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Key men Virgil van Dijk and Alisson are both injured and with Fabiano putting in a man-of-the-match performance away at Ajax on Wednesday, Jurgen Klopp is unlikely to rush the injury-prone Joel Matip back into action, especially after seeing cover in Dejan Lovren depart the club this summer.
He also has a slight concern in midfield with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also sidelined, while with Curtis Jones replaced at half-time on his Champions League debut, he may be replaced by one of Naby Keita, Thiago or James Milner, as the first of those two are slight injury doubts themselves.
Liverpool aren’t the only team to be afflicted by absentees and Sheffield Utd face a similar problem, with Chris Wilder omitting key centre-back Jack O’Connell from his Premier League squad.
The 26-year-old suffered injury on the eve of Project Restart, after which Sheffield Utd’s form deteriorated sharply.
They’re now in fact W3-D4-L10 in all competitions since then, including seven defeats from their last eight in the league alone, while the Blades will also have to make do without other important players Lys Mousset, John Fleck and Max Lowe.
Liverpool To Win To Nil
Although Liverpool’s long-term prospects are going to be hampered by the absence of van Dijk, this may not be one of those in which they drop points.
Indeed, nine of Sheffield Utd’s 14 wins since promotion have come at Bramall Lane, including each of the last five, as six of their last seven road trips have ended in defeat.
They’ve failed to score more than once in any of their past 13 on their travels now, while last term they drew blanks in all but one of their visits to the top five finishers.
A clean sheet midweek at Ajax will have eased some nerves and in fact, Liverpool have shut their opponents out each of the last four times Fabinho has started at centre-back – including further clashes with Bayern and Chelsea.
It’s also hard to ignore their record at Anfield where they’re now unbeaten in 61 league games as they last tasted defeat to Palace in April 2017, with 27 of the last 28 ending in victories.
The home win is understandably a short price, but the win to nil is attractive at nearly evens, with Liverpool winning 1-0 at Brammall Lane and 2-0 back at Anfield last term.
A repeat 2-0 win at this venue also looks tempting given the nature of the Blades’ defeats in their top-flight stay.
13 of their last 15 losses have seen them fail to score as six ended 1-0, five 2-0 and further two 3-0, while Liverpool have scored twice at a minimum in each of their last seven league matches.
The Reds’ backline should expect a thorough examination in the coming weeks as they face an in-form West ham, Man City and Leicester, but this should be a more straightforward task.