Nine points clear of the relegation zone and with a vastly superior goal difference on the teams beneath them, Brighton can realistically enjoy a pressure-free end to this season and start looking ahead towards 2020/21.
The same can also be said for tonight’s opponents Liverpool, already crowned Premier League champions and simply playing out the rest of the campaign with various records their only tangible incentive.
The Seagulls have lost all five of their previous Premier League outings against the Reds but they could be facing Jurgen Klopp’s side at the most ideal time – incredibly, Liverpool have failed to win or even score in any of their last five away matches in all competitions, while they looked well off the pace in their last two games against Manchester City and Aston Villa.
Brighton manager Graham Potter confirmed before the game that the injured Jose Izquierdo will not feature for the rest of the season while Steven Alzate continues to be monitored in training and has been “struggling a little bit”, as per Sussex Live. Otherwise, the Seagulls have a full squad available.
Potter went with a 4-1-4-1 setup for the reverse fixture at Anfield in November, when Brighton were narrowly beaten 2-1, and he might deploy the same formation tonight, with only one change in personnel from the team that started Saturday’s win at Norwich:
Mat Ryan keeps his place in goal while the back four is also set to remain unchanged, with a familiar centre-back pairing of Adam Webster and Lewis Dunk, while Dan Burn and Tariq Lamptey occupy the full-back positions. The teenage right-back was lauded by team-mates and fans alike following his performance at Carrow Road, so it should be very intriguing to see how he fares against the Premier League champions.
The one player we expect to come into the team for tonight is Dale Stephens, who only got a late run as a substitute at the weekend and could be placed in the deep-lying midfield role. Ahead of him, Davy Propper and Yves Bissouma retain their places, with Leandro Trossard and Aaron Mooy reprising their wide midfield roles from the win over the Canaries.
Would you rather see Brighton starting with one centre-forward or two?
That would see Potter reverting to the use of a lone striker, a role most likely to be handed to top scorer Neal Maupay as Aaron Connolly makes way after being given a sequence of starts in recent weeks. The likes of Alexis Mac Allister and Pascal Gross could also feature in some capacity tonight, whether as substitutes or among the starters.
Brighton fans, is this the line-up that you expect to see tonight? What changes would you make? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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