Liverpool vs. Luton – 10 key things to know for title vs. relegation clash – Liverpool FC

Liverpool host Luton in a big game for both on Wednesday night, with the Reds looking to make it seven wins from their last eight Premier League outings.

Liverpool vs. Luton

Premier League (26) | Anfield
February 21, 2024 | 7.30pm (GMT)


The Reds were on top form at the weekend, winning 4-1 away to Brentford, and Man City‘s 1-1 draw with Chelsea acted as an added bonus later in the day.

Next up is the midweek visit of relegation-threatened Luton, as Jurgen Klopp‘s men aim to go into the Carabao Cup final full of confidence.

Here’s all you need to know ahead of the game.

 

1. A must-win before Carabao Cup final

This is one where three points are absolutely essential.

Luton head to Anfield hovering just above the relegation places – they would be comfortably in the drop zone without Everton‘s 10-point deduction – and they could be weary after giving their all in defeat to Man United.

The Arsenal loss aside, Liverpool are flying at the moment, winning six of their last seven league games, and they have to win here to keep scoreboard pressure on City and the Gunners.

With the Carabao Cup final taking precedence on Sunday, the Reds’ title rivals will likely make ground, so anything other than a victory over the Hatters would feel disastrous.

 

2. Luton putting up an impressive fight

LUTON, ENGLAND - Sunday, November 5, 2023: Luton Town's manager Rob Edwards during the FA Premier League match between Luton Town FC and Liverpool FC at Kenilworth Road. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There was arguably a snobbery surrounding Luton early in the season that saw some wondering if they could get the worst points tally in the Premier League history.

Their direct style of football wasn’t appreciated and it looked as though they didn’t have enough quality to compete.

Rob Edwards’ side have done admirably to date, however, including a draw at home to Liverpool, who needed a stoppage-time equaliser from Luis Diaz to save their blushes.

Luton also took Arsenal to the dying seconds, before losing in cruel fashion, and Kenilworth Road is an awkward place to visit, standing them in good stead for the rest of the season.

The Hatters may still go down, but they have shown a huge amount of fighting spirit and Liverpool know they can’t be taken lightly on Wednesday.

 

3. Who’s out for Liverpool?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 17, 2024: Liverpool's Diogo Jota is treated for an injury during the FA Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC at the Brentford Community Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The injuries just keep on coming for Liverpool – Klopp must truly feel cursed at this point.

Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota, two of the Reds’ most in-form players, are both now out after going off at Brentford with issues, with the latter expected to be unavailable for “months,” according to Klopp.

Darwin Nunez was also replaced at half-time in that game though could be available against Luton, but the likes of Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Dominik Szoboszlai are still out.

Joel Matip, Thiago, Stefan Bajcetic and Ben Doak are all absent, too.

 

4. Predicted Liverpool XI

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 3, 2023: Liverpool's Ryan Gravenberch during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-3. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp is sure to have one eye on the Carabao Cup final meeting with Chelsea, but the league should still be seen as the priority at the moment.

A few changes are to be expected, however, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Jarell Quansah come in for Ibrahima Konate at the back.

Joe Gomez could also start at left-back over Andy Robertson, ensuring Klopp doesn’t overplay the Scot after his lengthy injury absence.

In midfield, Ryan Gravenberch is the favourite to replace Jones, following a good cameo at Brentford, while caution over Nunez and Mo Salah could prompt changes in attack.

Cody Gakpo and Harvey Elliott would likely come in alongside Diaz if required.

Possible Liverpool XI: Kelleher; Bradley, Quansah, Van Dijk, Gomez; Endo, Mac Allister, Gravenberch; Elliott, Diaz, Gakpo

 

5. Players to watch for Luton

LUTON, ENGLAND - Sunday, November 5, 2023: Liverpool's Harvey Elliott (L) is challenged by Luton Town's Ross Barkley during the FA Premier League match between Luton Town FC and Liverpool FC at Kenilworth Road. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Luton arrived in the Premier League with a team full of relative unknowns, with all due respect, but two veteran English players stand out as their big names.

Both Ross Barkley and Andros Townsend arrived on free transfers, and they have done well overall, particularly the former.

Barkley has been deployed as more of a deep-lying midfielder this season – and his form has even led to calls for the England call-up ahead of Euro 2024.

The former Everton man could be extra motivated to cause an upset at Anfield!

Another player to watch on Wednesday is old-school striker Carlton Morris, who scored against United on Sunday and has netted seven times in the league in 2023/24 to date.

Top scorer Elijah Adebayo is out with a hamstring injury, though.

 

6. Klopp’s press conference

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Klopp talked up Gakpo’s qualities, ahead of a period that could see him feature a lot:

“The numbers are 100 percent alright, or even better. Cody had a bit of a struggle in the season, it was my fault. Can Cody play in the midfield, yes, he can. Is it his position, no.

“With the defensive things which he was not used to, it cost him confidence and you could see that in moments.

[…]

“He’s always a threat, has a good finish. Good dribbler and can keep the ball for us. A lot of super things we can use.”

This feels like a key spell for Gakpo in the absence of Jota, with certain sections of the fanbase still not entirely convinced about his all-round impact.

The Dutchman does have 10 goals to his name this season, however, and that tally needs to increase in the coming weeks.

 

7. Luton out to end Anfield hoodoo

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, January 15, 2008: Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard MBE scores his hat-trick goal against Luton Town during the FA Cup 3rd Round Replay at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Anfield has been a tough place to visit for most sides throughout history, but Luton‘s record there makes for particularly grim reading.

In fact, the Hatters have never tasted victory there in their entire history, with Wednesday’s game their 19th trip to Liverpool’s famous ground.

Eleven of their previous visits have ended in defeat, with the other seven being draws.

The most recent clash was a 5-0 win for the Reds in an FA Cup third-round replay in 2008, with Steven Gerrard scoring a hat-trick.

 

8. Did you know?

2WHJ53R Liverpool's Harvey Elliott gives the thumbs up signs during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Burnley, at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

If he features vs. Luton, Elliott will make his 100th appearance for Liverpool in all competitions.

In doing so, he would become the fourth-youngest player in Liverpool history to reach the landmark at the age of 20 years, 323 days.

The only players to be younger were Michael Owen (19 years, 363 days), Raheem Sterling (20 years, six days) and Robbie Fowler (20 years, 167 days).

Fowler went on to make 369 appearances for the club, with Owen on 297 and Sterling on 129.

Elliott will be the 234th player to feature 100 or more times for Liverpool, with Fowler 36th and Owen 64th in the all-time list.

 

9. Andy Madley under the spotlight

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 22, 2021: Referee Andy Madley during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 5-4 on penalties after a 3-3 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Andy Madley will referee Wednesday’s game.

Funnily enough, the 40-year-old took charge of the corresponding fixture at Kenilworth Road back in November.

This will be the fourth time Madley has overseen a Liverpool game this season, with the 2-1 win at Crystal Palace and 4-0 triumph at Bournemouth officiated by him as well.

Simon Hooper is on VAR duty which, while not ideal, does as least mean he’s not the referee!

 

10. Follow the match with TIA

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 17, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC at the Brentford Community Stadium. Liverpool won 4-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool vs. Luton isn’t live on UK television, due to TNT Sports’ Champions League deal not allowing domestic action to be shown.

Instead, join us on TIA’s matchday live blog for minute-by-minute update from Sam Millne, as he looks to keeping you entertained throughout the evening from 6.45pm (UK).

Come on you Reds!

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