STAR PREVIEW: Brighton & Hove Albion v Liverpool

The hard work of sealing a first title in 30 years has been done for Liverpool but they may fall short of beating Manchester City’s record of 100 points in a season and could have a harder time than the market expects at Brighton this evening.

Layers have adjusted for Liverpool’s title win – they are 4/7 with Star Sports at the time of writing, a bigger price than one would have expected if this game took place in January – but there may still be some value in opposing them and they have not set the same impossibly high standards in recent outings that they have all season.

Their 5-0 defeat at Manchester City is easily written off, but they were extremely lacklustre against Aston Villa, when Sadio Mane’s instinct gave them a crucial breakthrough in a game where they created precious little before Curtis Jones sealed the deal. The Infogol stats for that game read 0.82 – 0.69 in Liverpool’s favour, reflecting a performance where we saw very little from Divock Origi, Mohamed Salah and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain whilst Andy Robertson was also flat, and if Liverpool are to break the 100 points record (they require 12 points from their last five games) then they’ll have to be better, with games against Chelsea and Arsenal coming up.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Liverpool
Premier League
20:15 Sky Sports Premier League / Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Ultra HD

(Maximum 10 matches, since 2010)
NOV 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 2-1 Brighton
JAN 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Brighton 0-1 Liverpool
AUG 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 1-0 Brighton
MAY 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 4-0 Brighton
DEC 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Brighton 1-5 Liverpool
FEB 2012 FA CUP Brighton 1-6 Liverpool
SEP 2011 LEAGUE CUP Brighton 1-2 Liverpool

Brighton aren’t yet safe from relegation, but they have a nine-point buffer to Aston Villa and Bournemouth in 18th and 19th, giving them a fine position with time running out for other sides. Graham Potter’s men have impressed defensively since the restart, keeping two clean sheets in four games, and the back four of Tariq Lamptey, Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster and Dan Burn have impressed with their protection of goalkeeper Mat Ryan.

Facing Liverpool is obviously a step up, but Klopp’s men have proven themselves slightly vulnerable over the past few months, and their form away from Anfield has been a problem in 2020. Eight of Liverpool’s 10 dropped points this season have come in their last three trips, and they haven’t won on the road since a 1-0 win at Norwich back in February.

The absence of fans is sure to be a low to the likes of Brighton more than the likes of Liverpool, but their results have held up (bar a 3-0 defeat to an improved Manchester United side that’s chasing the top four) and they can make Liverpool work hard for victory here. Brighton are 5/6 with a one goal start on the Asian Handicap, meaning that we’d only lose our stake if Liverpool win by 2 or more.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK Brighton +1 on Asian H’Cap 2 pts at 5/6 with

PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 245.92 points
(Excluding Cheltenham 2021 antepost, Premier League ante-post, Six Nations Outright, Six Nations Specials, Cameron Brown Football Bets, Derby bet)