Liverpool host Swansea City in the Premier League on Sunday. In-form Reds will hope to make most of this game and get the crucial three points as they chase a Champions League berth next season. They will be in confident mood after dismantling Manchester City at the Etihad last weekend, and winning against Bordeaux in the Europa League on Thursday night.
Meanwhile Garry Monk’s Swansea City will definitely don’t come into this match in the best form. There is going to be incredible pressure on the manager as the Swans have not been playing too well and subsequently, not garnering favorable results lately. They find themselves in the 14th spot, something not many would have expected. Since their promotion, the Welsh side has become a side that finishes in the top half of the table. In such circumstances, it is not strange to read reports claiming Monk’s immediate future is not secure. The club will give Monk every chance to inspire an upturn in fortunes, but if he doesn’t amend things quickly, the man who has served the club for more than 10 years might find himself being shown the door. Even a draw against a rejuvenated Liverpool side will be an encouraging sign at the moment.
The big news from Thursday night was that Daniel Sturridge showed sign of discomfort and was subsequently sent for a scan. The Englishman was widely expected to return to the team and start getting involved after being on the bench against Manchester City. However, his participation on the weekend looks unlikely even though Klopp hasn’t completely ruled anything out. The German manager also didn’t clearly say whether or not Philippe Coutinho will play the match, but having missed the Europa League game, it is more likely that he will be involved against the Swans. Lucas Leiva is suspended after having picked five bookings already and Joe Allen is expected to come into the XI to face his former club. The Welshman had a solid outing against Bordeaux where he made 5 successful tackles and 3 interceptions, one which clearly impressed his manager. Klopp said in the pre-match conference, “He was very good but we took him off after 60 minutes with Sunday in mind.”
Jordan Henderson is keen to come back, but won’t be involved in this game. Consequently, Liverpool are likely to field James Milner, Emre Can and Joe Allen in the midfield.
Jonjo Shelvey will miss the game against his former side with suspension. Federico Fernandez, Jack Cork, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jefferson Montero and Bafetimbi Gomis may all be called back to the starting XI after being left out against Bournemouth last weekend.
Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
The Brazilian seems to be picking up form after a start-stop beginning to life at his new club. Firmino scored a goal and grabbed two assists against Manchester City. His link-up with Philippe Coutinho was particularly impressive. In case Coutinho doesn’t start, Firmino’s influence over proceedings will be crucial, but if the duo play the 90 minutes, things could get really difficult for the Swansea defenders.
Andre Ayew (Swansea City)
Andre Ayew has made a fantastic start to life at Swansea City. The summer free transfer has 6 goals and 1 assist to his name already. The Ghana international is perhaps the primary reason Swansea City are not in even more trouble currently. Dejan Lovren, who has been so susceptible to mistakes but to his credit has done well in recent games, will have to be in top form to ensure Ayew’s threat is limited because the Marseille man can inflict serious damage to the Merseysiders.
Liverpool have won five and lost none of the last seven meetings in all competitions with Swansea City.
Swansea have won just one of their last seven Premier League away games (W1 D2 L4) and just one of the last nine overall (W1 D3 L5).
Swansea City striker Bafetimbi Gomis has gone 701 minutes without scoring a Premier League goal
Philippe Coutinho has scored four goals in his last three Premier League appearances, the same total he managed in his previous 30 games combined.
Liverpool scored at least 4 goals in each of their last 3 Premier League matches against Swansea City. 13 in total.