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Match Previews

PREVIEW: BERNARDO TO MISS LIVERPOOL TEST

10 January 2019

Paul Hazlewood
Bernardo drives forward at the Vitality Stadium.

Brighton & Hove Albion welcome the Premier League leaders - Liverpool - to the Amex Stadium on Saturday afternoon, as Chris Hughton’s side look to extend their four-match unbeaten run, kick-off 3pm.

The Seagulls have taken five points from their last three top-flight matches and progressed to the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup with a 3-1 victory over AFC Bournemouth last weekend.

Liverpool have opened 2019 with consecutive defeats, losing their first Premier League match of the season against Manchester City before Wolverhampton Wanderers knocked the Reds out of the FA Cup.

Albion travelled to Anfield back in August for their second away game of the campaign, and Mohammed Salah’s first-half strike was the difference between the sides, as the Seagulls mounted a spirited performance.

TEAM NEWS

Hughton confirmed that Bernardo (hamstring) will miss this weekend's match against the Premier League leaders, while Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Asian Cup) and Jose Izquierdo (knee) will also be unavailable.

Liverpool have a big injury list heading into Saturday’s game, including Virgil Van Dijk (illness) and Jordan Henderson (knock), who are both doubtful for the match at the Amex.

Dejan Lovren (hamstring), Adam Lallana (muscle), Joel Matip (collar bone), Joe Gomez (ankle) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee) are all sidelined for the Reds.

FORM

The Seagulls came from behind to draw against Arsenal on Boxing Day, before taking all three points when Everton visited the Amex Stadium, with Jurgen Locadia firing the winning goal.

Albion then found themselves 2-0 up against West Ham United at the London Stadium, thanks to goals from Dale Stephens and Shane Duffy, but the Hammers hit back twice to earn a point.

Hughton’s men turned their attention to an Emirates FA Cup trip to the Vitality Stadium, and goals from Anthony Knockaert, Yves Bissouma and Florin Andone put the Seagulls in the hat for the next round.

The Reds ended 2018 in fine form, winning 4-0 against Newcastle United and beating Arsenal 5-1 at Anfield before the turn of the year.

But a 2-1 defeat Manchester City ended Liverpool’s 20-game unbeaten start to the league season, before Jurgen Klopp’s side crashed out of the FA Cup, losing 2-1 against Wolves at Molineux.

LAST TIME WE MET

Albion travelled to Anfield in confident mood after beating Manchester Uno3-2 at the Amex, but last season’s top goalscorer in the Premier League, Salah, found the back of the net after 23 minutes.

Knockaert went close for the Seagulls shortly after the break, but the Frenchman fired narrowly wide after linking up well with Glenn Murray in the final third.

Pascal Gross had his team’s best opportunity to level the game in the 88th minute, as he powered a header towards goal form Martin Montoya’s cross, but Reds shot-stopper Allison made a crucial save.




LAST TIME OUT: ALBION

BOURNEMOUTH 1
Pugh 55

ALBION 3
Knockaert 31
Bissouma 34
Andone 64

Albion line-up: Steele; Bruno (Montoya 87), Balogun, Duffy, Bong; Kayal, Bissouma, Stephens; Knockaert (Gyokeres 90), Locadia (March 73), Andone.

Subs not used: Button (GK), Burn, Propper, Murray.




LAST TIME OUT: LIVERPOOL

WOLVES 2
Jimenez 38
Neves 55

LIVERPOOL 1
Origi 51

Liverpool line-up: Mignolet; Camacho, Fabinho, Lovren (Hoever 6), Moreno; Milner, Keita, Jones (Salah 70), Shaqiri; Sturridge (Firmino 70), Origi.

Subs not used: Kelleher (GK), Mane, Christie-Davies, Alexander-Arnold.




PLAYER TO WATCH: Mohamed Salah

The former Chelsea player took the Premier League by storm after returning to England for a second spell last season, joining Liverpool from Serie A side Roma.

Salah found the back of the net 44 times in 52 matches across all competitions, which included 32 goals in Liverpool’s league campaign and ten strikes in their journey to the UEFA Champions League Final.

The 26-year-old has continued his fine form in front of goal this season, scoring 13 goals in his opening 21 league matches of the season, while also laying on eight goals for his team-mates.

The Egyptian was the match-winner when Hughton’s side visited Anfield earlier this season, and also scored in Liverpool’s 4-0 win over the Seagulls in the final game of the 2017/18 campaign.


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