Brighton host Liverpool at the AMEX on Saturday in the FA Cup fourth round. The Seagulls have netted six goals against the Reds this season already in a 3-3 draw at Anfield and a 3-0 home win. Liverpool have won once in their last five matches, a 1-0 win at Wolves in the third round replay of this competition.
Roberto De Zerbi has Brighton playing some superb football. Their last 11 matches in all competitions have yielded seven wins and they claimed some big scalps in that run. They beat Chelsea 4-1 at home as well as knocking Arsenal (albeit not at full strength) out of the Carabao Cup, 3-1. They surprisingly lost 2-1 at home to Aston Villa before the World Cup.
Since the hiatus ended, they’ve been one of the Premier League’s most in-form and exciting sides. Their last six matches (all competitions) have seen four wins with 19 goals scored. They won 3-1 at Southampton, lost 4-2 to Arsenal, won 4-1 at Everton and won 5-1 at Middlesbrough. A 3-0 home win followed against Liverpool before drawing 2-2 at Leicester last time out.
Brighton Team News
Levi Colwill is injured in defence and Adam Lallana went off against Leicester with a problem. Both will miss this match whilst Jakub Moder remains unavailable and Leandro Trossard has been sold to Arsenal.
De Zerbi is expected to play his best XI with a full week between league matches either side of this. Joel Veltman could replace Lallana with Pascal Gross reverting to a midfield role. Jan Paul Van Hecke or Adam Webster will play alongside Lewis Dunk at the back. Young striker Evan Ferguson has scored in three of his last five appearances and will compete with Danny Welbeck for a place up front.
De Zerbi’s side will play like a big team, taking the game to Liverpool and looking to dominate possession. They had two thirds of the ball in the recent 3-0 league win against Jurgen Klopp and will be looking for a repeat of that.
A win and knocking out Liverpool will give real optimism of their chance of reaching a cup final in May.
Liverpool looks a shadow of themselves in recent weeks. They’ve lost four of their last nine league matches, having seen Nottingham Forest and Leeds beat them in October. They bounced back to win four matches in a row but that just papered over the cracks. Since the World Cup, it’s three wins in eight in all competitions.
Their last five fixtures have seen a single win with the defence and attack both not clicking at all. A 3-1 loss at Brentford saw them exposed on set plays before a 2-2 home draw with Wolves in the FA Cup. They were then beaten 3-0 at Brighton in humbling fashion before beating Wolves 1-0 in the cup replay. Their last match saw a low-quality 0-0 home draw with Chelsea.
Liverpool Team News
There are some key injuries that are still hampering Liverpool including key defender Virgil Van Dijk and winger Luis Diaz. Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino are also absent but Darwin Nunez is fit to start, likely alongside Cody Gakpo and Mohamed Salah.
Usual key men like Joel Matip, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson were all benched for the Chelsea match and will hope for a starting XI spot in this one. Joe Gomez, James Milner (at right back), Stefan Bajčetić and Naby Keita all started the last match without impressing.
It is expected that Klopp will go with what he considers his best current XI. It will have been eight days since facing Chelsea and a week between this match and going to Wolves, so there is no reason to rest players.
Liverpool’s famed “Gegenpressing” game has all but disappeared this season. They will be a bit warier having been thrashed by Brighton two weeks ago and may even consider a draw (and a replay) to be a decent outcome.
Brighton have scored 29 goals in their last 11 matches (all comps)
Brighton have conceded in 11/13 PL matches under De Zerbi (22 conceded)
Brighton have won 5 of their last 8 matches (PL)
Liverpool have lost 4 of their last 9 PL matches
LFC have conceded in 7 of their last 8 PL matches
LFC have conceded six goals vs Brighton this season (2 matches)
This should be a good watch. Liverpool looked devoid of confidence and quality vs Chelsea and Brighton are playing some sensational stuff. The hosts are favourites and if they pick their best XI, they have every chance of knocking the Reds out.
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at 1.62
Alternative Bet: Brighton Win at 2.60
Multiplier Leg: Brighton/draw double chance + over 1.5 goals at 1.95
High Value Single Bet: Both teams to score in both halves at 9.00