27-year-old to struggle in front of goal: Three things we expect from Liverpool in clash v Middlesborough
COMMENT by Aramide Oladipo
Liverpool have the chance to guarantee qualification to the Champions League next season with a win over already relegated Middlesborough at Anfield in the final game of the Premier League campaign.
Jurgen Klopp is looking to become the first Liverpool manager to lead his side into the elite European competition since Brendan Rodgers during the 2014/15 season.
Meanwhile, Middlesborough will be looking to secure only their second victory on the road in the entire season.
Boro will go into the match with absolutely nothing to lose and they’ll want to give their fans the perfect sendoff before saying farewell to Premier League football.
With so much at stake for Liverpool, it has all the makings to be a very tense affair at Anfield on Sunday afternoon and here are three things that we expect to happen:
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No Daniel Sturridge goal
Daniel Sturridge was one of Liverpool’s best performers in the 4-1 win over West Ham last weekend and it was his goal that set the Merseyside club on their way to three crucial points.
However, the 27-year-old England international has struggled to find the back of the net on home soil this season.
Sturridge has only scored three times at Anfield in all competitions this season and his last goal at the famous ground came all the way back in December when Liverpool beat Stoke City 4-1.
With Roberto Firmino unlikely to be risked from the start due to a recent knock, Sturridge will be given the task to end his Anfield goal drought and fire Liverpool into the Champions League.
Middlesborough will score
Despite picking up a clean sheet in the last home match against Southampton, Liverpool have struggled to shut teams out at Anfield this season.
Southampton didn’t score because they set up very defensively on the day and they were desperate to leave with at least a point.
The clean sheet was the first time Liverpool had not conceded a goal on home soil in six Premier League matches and they have conceded two or more goals on two separate occasions during this time.
Despite failing to win on Merseyside, Middlesborough have scored at least one goal in their last three visits to Anfield in all competitions.
Misleading news on results elsewhere
Champions League qualification is in Liverpool’s hands but this will still not stop the majority in attendance at Anfield from looking at their phones and checking the scores in the other matches.
Should Jurgen Klopp’s side slip up, Arsenal have the chance to leapfrog them into the top four as they welcome Liverpool’s local rivals Everton to the Emirates Stadium.
Both matches kick off at the same time and if Arsenal manage to score an early goal, there will be a lot of tension at Anfield and it’s almost inevitable that the fans will be receiving some false information from family and friends.
In other Liverpool news, Jurgen Klopp has responded to reported interest in this attacker.