Liverpool vs Sheffield United preview, team news, kick-off

Liverpool assessing Thiago Alcantara; Rhian Brewster could be handed full Sheff Utd debut; Liverpool vs Sheffield United will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Box Office; Kick-off at 8pm

Friday 23 October 2020 13:52, UK

Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Liverpool vs Sheffield United in the Premier League on Saturday; Kick-off 8pm.

Team news

For the first time in 75 Premier League games, Liverpool will be without Virgil van Dijk as the Dutchman begins his long road to recovery following his anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Midfielder Alex Oxlade Chamberlain (knee), goalkeeper Alisson (shoulder) and defender Konstantinos Tsimikas (thigh) all remain out.

Thiago Alcantara, Naby Keita and Joel Matip are being assessed but are all doubtful, with Jurgen Klopp having discussions with the medical department over the trio.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder would have “no hesitation” handing club-record signing Rhian Brewster his full debut against his former club.

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Max Lowe had to be withdrawn with a head injury against Fulham and the Blades are awaiting a doctor’s report before deciding if he travels to Merseyside.

Meanwhile, midfielder John Fleck will be out for up to six weeks with the back problem that saw him miss out against the Cottagers.

Listen to the Sky Sports Pitch to Post Preview Podcast on: Spotify | Apple | Castbox.

How to follow

Liverpool vs Sheffield United will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Box Office; Kick-off at 8pm.

Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.

Jones Knows’ prediction

This is the last thing Chris Wilder and his likeable Blades team need – a trip to the champions, who haven’t lost at home since April 23, 2017.

Looking at the Blades’ performance metrics, I’m certain Wilder will turn things around – getting a first goal in a football match will be crucial as they don’t really possess the players to go chasing a game but are superb at protecting a lead. This fixture will be about staying in the game for as long as possible. A tough ask, indeed, with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in deadly form in front of goal.

I can’t foresee too many problems for Jurgen Klopp’s men even without Virgil van Dijk, as Fabinho looks a very reliable understudy – as explained here by my colleague Peter Smith, who was suitably impressed by his performance in the 1-0 win over Ajax on Wednesday. Home win to nil.

JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 2-0 (11/2 with Sky Bet)

Opta stats

  • Liverpool have won their last three Premier League games against Sheffield United without conceding a single goal, winning by an aggregate score of 3-0 last season.
  • Sheffield United have lost 19 of their last 23 away top-flight matches against Liverpool (W3 D1) with their last win at Anfield coming back in April 1994 (a 2-1 victory courtesy of a brace from Jostein Flo).
  • Since having their league title win confirmed last season, Liverpool have conceded 25 goals in 12 Premier League games – no side has conceded more. Their previous 25 league goals conceded had come across a period of 38 games.
  • Liverpool haven’t failed to win three consecutive Premier League games since May 2018 (D2 L1), with the Reds currently winless in their last two in the competition (D1 L1).
  • Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 61 Premier League home games, winning 27 of their last 28 at Anfield. They’ve netted 162 goals in these 61 games (2.7 per game), while conceding just 40 in return (0.7 per game).
  • Sheffield United have lost 16 of their last 17 away league matches against the reigning top-flight champion, winning the other 1-0 in 1971-72 at Highbury against Arsenal via a goal from Stewart Scullion.

Pitch to Post Preview podcast: Mata exclusive, Everton latest, Coady’s rise at Wolves

Juan Mata is the special guest on this week’s show, and he tells Peter Smith about Man Utd’s return to form, looks ahead to their clash with Chelsea, and shares his views on the work being done off the pitch by Marcus Rashford.

Plus, we have more fallout from the Merseyside derby as Alan Myers explains Everton’s perspective, Johnny Phillips discusses cult hero Conor Coady’s importance to Wolves, and Sky Sports Data Editor Adam Smith delves into the numbers behind the Premier League’s goal rush, and makes a bold Pitch!

Listen to the Sky Sports Pitch to Post Preview Podcast on: Spotify | Apple | Castbox

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