Liverpool will want to avoid a drop-off in performance as they face a trip to Swansea City on Monday night. The Reds delivered one of their best displays in recent history as they beat league leaders Manchester City last weekend. They became the first team to beat Pep Guardiola’s side in the Premier League this season and it was a sign of what the club could become under Jurgen Klopp. Although they aren’t challenging for the league title this season, they are progressing well under the German and they will want to build positive momentum to take into next season.
Swansea City have shown an improvement since the appointment of Carlos Carvalhal, but their upcoming fixtures suggest they could become cut adrift before things improve further. The Swans face back-to-back fixtures against Liverpool and Arsenal before a difficult trip to Leicester City. At the time of writing, they are four points from climbing out of the relegation zone. It isn’t a huge gap, but if they don’t pick up points in their next three matches, they would be in a perilous position. This is the hardest of those three fixtures, but given their home advantage, they have a chance of picking up a result. It would be typical of this Liverpool team to beat Manchester City and then drop points against the bottom-placed side.
The sale of Philippe Coutinho was a disappointment for supporters, but they have picked up two great wins without the Brazilian and the impact of his departure may be less than initially anticipated. Their attacking fluidity makes them difficult to defend against and when they are on form, they are arguably the most dangerous team in the league. Swansea have looked better at the back under Carvalhal, but it is difficult to see the home side keeping Klopp’s side at bay. The Reds will be expecting another victory this weekend to consolidate their position in the top four.
- Unsurprisingly, Swansea City have scored the fewest number of goals in the Premier League. The Swans have hit the back of the net on only 14 occasions.
- Liverpool have lost just two matches during this Premier League season. Manchester City are the only team to have tasted defeat on fewer occasions.
Jordan Ayew has been impressive in recent weeks and started to provide the goals that the side desperately need. He has scored four goals in his last seven matches in all competitions. Carlos Carvalhal clearly sees the Ghanaian as an important player for the fight against relegation. He can be frustrating to watch at times and make poor decisions in the final third. However, he has the dynamism and match-winning quality that a team near the bottom needs. Although he hasn’t lived up to what his brother did in South Wales, he is quickly making his mark at the club. Liverpool aren’t the best defensively and if the home side can get the ball to Ayew, he can cause problems on Monday night.
The Brazilian international could have been affected by the sale of compatriot Philippe Coutinho. The two players were close friends, but Firmino hasn’t let his departure affect him and he is now stepping up to be one of the most important players in this Liverpool team. Jurgen Klopp has managed to get the best out of the forward since his arrival and he looks to be one of the most dangerous attackers in his central role. He works relentlessly to press the opposition and shows his ability on the ball when his side has possession. The 26-year-old has contributed 16 goals and eight assists across the Champions League and Premier League, with a goal involvement of one every 87.6 minutes, which is remarkable and establishes him as an elite talent.
Mike Van Der Hoorn and Renato Sanches are both doubts for this weekend as they battle hamstring injuries. Angel Rangel will be missing with a calf strain. Tammy Abraham is fighting to be fit after a hip injury.
Mo Salah, Ragnar Klavan and Dejan Lovren are all doubts after suffering with illness during this past week. Virgil van Dijk should be available after missing last weekend’s win over Manchester City with a tight hamstring. Daniel Sturridge, Alberto Moreno and Nathaniel Clyne all remain on the injured list.
Although the home side have been improved since the appointment of Carlos Carvalhal, it is difficult to see them picking up any points this weekend. Liverpool looked excellent last week and they will be full of confidence as they arrive in South Wales. Their front three have a lot of pace and they are all at the top of their games at the moment. It was feared that they would be less potent after the departure of Coutinho, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. An away victory is the most likely result and they could score a few goals against the bottom-placed club.