Following the emphatic victory over Leeds United at Elland Road, Liverpool turn their attentions to a home clash against Nottingham Forest at Anfield tomorrow. Kickoff at Anfield is slated for 2pm GMT. Here’s the match preview.

Jürgen Klopp’s charges romped to their biggest away league victory of the season last time out, thrashing Leeds 6-1 as a tweak in formation bore the desired fruits. The 3-2-5 setup was unveiled against table topping Arsenal the previous week, with Trent Alexander-Arnold taking up central midfield positions during buildup.

It wasn’t as fleeting as we had seen in the past when the 23 year old would sometimes drift central to open up better passing angles when the side was attacking. This was a more tangible tweak, and Trent was clearly in a double pivot alongside Fabinho whenever the Reds were in possession.

A back three of Konaté, Van Dijk and Robertson was noticeable, with the Frenchman having lots of space to cover on the right. The two midfielders (Jones and Henderson) pulled wide to support Jota and Salah on the left and right wing respectively, whilst Gakpo played through the middle and dropped deep as per.

The nature of the performance and result surely means the manager sticks with this setup. It is particularly helpful in games where the Reds expect to dominate possession, as should be the case against Steve Cooper’s Forest tomorrow.

Forest are currently sitting in the relegation zone on goal difference. They have the worst goal differential in the entire division, with no side netting fewer goals than their tally of 24. They’ve let in a whopping 56 goals thus far, with only Leeds conceding more (60).

Leaky at the back, toothless upfront – that’s a surefire recipe for relegation. Steve Cooper has been fighting against the tide all season, and despite a ridiculous summer transfer drive that brought in virtually a whole new squad, the owners have shown restraint in keeping the man who brought the club up last season.

They have backed him publicly, unlike most of their relegation threatened rivals who have changed managers. That decision might come to be rued if Forest do go down. Their remaining fixtures make for difficult viewing, with this trip to Anfield coming after a 2-0 home defeat to Manchester United last week.

Following tomorrow’s clash, they still have to face high flying Brighton, Brentford, title challenging Arsenal and an expensively assembled Chelsea in four of their six remaining games. The writing seems to be on the wall for Forest unfortunately, unless they pull off a number of huge upsets.

They are well capable of that, as Liverpool found out the hard way in the reverse fixture at the City Ground. Ex-Red Taiwo Awoniyi scored the only goal of the game as the Reds succumbed to an embarrassing defeat.

The Reds have to use that defeat as fuel for tomorrow’s meeting. Victory could well move Jürgen Klopp’s men into sixth place (if results elsewhere go their way), just six points off the top four. With Newcastle hosting Spurs in a 4th vs 5th battle on Sunday, a win tomorrow is non-negotiable.

Champions League qualification isn’t out of the picture just yet, and if the side can go on a belated winning streak, they could possibly sneak in at the death. Forest will sit deep and defend for their lives, with Brennan Johnson posing a threat on the break, the Reds will have to break them down and get the result they require.

Team News

Roberto Firmino has picked up a muscle injury that has ruled him out of the next couple of games. It is unfortunate timing as the Brazilian is bringing down the curtain on his eight year stay at the club. Naby Keita (muscle), Calvin Ramsay (knee) and Stefan Bajcetic (groin) remain out injured.

For Forest, Cheikhou Kouyate (hamstring), Gustavo Scarpa (knock), Serge Aurier (knock), Ryan Yates (shoulder), Chris Wood (leg), Willy Boly (hamstring), Dean Henderson (muscle), Omar Richards (leg) and Giulian Biancone (knee) are all currently unavailable.



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