality defending. Davies was at the heart of that, becoming the leader of the team alongside Jake Livermore. With Livermore suspended, it will come down to Davies to lead by example. An average of 73% of his duels won suggests he will do just that, winning challenges and headers as much as possible. Liverpool may create plenty of opportunities and they may even win comfortably, but if Hull do sneak something from this game, it will be down to another defensive masterclass from the Englishman, who has made no defensive errors all season.