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Premier League | Gameweek 31
Apr 4, 2024 at 7.30pm UK

3 - 1
Sheff Utd

Nunez (17'), Mac Allister (76'), Gakpo (90')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Bradley (58' og.)
McBurnie (87')

Preview: Liverpool vs. Sheffield United - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Liverpool vs. Sheffield United - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Premier League clash between Liverpool and Sheffield United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Premier League leaders Liverpool will endeavour to boost their title hopes when they welcome basement club Sheffield United to Anfield on Thursday night.

The Merseysiders are looking to put the Blades to the sword for the second time this season after claiming a 2-0 victory at Bramall Lane four months ago.

Match preview

For the seventh time this season, Liverpool successfully came from behind to collect maximum points in a Premier League fixture as they beat Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 at Anfield on Easter Sunday.

Danny Welbeck stunned the Kop when he fired the Seagulls into a two-minute lead, but the Reds turned the contest on its head thanks to strikes either side of half time from Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah, the latter eventually netted his 16th league goal of the campaign after having a record 12 shots across the 90 minutes – the most by any player in a single top-flight game thus far.

With nine games remaining, Jurgen Klopp's men sit top of the table and hold the advantage in the enthralling three-way title race, as they - at the time of writing - sit two points clear of second-placed Arsenal and are three points better off than reigning champions Manchester City, who played out a drab goalless draw with the Gunners on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola believes that Liverpool are now the 'clear favourites' to win the title, although it still remains tight at the top and the Reds could lose their spot at the summit if either or both of Arsenal and Man City win their encounters against Luton Town and Aston Villa respectively on Wednesday night.

Liverpool, who have lost just one of their last 22 Premier League games, will be confident of success on Thursday as they are unbeaten in their last 28 top-flight matches at Anfield, winning 17 of those, while they have also won each of their last six league meetings with Sheffield United by an aggregate score of 13-1.

Sheffield United were seemingly on course to pick up just their fourth Premier League victory of the season last weekend when they were leading 3-1 at home to Fulham, courtesy of goals from Ben Brereton Diaz (2) and Oli McBurnie, with just four minutes of normal time remaining.

However, Bobby De-Cordova Reid pulled one back for the Cottagers before in-form striker Rodrigo Muniz scored a spectacular acrobatic goal to restore parity in the 93rd minute and snatch a point from the Blades in dramatic fashion.

Defensive errors once again proved to be Sheffield United's undoing and letting a two-goal lead slip so late in the game was "a difficult one to take" for Chris Wilder, who has just nine matches remaining to help the Blades reduce the seven-point gap to safety.

One small positive to be taken from last weekend's result is that Sheffield United avoided defeat for the second successive game – drawing with both Fulham and Bournemouth – and they head into Thursday's clash at Liverpool having picked up four points from their last three away fixtures, twice as many as they accumulated in their first 11 on the road this season.

Success has been hard to come by at Anfield, though, as the Blades have lost 10 of their last 12 away league meetings with Liverpool – the exceptions being a goalless stalemate back in March 1975 and a 2-1 triumph in April 1994.

Liverpool Premier League form:

Liverpool form (all competitions):

Sheffield United Premier League form:

Team News

Liverpool are still having to cope without Alisson Becker (hamstring), Trent Alexander-Arnold, Diogo Jota, Joel Matip, Ben Doak (all knee), Thiago Alcantara (muscle) and Stefan Bajcetic (calf) as they continue to recover from injury.

Klopp has revealed that Wataru Endo has picked up a knock and will be assessed ahead of kickoff, but both Andrew Robertson and Curtis Jones will return to the matchday squad after recovering from respective knee and shin injuries to take part in training this week.

Ibrahima Konate is in contention to return at centre-back at the expense of Jarell Quansah, while Ryan Gravenberch, Harvey Elliott and Cody Gakpo will also be pushing for a recall after beginning as substitutes last time out, the latter could replace either Diaz or Darwin Nunez if Klopp opts to freshen up his attack.

As for Sheffield United, their packed treatment room includes Chris Basham, John Egan, Max Lowe (all ankle), Rhys Norrington-Davies, Rhian Brewster, Tom Davies (all hamstring), George Baldock (calf) and Daniel Jebbison (illness).

Vinicius Souza was taken off with cramp in the draw with Fulham, and Oliver Arblaster picked up a knock in the same game, so both players will be assessed ahead of kickoff, while Cameron Archer is a doubt even though he has made positive progress in his recovery from a calf problem.

After getting their names on the scoresheet last weekend, both McBurnie and Brereton Diaz are expected to continue in attack, with Will Osula providing cover as a substitute, while Everton loanee Mason Holgate and former Liverpool youngster Jack Robinson are set to join Anel Ahmedhodzic in central defence.

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

Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Grbic; Holgate, Ahmedhodzic, Robinson; Bogle, Souza, Norwood, Hamer, Osborn; Brereton Diaz, McBurnie

We say: Liverpool 5-1 Sheffield United

Sheffield United have laced their shooting boost in their last two matches and will fancy their chances of finding the net against a leaky Liverpool backline that has kept just one clean sheet in their last eight Premier League games and have conceded the first goal in 13 top-flight matches so far this season.

However, the Blades scoring early could poke the bear and spark a rampant Merseyside onslaught in front of a fired-up Anfield crowd. We expect Klopp's side to run away with a comfortable victory and head into the weekend at the summit.

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

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Premier League Table
1Manchester CityMan City32227376324473
4Aston Villa33196868491963
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs32186865491660
6Newcastle UnitedNewcastle321551269521750
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd32155124748-150
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham33139115258-648
10Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton321111105250244
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves32127134651-543
14Crystal Palace3289153754-1733
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3379174258-1626
18Luton TownLuton3367204670-2425
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd3237223084-5416
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