EPL Betting Preview: Brighton vs. Liverpool – Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019
Matchup at a Glance
When: Saturday, January 12, 2019, at 10:00 AM
Where: The American Express Community Stadium, Falmer, near Brighton and Hove, England.
Odds: Brighton +863, Draw +414, Liverpool -361 @ MyBookie
Whereas Brighton is aiming to extend a four-match unbeaten run, leaders Liverpool will be keen to respond after back-to-back defeats in all competitions.
Chris Hughton is looking for his first league point against Liverpool as a manager at the seventh attempt – he lost the past six.
Before their first meeting of the season (in late August), Brighton boss stated Liverpool must be regarded as genuine Premier League title contenders and it seems the Irishman wasn't wrong.
Jurgen Klopp's side finally lost a Premier League game when the Reds succumbed to Manchester City last week and it's certain they won't repeat Arsenal's invincibility. However, the Merseysiders can once again increase their lead to seven points, at least until Monday night, if they maintain their good form against Brighton.
Head-to-Head Balance (H2H)
The 1-0 loss at Anfield earlier this season was actually the most acceptable result of Chris Hughton's managerial career against Liverpool. It has been preceded by some dreadful defeats with a 5-2 loss (Norwich vs Liverpool, September 2012) being the least negative result.
In addition to the aforementioned August game, the Seagulls have never won a home game against Liverpool in the top flight. The Merseysiders won the last five competitive meetings between these two clubs, including both convincing victories (5-1 away, 4-0 home) during the 2017-18 campaign.
Furthermore, Jurgen Klopp's men have won their last eight Premier League encounters kicking off at 3 pm (British time) on a Saturday, with seven of those victories coming by a margin of at least three goals.
Mohamed Salah, whose first-half strike won the three points for Liverpool in the reverse match, has scored twice and assisted twice in his three league appearances against Brighton.
On the other hand, Lewis Dunk (Brighton center-back) has scored an own goal in two of his previous three appearances against Liverpool.
Brighton – Team News
Unbeaten in their last four matches in both domestic competitions, winning two and drawing two, Brighton will take huge confidence from their recent 3-1 win away to Bournemouth in the FA Cup third round.
The Seagulls have only lost two Premier League home matches this season, suffering 2-1 defeats to Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. That's definitely a reason why Liverpool should expect a tough challenge on Saturday.
Australian goalkeeper Mat Ryan and Iranian forward Alireza Jahanbakhsh are both at the 2019 Asian Cup and won't be available for selection.
Left-back Bernardo is sidelined with the hamstring injury he sustained against West Ham last week and Colombian winger Jose Izquierdo is still not fit to return after a knee injury.
Brighton has beaten Manchester United 3-2 and drawn 1-1 with Arsenal at home this season but asked if Liverpool was another step up, Hughton said: “Yes it is. You are looking at the best teams and at this moment, Liverpool are the best team in this league and their league position says that.“
Brighton veteran Glenn Murray should be the leading striker once again. He netted 8 goals in 21 league appearances and is expected to replace Florin Andone who started against AFC Bournemouth and scored the third goal. Martin Montoya, Lewis Dunk, Solly March, and Pascal Gross are others who are expected to return to the starting lineup.
Liverpool – Team News
Following their defeat at Etihad Stadium last Thursday, the English Premier League title race caught fire as the Citizens reduced Liverpool's lead at the top of the table to four points.
Another victory (18th in 21 games) for Jurgen Klopp's side would have put the leaders 10 points ahead of the reigning champions and make them hot favorites to clinch the club's first Premier League trophy for 29 years.
Even though a first league defeat of the season was a setback, the Merseysiders weren't outplayed by City. It was a tight contest between the two best teams in England and admittedly two of the best clubs in Europe.
Fine margins were crucial. In the first half, it's estimated Liverpool were just 11.7 millimeters from taking the lead following a Sadio Mane shot that was cleared off the line.
Although the finishing line will now feel a long way off for everyone who loves Liverpool, there are plenty of reasons, specifically statistics, to suggest that this is finally the year when the Merseyside club will win a first Premier League title.
Only once has an English team reached the New Year undefeated and not won the top division – Sheffield United in the 1899-1900 campaign (Aston Villa won the trophy, whilst Sheffield United were runners-up) – and no team in Premier League history has been seven points clear on New Year's Day (as Liverpool was) and failed to win the title.
Liverpool's haul of 54 points is the club's best return at the turn of the year in any season – and the third-best by any side in top-flight history. Indeed, the Reds are the first club to win all seven (8 in all competitions) domestic games in December – a congested month in English football.
Nevertheless, in eight of the past 10 Premier League seasons, the leader on December 25 has gone on to win the title. The two exceptions being Liverpool in 2008-09 and 2013-14. However, Klopp's selection looks more coherent and organized, especially at the back, to the squads managed by Rafael Benitez and Brendan Rodgers, respectively.
The Reds have already kept more clean sheets this season than they did in the entire campaign under Rodgers four years ago when Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City ripped the crown from their grasp.
Now, after back-to-back defeats in both domestic competitions (EPL and FA Cup), Liverpool must bounce back if they want to regain their confidence.
Despite the impressive defensive record so far, Jurgen Klopp must sort out a defensive ahead of the Brighton visit, with Dejan Lovren being the latest center-back on the sidelines. Joel Matip and Joe Gomez are both recovering so midfielder Fabinho is expected to start at center-back alongside Virgil van Dijk.
If Klopp sticks to the 4-3-3 formation, either experienced James Milner or summer signing Naby Keita should form the midfield three next to captain Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum. If the Liverpool boss decides to field a 4-2-3-1, then Xherdan Shaqiri may feature as the right winger and Mohamed Salah will lead the line. Otherwise, the attacking trio Mane-Salah-Firmino is without a reliable alternative.
Alex Oxlade Chamberlain continues his long-term recovery, while Adam Lallana has a minor problem and is a doubt.
Possible Starting Lineups of Brighton and Liverpool
Brighton & Hove Albion: David Button – Gaetan Bong, Lewis Dunk, Shane Duffy, Martin Montoya – Solly March, Dale Stephens, Yves Bissouma, Jurgen Locadia – Pascal Gross – Glenn Murray. (4-4-1-1)
Liverpool: Alisson – Andrew Robertson, Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, Trent Alexander-Arnold – Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum – Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah. (4-3-3)
Bet On Goals – The Reds Must Win and Brighton Could Benefit From Liverpool's Defensive Issues
The Merseysiders have suffered back-to-back defeats in all competitions for the first time since May. They have never lost consecutive Premier League games since Jurgen Klopp's arrival. Anyway, the defensive issues Klopp has shouldn't be underestimated and Liverpool could be more vulnerable at the back.
Beyond the top-six clubs, Brighton is those with the best home record – winning 18 points (5 wins, 3 draws and 2 losses) in 10 home games. Moreover, the Seagulls have scored in each of their last 13 EPL home games which is a form that needs to be recognized.
Sitting 10 points above relegation, Brighton can play with no pressure and the Seagulls have proven to be a tough opposition at home.
We fancy the suggested betting odds on Over 3 Goals – there were more than 3 goals scored in three of the last four competitive meetings between Brighton and Liverpool. Current circumstances predispose another high-scoring match. You’ll get your money back if there are exactly three goals scored.