Following their fascinating 4-0 victory against West Ham United last week, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have a must win home fixture this weekend against Middlesbrough in penultimate gameweek of Premier League season.
A win over relegated Boro will register a place in Champions League football for the upcoming campaign and Jurgen Klopp’s men won’t have any simpler opportunity to achieve their season goals. Although they have a disappointing home outing since their 3-1 derby win against Everton and failed to win against Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Southampton in three consecutive fixtures, the Reds are believed to upturn their home fortunes and won’t allow Arsenal to grab their familiar fourth spot.
Liverpool vs Middlesbrough Injury Update:
Liverpool will be without the trip Danny Ings, Sadio Mane and skipper Jordan Henderson who are ruled out for the campaign. Roberto Firmino, who missed the last game due to muscular strain, is expected to return to the squad ahead of Sunday decider.
Boro do not have any significant injury absentees, however, custodian Victor Valdes along with midfielder Gaston Ramirez and defender Daniel Ayala will have a late fitness test prior to the fixture.
Liverpool vs Middlesbrough Probable Lineups:
Liverpool Subs: Loris Karius, Ragnar Klavan, Alberto Moreno, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Lucas Leiva, Marko Grujic, Roberto Firmino
Middlesbrough Subs: Dimitrios Konstantopoulos, Antonio Barragan, Chisthian Stuani, Rudy Gestede, Adama Traore, Viktor Fischer, Grant Leadbitter.
Liverpool vs Middlesbrough Key Players:
Liverpool will rely on striker Daniel Sturridge who scored against the hammers last week. Also the Samba boys – Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino will be key to their Champions League dreams.
Middlesbrough forwards Rudy Gestede and Alvaro Negredo are believed to create both physical and aerial threats in inconsistent back-line of Liverpool. Adama Traore, the young Spaniard, is expected to trouble them with his pace, power, runs and dribbling.
Liverpool vs Middlesbrough Last Meeting:
Their last Premier League meeting at Anfield occurred on 23rd August, 2008 when the Reds scored twice in last six minutes to snatch a win against Boro. Mido earned the visitors a lead which was then canceled out by an Emanuel Pogatez own goal at around 86th minute mark. Skipper Steven Gerrard then scored from a fierce strike four minutes later that sealed the deal for the hosts. Middlesbrough got relegated at the end of that campaign.
Liverpool vs Middlesbrough Managers’ Speak:
“Everything is better for me now than when I first came in. We have created some wonderful relationships. 20 months is a long time.” – Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool vs Middlesbrough Match Facts:
- Liverpool’s last home defeat against Middlesbrough was in March 1976, when Jack Charlton’s team won 2-0 with goals from Terry Cooper and John Hickton.
- The Reds have won each of their last four Premier League contests against Middlesbrough at Anfield, scoring at least two goals on each occasion.
- Boro’s only victory in the last 11 league and cup meetings was 2-0 at the Riverside in February 2009.
- They can finish in the top four of the Premier League for only the second time in the last eight seasons.
- The Reds already have 73 points – no team has ever finished outside the Premier League top four with a total that high.
- Their last seven league games have produced no home wins (D2, L1) but four consecutive away victories.
- Liverpool have won eight of their last 10 home games on the final day of the Premier League season, drawing the other two.
- Jurgen Klopp’s side are unbeaten in 12 league games against top-seven sides this season (W7, D5), averaging 2.17 points per game, but have lost six times against the rest of the division, averaging 1.81 points per game (W14, D5, L6).
- Philippe Coutinho has six goals and two assists in his last eight appearances for Liverpool.
- Adam Lallana has not scored or set up a Premier League goal in 13 appearances in 2017 – despite seven goals and seven assists in 17 matches before the turn of the year.
- Boro won their first away game this season, at Sunderland on 21 August,but are winless in their subsequent 17 top-flight games (D7, L10) on the road, losing six of the last seven.
- They have just one win in their last 20 Premier League games, losing 12 of those matches.
- Steve Agnew’s side are the division’s lowest scorers with 27 goals and have attempted the fewest shots (342) and registered the fewest shots on target (97).
- They have failed to score in seven of their eight away league games this calendar year.
- Boro will end the season with their lowest total of Premier League wins – they have five victories, with their previous lowest figure being seven in 2008-09.
Source: BBC Sport
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Liverpool vs Middlesbrough Live Streaming:
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