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Premier League | Gameweek 30
Mar 31, 2024 at 2pm UK

2 - 1

Diaz (27'), Salah (65')
Mac Allister (14'), van Dijk (50'), Gomez (58'), Endo (88'), Gakpo (90+5')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Welbeck (2')
Gross (20'), Welbeck (48'), Paul van Hecke (71')

Preview: Liverpool vs. Brighton & Hove Albion - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Liverpool vs. Brighton & Hove Albion - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League clash between Liverpool and Brighton & Hove Albion, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Roberto De Zerbi's prospective Liverpool audition is scheduled for 2pm on Easter Sunday, as Brighton & Hove Albion arrive at Anfield for a Premier League date with the Reds.

Reeling from losing out on one of their prime managerial candidates, the hosts can put smiles back on the Kop's faces by returning to the top of the pile, for a couple of hours at least.

Match preview

The red carpet has been ready and waiting for Xabi Alonso ever since Jurgen Klopp dropped his resignation bombshell in January, but Liverpool are now coincidentally resigned to missing out on the Bayer Leverkusen boss, who intends to spend one more season with the Bundesliga leaders.

As Fenway Sports Group - spearheaded by new CEO of Football and ex-Liverpool director Michael Edwards - analyse their list of alternatives, Sunday's hosts have crucial matters to attend to on the field following the international break, which they entered on the back of having their quadruple dreams crushed.

Manchester United's enthralling 4-3 FA Cup quarter-final win means that Klopp may now only win three pieces of silverware during his farewell parade - still an astounding feat indeed - and Liverpool need only take a point off of Brighton to leapfrog Arsenal into top spot before the Gunners and Manchester City butt heads in the headline act.

Manchester-based disappointment was the theme for the Reds in March, as their controversial 1-1 home draw with the Citizens - where Jeremy Doku escaped conceding a late penalty for a high boot into Alexis Mac Allister's chest - snapped a four-game winning run in the Premier League, although their exceptional streak without defeat remains alive and well.

Indeed, Liverpool are now unbeaten in 26 straight top-flight games at Anfield since Leeds United's shock success 17 months ago, and all of the Reds' triumphs in front of their own fans this season have seen Klopp's men breach their opposition's goal at least twice.

With Alonso ostensibly out of the Liverpool managerial picture, Brighton head coach De Zerbi is believed to be one of two fallback options for the Reds - the other being Sporting Lisbon's Ruben Amorim - and putting another dent in the hosts' title aspirations may simultaneously benefit his prospects of obtaining the top job.

The highly-rated Italian's abilities have often been called into question throughout 2023-24, as consistency has consistently eluded Brighton while they juggle Europa League and Premier League commitments, but their first successive wins of 2024 arrived just before the international window.

A 1-0 Premier League triumph over Nottingham Forest - albeit one also marred by officiating controversy - preceded an identical beating of Roma in the Europa League, although the latter result was little more than a pick-me-up following their 4-0 first-leg embarrassment.

With continental glory no longer possible, the Seagulls have nothing but top-flight commitments to focus on for the next two months and are still in pursuit of Europe via a top-seven finish; eighth place in the table is currently theirs, with a game in hand on West Ham United in seventh spot.

Brighton fans cannot take encouragement from De Zerbi's away record against the top 10, though - the Italian has only managed to take five such points from 33 on offer against teams in the higher half of the standings - although they arrive on Merseyside with a four-match unbeaten run to boast against De Zerbi's potential future employers.

Liverpool Premier League form:

Liverpool form (all competitions):

Brighton & Hove Albion Premier League form:

Brighton & Hove Albion form (all competitions):

Team News

Most of Liverpool's stricken men will not force their way back into contention for Sunday's game, which Stefan Bajcetic (calf), Joel Matip (knee), Ben Doak (knee), Thiago Alcantara (muscle), Diogo Jota (knee), Trent Alexander-Arnold (knee) and Alisson Becker (hamstring) are all guaranteed to miss.

The Reds did not emerge unscathed during the international break either, as Andrew Robertson - not for the first time this season - hurt himself on Scotland duty, this time on his ankle, but he has avoided a serious issue and has not been ruled out of Sunday's game just yet; the same goes for Curtis Jones (shin).

It would not be a shock to see Joe Gomez fulfil left-back duties this weekend, though, while Darwin Nunez should recover from the thigh niggle which he picked up in the cup loss to Man United; Cody Gakpo and Luis Diaz both shook off their concerns to represent their countries this month, as did Ibrahima Konate.

Regarding Brighton's injury situation, the long-term trio of Solly March (knee), Jack Hinshelwood (foot) and Kaoru Mitoma (back) will remain in the medical bay for some time, and question marks are hovering above the heads of two players on opposite ends of the age spectrum.

Former Liverpool midfielder James Milner is a doubt for the reunion with his old club due to his thigh issue, while Joao Pedro is also uncertain due to a similar problem, but Julio Enciso is gradually building up his fitness again and played 53 minutes of the recent beating of Roma.

De Zerbi should see little reason to disrupt the harmony after that noteworthy success over the Italian giants, meaning that one erstwhile Reds man in Adam Lallana ought to reprise his role in the first XI.

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Kelleher; Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez; Szoboszlai, Endo, Mac Allister; Salah, Nunez, Diaz

Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:
Verbruggen; Lamptey, Van Hecke, Dunk, Estupinan; Gross, Gilmour; Adingra, Lallana, Fati; Welbeck

We say: Liverpool 3-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

The outcome of Sunday's game should not dictate whether De Zerbi is indeed invited to interview for the Liverpool job, but the Italian's record away from home against top-half Premier League teams makes for grim reading.

The Seagulls have had Liverpool's number in recent times, but the break certainly came at a more opportune time for the hosts, who have our backing to - at least momentarily - rise to the summit via a convincing success.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Premier League Table
CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916
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