Liverpool vs Huddersfield
Referee: Paul Tierney
TV: Sky Sports Main Event
Liverpool play host to relegated Huddersfield in front of their own crowd on Friday night, with the Reds seeking to maintain their momentum in pushing for the Premier League title.
With Manchester City’s successful midweek fixture in the Manchester derby, there are now three matches left to decide who seals the deal for the 2018/19 Premier League season. Jurgen Klopp’s men are still on the march and have been since January for the title, but Manchester City are yet to blink in this engrossing race to the finish.
The Reds saw off Cardiff last weekend in a tricky tie against Neil Warnock’s relegation candidates – the Bluebirds put up a big fight first half but fell short in the second half, as Liverpool prevailed 2-0 away from home.
A Wijnaldum strike and a Milner penalty topped off a good all-round performance as the title chasers topped the pyramid again, before their closest rivals caught up and retook the lead on Wednesday night.
Huddersfield, on the other hand, are rock bottom, having picked up 14 points all season and find themselves on a negative 49 goal difference.
They have one, shock, win against Wolves in their last 20 matches in all competitions. The side have truly struggled since day one of the season and have not once looked like they could stay up ever since. The Championship is therefore their level at this stage and this is where they are heading come next season.
As this one is a Friday match up, Liverpool have the chance again to show they aren’t falling away in this race as they can head to the top of the table by securing a win at Anfield.
Manchester City take on Burnley on Sunday, away from home, which can be seen as a match they should win but possibly not as easily as they would like. Burnley are on a run of four games without defeat, picking up wins against Wolves, Bournemouth and Cardiff before holding Chelsea to a draw at Stamford Bridge on Monday night.
Klopp will look to make an example of Huddersfield in an out and out attacking display. Liverpool’s prolific front three will cause havoc for Huddersfield’s backline and it would be baffling if the Reds couldn’t come away with all three points here.
When the sides met earlier on in the season, the Terriers put up a good display which kept Liverpool at bay for long periods of the game. A 24thminute Mo Salah goal was the only difference.
The Reds have played Huddersfield five times across all competitions in the last 20 years, they have won all five, scoring 11 goals and conceding zero. With their next match being Barcelona on the 1stMay, I can see Liverpool going into this one with a full side and Klopp looking to make changes as early as possible if the Merseysiders are out and clear in the lead.
Liverpool: There is a strong possibility Joe Gomez is given the nod at the back for Klopp as he continues to rack up the minutes ready for the title and Champions League run-ins. Liverpool will be without Oxlade-Chamberlain, who is still in rehabilitation but there are no fresh injury concerns for the Reds at this stage.
Huddersfield: Friday comes too soon for Abdelhamid Sabiri who is lacking match fitness and Jan Siewert will also be without Adama Diakhaby and Laurent Depoitre through hamstring and foot injuries respectively. Other than this, Huddersfield have a clean bill of health since their last encounter.
Predicted Starting XIs
Liverpool (4-3-3) Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, Mane.
Huddersfield (4-4-1-1): Lossl; Smith, Schindler, Kongolo, Durm; Kachunga, Bacuna, Hogg, Mbenza; Mooy; Mounie.
Score Prediction: Liverpool 5 Huddersfield 0
Huddersfield fans look away now, I don’t expect Liverpool to let up in this one and it is a chance for them to close the gap on goal difference between themselves and their arch-rivals this season. I don’t expect Huddersfield to get anywhere near in this one and Liverpool should run riot. I would be shocked for anything less than three goals and a clean sheet.