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Mar 30, 2024 10:44 am

Liverpool look to stay hot vs. Brighton & Hove Albion

Liverool, Mohamed Salah

Liverpool look for another victory to keep the pressure on Arsenal and Manchester City in the title race Sunday when they host a Brighton & Hove Albion side that provides plenty of difficulties.

Liverpool enter the weekend behind leaders Arsenal only on goal-difference and a point in front of City, with those two to clash later on Sunday in Manchester.

But the Reds (19-2-7, 64 points) have had trouble against the Seagulls (11-8-9, 42 points), who are unbeaten in their last four matches versus Liverpool.

That includes an enthralling 2-2 draw contested on the South Coast earlier this season, in which Mo Salah’s first-half brace staked Liverpool to a 2-1 lead before Lewis Dunk’s thunderous volley leveled the contest.

“We need a really, really good atmosphere and understanding (of) the game as well because it’s about having possession,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said of Sunday’s challenge. “They want possession, we want possession and it’s about that. We really need to have more possession than in recent games against them — it’s the best way to defend them.”

Brighton manager Roberto de Zerbi is seen as one of the likely candidates to replace Klopp, who announced this winter that this would be his last season in charge of the Reds.

de Zerbi helped the Seagulls to a club-record sixth-place finish last season and their first-ever qualification for European competition. That first continental run finally came to an end before the international break in a 4-1 loss to Roma on aggregate goals in the UEFA Europa League round of 16.

Now the focus is on trying to make sure eighth-place Brighton gets back to European play next season, a goal that would be boosted by another result against a manager de Zerbi says he admires greatly.

“He’s a big man, a big coach, an incredible coach,” de Zerbi said of Klopp while speaking with Sky Sports this week. “I’m sad because he leaves the Premier League, Liverpool. But for us, for younger coaches, for my period of young coaches Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola are the most influential coaches.”

Liverpool could see center back Ibrahima Konate and winger Darwin Nunez return from injury. The former played for France in the international break to end an injury spell. The latter withdrew from duty for Uruguay with an eye toward focusing on his recovery from a hamstring issue.

Meanwhile, Brighton may welcome back club-leading scorer Joao Pedro (eight PL goals) from an extended layoff, as well as veteran defender James Milner.

–Field Level Media

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