Liverpool Finally Return to Premier League Action Against Brighton

30th September 2022

The first day of October finally brings the Premier League back into the lives of Liverpool supporters. After having their previous two league matches postponed due to the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II, Liverpool will face Brighton at on Saturday afternoon. After all the chaos surrounding the Queen's death, there was also a week-long break. 

You have to think that Liverpool will be hungry when they take to the pitch Saturday against Brighton. This will be the Reds' first match of any kind since September 13th. While many of the Reds' top players did manage to play for their national teams during the international break, they haven't faced opposition in what feels like forever. 

It's hard to believe that it has been nearly a month since the Merseyside derby draw at Everton on September 3rd. The Reds have only played 2 matches since then. 2 matches, a horrible loss to Napoli on September 7th and a gutsy at Anfield on September 13th against Ajax

Talking Points for Week 7

Well, the main talking point is that for the Reds, it is still only week 7. Some other teams in the Premier League are lining up to play week 8. Liverpool were one of a handful of teams to have two consecutive games called off during the period of mourning for Queen Elizabeth. 

Every football match was postponed for the weekend of September 10th following the Queen's death. Certain fixtures were also postponed the next week and Liverpool's clash at Chelsea on the 18th was one of them. Make-up dates for the postponed games have not been announced.

These delays should mean that Liverpool should be plenty prepared to face Brighton tomorrow. Brighton, also known as the Seagulls, will be on a similar footing as they were another one of the teams who have had their last 2 league games postponed. 

This will be the first full weekend of Premier League games for nearly a month. That time off has given Jürgen Klopp and his coaching staff time to work on a team that needed some work. To say that the first 6 games of the 2022/23 season have been underwhelming is an understatement.

International Men of Mystery

I(Photo by ALEX HALADA/AFP via Getty Images

Hopefully, this extra time that no one saw coming will have given the Reds time to reset. The international break does complicate things a bit. Many Liverpool players were called up to serve on their national teams in the last break before the World Cup

During his Friday press conference, said that while players like Luis Díaz, Diogo Jota, and Darwin Núñez were held out of training yesterday, it was merely a precaution. Each of them played for their national teams and needed a break to recover from playing in those matches and gruelling travel. 

Injury Situation Getting Better

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Klopp also gave a fairly positive assessment of the injury situation for Liverpool. He teased a possible return for Ibrahima Konaté to the side this weekend. The French defender has been out of action since suffering an injury in the Reds' last pre-season match against Strasbourg

The injury situation at Anfield is getting better. No doubt the extensive injuries have been a reason for Liverpool's slow start this season. But as the old sports cliche goes, injuries might be a reason but they are never an excuse. 

The Reds will still be without  Andy Robertson, Naby Keïta, Curtis Jones, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain this weekend. Even with that news, came a glimmer of hope from Klopp. During his press conference, he said that Robertson especially looked good and was close to a return. 

He then said,  “In the moment, it looks like the situation is better. Even the four players I mentioned before are on the way back. Mid to end of October, the squad would be complete if nobody else is out.”

That seems to infer that the worst of the injury problems are over. As long as the boys can stay fit in the coming weeks, Liverpool will be as close to 100% as they have been all year. That is especially important since the Reds will play 13 games over the next 6 weeks. 

Brighton: Seagulls Can Ruin a Nice Day Out 

Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

How many times has an annoying seagull ruined a nice day out to the beach? These Seagulls will be out to ruin a nice day out at Anfield tomorrow. Going into the match, Brighton are in a very lofty 4th place. The Reds have to believe they have to be at least in that position. They should have their sights set on knocking the Seagulls off that perch. 

Since the Seagulls don't have Champions League or commitments, they haven't actually played a match since September 4th. That was a 5-2 destruction of . However, Brighton have had one of the most eventful months in club history.

In the chaos surrounding the Queen's death, it's almost easy to forget that the Seagulls had their manager poached by . Much of their recent success has been credited to their now former manager Graham Potter.

Potter was named Chelsea's new manager two weeks ago, to replace the sacked Thomas Tuchel. This left Brighton in a tough position, scrambling to find a replacement manager for the revered Potter.

Saturday's match will be the first for that replacement, Roberto de Zerbi. De Zerbi is a highly regarded manager who cut his teeth with Italian side Sassuolo. Most recently he was the manager at the Ukrainian side Shaktar Donetsk. He has been out of work since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February. 

The match outcome may hinge on which Brighton team shows up. Will it be the one that climbed to 4th under Graham Potter and transfers seamlessly to de Zerbi's leadership? Or will it be a team that is suddenly rudderless after losing its beloved boss? 

LFC Globe Verdict

Liverpool have to be prepared for both teams to show up. Make no mistake, this is a big test for the Reds. Brighton are the perfect opponent to test Liverpool's resolve at this point in the season. Liverpool need to set their sights on Brighton's 4th place slot. Even though they can't jump that high with one win, a win tomorrow will put them within striking distance of the top of the table. 

No one was prepared to have this long of a disruption before the break. It is imperative that Liverpool have used this time off wisely. This is the perfect opportunity to put the slow start behind them and climb back into the European spots. 

With a daunting 13 games in 6 weeks, this is the beginning of a make-or-break stretch for the Reds. Thankfully, all signs point to Liverpool having as many players available as possible for the first time all season.

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