Liverpool will be searching for their first home win in the league under Jurgen Klopp as they entertain a Swansea City side that is in the midst of their worst sequence of results for nearly two years.
If the Reds can replicate the kind of performance which saw them outplay then leaders Manchester City and come away with a sensational 4-1 win, then the Anfield crowd will be in for a treat. Roberto Firmino gave a real indication as to why the club splashed out £29m to secure his services over the summer by posing a constant threat to a frail looking back four, combining well with the equally brilliant Philippe Coutinho, who has regained his best form under Klopp.
It was a shame for Coutinho that he was eventually forced off with an injury, but it allowed Christian Benteke to step back into the starting XI for the Europa League encounter with Bordeaux on Thursday evening and he responded in the ideal fashion, netting a sublime strike to seal victory and with it Liverpool’s place in the knockout stages of that competition. The sense of optimism that Klopp is bringing to the club is palpable, and if they can take the points here it will only add to their considerable momentum.
The same cannot be said for Swansea at the present time, as a run of just one win in their last nine games has seen them slip to 14th place in the Premier League and even cast doubt on the long-term future of manager Garry Monk. While that may be harsh, the club will be concerned by the current malaise, especially as the performances for the most part have been a long way below par. The draw they claimed at home to Bournemouth last weekend was a very fortunate one.
There did not seem to be much hope of picking up a result when they fell two goals behind inside 26 minutes, but to their credit they came up with a laboured though spirited fightback inspired by summer signing Andre Ayew, who is the only player really standing out for them right now. In an attempt to spark his team into life, Monk made several changes for that game including giving a first Premier League start to striker Eder, but whatever the boss chooses here, he will be demanding better from what is a very talented squad.
Coutinho remains a doubt for Liverpool, so Benteke should keep his place. Daniel Sturridge remains absent after sustaining another setback during the week, while Lucas Leiva is suspended after picking up five bookings.
Jonjo Shelvey is unable to face his former club for the same reason, but the Swans have no injury problems and have an otherwise fully-fit squad available.
Last Meeting: A rare burst of goals from Liverpool last season saw them emerge with a convincing 4-1 win in the final Premier League match of 2014. Alberto Moreno’s first Anfield goal opened the scoring before Adam Lallana charged down a Lukasz Fabianski to score six minutes after half-time. Gylfi Sigurdsson pulled one back seconds later but Lallana and a Jonjo Shelvey own goal confirmed the hosts’ win.