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Liverpool vs. Sheffield United – 10 key things to know ahead top vs. bottom

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We have put together 10 things to know as Liverpool host Sheffield United at Anfield, with three more crucial Premier League points on offer.

Liverpool vs. Sheffield United

Premier League (30) | Anfield
April 4, 2024 | 7.30pm (BST)


There are just nine games between Liverpool and the Premier League title, with every match an obstacle to overcome in reaching the ultimate goal of a fairytale send-off for Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.

Next up on the road to that success is Sheffield United. With the home crowd believing in the Reds, it should be a straightforward win but we all know football doesn’t usually play out as expected.

Here are 10 things to know ahead of Liverpool vs. Sheffield United.

 

1. In our hands

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 31, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Man City‘s draw against Arsenal on Sunday means that the Reds now have the title in their own hands.

Should Liverpool win all of their remaining games, they will be league champions. Whether they need to win all nine matches is another question.

In previous years, this would definitely have been the case. However, the form of the top three suggests there will be a few twists yet in the story, and perfection may not be necessary.

Over the last five seasons, in the final nine games of each league campaign, Liverpool have averaged 22.6 points, Man City 22.2 and Arsenal 15.

 

2. Team news

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, October 4, 2023: Liverpool's Curtis Jones during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group E match between Liverpool FC and Union SG. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp revealed Wataru Endo picked up a “knock” and “we will have to see” about his fitness for the Sheffield United match. It is unlikely the Japanese plays should there be any risk at all.

On a positive note, the boss said Curtis Jones “is in full training and is in contention” but won’t start on Thursday. Andy Robertson could play, though.

On Diogo Jota and Trent Alexander-Arnold, Klopp added they will “hopefully, from next week, [be] in parts of team training.”

There was also good news on Alisson, who could return to first-team training next week, with the same going for Stefan Bajcetic.

 

3. Predicted XI

Despite the impending return of key faces, Klopp is likely to stick with the side that beat Brighton for this one.

The hope is that Liverpool get the game won early so they can take off the likes of Alexis Mac Allister and Darwin Nunez, with Sunday’s fixture against Man United looming.

This season, the only time Klopp has sent the same team out in consecutive fixtures was from the first to the second game of the campaign.

Predicted XI: Kelleher; Bradley, Quansah, Van Dijk, Gomez; Endo, Mac Allister, Szoboszlai; Salah, Nunez, Diaz

 

4. Blades coming up short

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - Thursday, September 26, 2019: Sheffield United's manager Chris Wilder during the FA Premier League match between Sheffield United FC and Liverpool FC at Bramall Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is fair to say that Chris Wilder’s reintroduction as manager hasn’t sparked the turnaround the board hoped for at Bramall Lane.

Sheffield United currently lie bottom of the table, though do have games in hand on their relegation rivals. Of all the teams, they look the most likely to go down, so what threat do they pose?

Well, the Blades have shown signs of life in the last few weeks. Against Fulham on Saturday, they twice went ahead and were 3-1 up before conceding two goals in the last few minutes.

The previous game, away at Bournemouth, followed a similar pattern as they twice surrendered the lead in a 2-2 draw.

 

5. Matip’s running in the right direction

It is highly unlikely that we will see Joel Matip play for Liverpool again this season, but he is heading in the right direction.

Klopp updated us on his fitness, saying: “Joel’s running. He hates that but he’s able to run again, that’s good.

“I think since he got injured this is the best moment because it was very painful in the beginning, very painful for him.

“He got through that and now it’s pain free, but that all takes time. I don’t think the season is long enough for him.”

 

6. Earlier kick-off

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 23, 2021: Two Liverpool supporters walk towards Anfield from Stanley Park before the final FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Don’t get caught out by the slightly-earlier-than-usual kick-off time of 7.30pm (BST).

The match begins at the earlier time and is on TNT Sports 2, so as to allow more viewers to watch the second half of Man United vs. Chelsea that kicks off at 8.15pm.

The slightly earlier kick-off does mean you get to bed earlier on a work night, but also makes it more difficult for those coming from work beforehand – it’s better than the 8.15pm slot, though.

 

7. The former Reds

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, October 31, 2012: Liverpool's Jack Robinson in action against Swansea City during the Football League Cup 4th Round match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There are three ex-Liverpool players in the Sheffield United first team this season, though they are having varying levels of personal success.

Having made 11 appearances for the Reds as a youngster, Jack Robinson has gone on to play 114 games and counting for Sheffield United and has featured in all-but-one Premier League game this season.

At the other end of his career is Yasser Larouci. He played twice for the Reds, with his debut coming against Everton in the 2020 FA Cup third round win.

Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas‘ presence at left-back meant he had to move away for football, though, and he is slowly now making making an impression at Bramall Lane.

Since leaving Liverpool for £23.5 million, Rhian Brewster has failed to progress in his career as injuries have plagued his time with the Blades. He is also out at the moment so won’t feature against his old club.

 

8. Did you know?

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 6, 2023: Liverpool's Luis Díaz (R) is challenged by Sheffield United's Jayden Bogle during the FA Premier League match between Sheffield United FC and Liverpool FC at Bramall Lane. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

No substitute has ever scored for Liverpool against Sheffield United – that is a crazy fact given the teams have played each other 136 times, though not all the fixtures had substitutes allowed.

Liverpool have won 26 points from losing positions in the league this season – a division high.

The record number of goals conceded for a team in a 38-game Premier League season is 89 by Derby County in 2007-08 – the Blades have let in 77 already with nine matches remaining.

 

9. Attwell in charge

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 26, 2023: Referee Stuart Attwell during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Chelsea FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Tottenham won 2-0. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

The officials at Anfield will consist of Stuart Attwell as the referee, James Mainwaring and Richard West as assistants, and Taylor acting as fourth official.

Meanwhile in Stockley Park, Chris Kavanagh will be the VAR with Mark Scholes as his assistant.

This season, Attwell has refereed Liverpool on the pitch just once, officiating the Reds’ 4-3 win over Fulham at Anfield.

 

10. Follow the match with TIA

Camera, Anfield, matchday (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool vs. Sheffield United is live on TNT Sports 2 with kick-off at 7.30pm (BST).

TIA’s matchday live blog will be up and running from 6.45pm, with Henry Jackson tasked with keeping you entertained and up-to-date.

Come on you Reds!