Mark Lawrenson believes Liverpool might have real problems against Brighton
Former Liverpool player Mark Lawrenson believes Brighton can cause the Reds real problems in the Premier League on Saturday.
Dejan Lovren’s outing in the FA Cup lasted just five minutes as the Croatian had to be taken off after suffering a hamstring injury in the 2-1 defeat against Wolves, leaving Jurgen Klopp with only a single fit senior centre-back in Virgil van Dijk ahead of the trip to Brighton.
Joel Matip and Joe Gomez are sidelined with ankle and shoulder injuries respectively and Fabinho might once again start at the heart of the defence to cover for the absentees.
While Lawrenson is of the opinion that the Seagulls can pose a serious attacking threat on Saturday, he has backed his former club to return to winning ways after back-to-back losses against Manchester City and Wolves.
“Liverpool have got a problem in central defence with Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip injured, and I suspect Fabinho will play there – I can’t see what else Klopp would do,” said Lawrenson.
“Ki-Jana Hoever did great when he came on for Lovren against Wolves, but you would not want to chuck a 16-year-old in at Brighton because he would have Glenn Murray to contend with.
“I know the Seagulls are not the most attacking team, and Liverpool turned them over easily at Amex Stadium last season, but Murray against a kid? No, he would have too much experience for him.
“This is a really good test for Liverpool, on the back of their defeat by Manchester City and then their defeat at Molineux after Klopp decided the FA Cup was not in his top two priorities.
“It would clearly be preferable for Liverpool to be at Anfield as they look to bounce back this weekend, especially because the thing about Brighton is that they are very good at stopping teams from playing.
“Brighton have got a good home record too, which is why I am going for a draw here.
“I don’t know whether this might be a little bump in the road for Liverpool but, if I am right and they drop points on Saturday, I would also back them to return to winning ways in their home games against Crystal Palace and Leicester before the end of the month.
“There are 11 days between the Palace and Leicester matches and, because Liverpool are out of the FA Cup, Klopp will be able to give his players a few days off to rest their bodies, and clear their heads.”