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Club News


12 January 2019

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton insists that achieving a positive result against Liverpool this afternoon would highlight just how far the team has come since their 5-1 defeat at the Amex Stadium last season.

The Reds top the Premier League table ahead of their visit to the south coast, but have lost their opening two matches of 2019, most recently losing to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Emirates FA Cup.

Liverpool inflicted Albion’s heaviest defeat of last season, but after narrowly losing 1-0 to the Merseyside club back in August, Hughton assessed his team’s chances of going one better this time around.

He said, “A Liverpool team coming here and playing at their best, it’s incredibly difficult to do anything about that.

“It goes without saying that a good day for us would have to be us playing somewhere near our best and Liverpool not playing so well.

“We have to remember we’re in decent form, we’re at home and we have to take any of the advantages that we can.

“At this moment, Liverpool are the best team in the league. Their league position says that. I thought we did really well up at Anfield this season.

“But we can also remember the game at the Amex last season. They were outstanding on the break and we found it difficult to cope with them.

“It’s a great challenge for us, and anything that we can get would show how far we’ve come over this period of time.”

Virgil van Dijk has already helped Liverpool to 12 clean sheets in the Premier League this season, and Hughton praised the Dutchman, while also speaking about the importance of Albion’s centre-half partnership.

“What van Dijk is to Liverpool, that’s exactly what our two [Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk] are to us.

“We know what level he is, but if I’m looking at this level of club and having two outstanding centre-halves, ours are as valuable to us as what he is to them.

“But what Van Dijk has done is adapt incredibly well, and our centre-halves will no doubt look at the best around and what they can learn from those players.

“With Lewis, he’s already spoke about John Terry as a player he admires. At the moment, he’s [Van Dijk] a great role model as well, he doesn’t miss many games and he’s a top all-round player.”

Hughton also highlighted the impressive job Jurgen Klopp has done at Anfield, with the German leading the Reds to the UEFA Champions League Final last season and currently leading the race for the Premier League title.

“He’s been outstanding for the game here. When you look at the top teams, and we’ve experienced it home and away, they are the top teams because they have the best players.

“When you see how hard they work without the ball, to get the ball back with the quality they show, it’s orchestrated and demanded by the manager.

“This season shows what a great job he has done. He’s made good decisions this season — van Dijk could arguably be the signing of the season and they’ve got a goalkeeper that’s come in and been outstanding.

“They’re better prepared than any other time, with the quality that they’ve got, but it’s all led by Jurgen Klopp. They’re a great team to watch.”

Fans can watch the manager’s full look ahead to today's game against Liverpool on Seagulls TV above – and supporters can sign up to the service by clicking here.

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