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    Liverpool vs Hull City Match Preview


    Liverpool will hope to keep up their excellent momentum in the early stages of the season when they entertain Hull City, who themselves have made an impressive start to their first campaign back in the top flight

    The Reds have impressed in the opening weeks by taking 10 points from their opening five matches, despite having to play four of those games outside of their familiar surroundings of Anfield.

    A strong performance by the away side will surely end any lingering doubts over Mike Phelan's chances of taking over the vacant managerial position on a full-time basis but they have never won at Anfield in 10 previous attempts.

    Liverpool

    Jurgen Klopp's side could hardly have had a tougher start to the season, with away trips to Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea and a home match against Leicester, but his team currently sits level on points with fourth-place Arsenal.

    The German will no doubt be aware that the one blemish on his side's record so far this season came in a match against similarly unfancied opposition, Burnley, when they were unable to break down stubborn opposition.

    Klopp has been wary of Hull's strong motivation ahead of the match, commenting: "When we can win against teams which people think are stronger than we are, why can't a team which people think are weaker than us have the opportunity to win?"

    If The Reds show the same level of intensity and cutting edge in the final third of the field that they displayed against Chelsea eight days ago, it could prove to be a long afternoon for the away side.

    In the first-half in particular last weekend, Klopp's side executed their much-talked about gegenpressing style of play to perfection and it stunned Chelsea into playing far deeper to which they are usually accustomed, with Diego Costa cutting a forlorn figure up front.

    Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum have fitted in seamlessly to the Liverpool side this season, with Mane offering blistering pace on the flanks and Wijnaldum offering a steadying influence in central midfield alongside Jordan Henderson.

    If the club are to make it six wins out of eight in all competitions, they will have to do so without the presence of Daniel Sturridge from the starting line-up after he missed the midweek 3-0 EFL Cup win over Derby County with a knock.

    Hull City

    When Steve Bruce resigned as Hull City manager just 22 days before the club started life back in the top flight following promotion, it looked like it would be a difficult season ahead for The Tigers.

    They went into their opening match of the campaign against Premier League champions Leicester City with only 13 senior players available and having made no additions to their squad amid reports of a prospective takeover.

    It proved to be the perfect stage for caretaker-manager Mike Phelan to install a steely resolve into his players and it has carried them through to an encouraging start to the Premier League season and into the last 16 of the EFL Cup.

    A deserved 2-1 victory over The Foxes was swiftly followed by a 2-0 win at Swansea, while the club were seconds away from earning a draw against Manchester United before they succumbed to a 92nd minute Marcus Rashford winner.

    The Tigers scored a 95th minute equalizer of their own to secure a 1-1 draw at Burnley but last weekend's 4-1 defeat to Arsenal offered a glimpse into the tougher challenges that may lie ahead for Phelan's side this season.

    Matters also appear to have improved off the pitch following a summer of turmoil, with the club managing to assemble a 24-man squad after completing six new signings ahead of the August 31 transfer deadline.

    The deals included Ryan Mason £13 million transfer from Tottenham, which broke the club's transfer record, although four of that squad remain unavailable to Phelan this weekend through injury.

    Liverpool Team News

    Loris Karius makes his league debut for The Reds, replacing Simon Mignolet in goal after impressing in his first appearance for the club in Tuesday night's EFL Cup victory against Derby County.

    Ragnar Klavan keeps his place in central defence as Dejan Lovren misses out through illness, while Roberto Firmino returns to Premier League action after recovering from a minor groin strain to play in midweek.

    There is a place on the bench for Daniel Sturridge, after he missed the EFL Cup match with a knock, where he is joined by Emre Can, who also returned as a substitute against Derby having been absent with an ankle injury.

    Sheyi Ojo (back) and Joe Gomez (achilles) are the only other players in the squad who are currently missing through injury.

    Hull City Team News

    Jake Livermore returns for the Tigers after serving the one-match ban he received for the red card he picked-up in last weekend's 4-1 defeat at home to Arsenal.

    Goalkeeper David Marshall and midfielder Ryan Mason make their first league starts for the club after playing in the 2-1 victory over Stoke on Wednesday night.

    Strikers Dieumerci Mbokani and Will Keane and midfielder Markus Henriksen are named as substitutes, while fellow new signing James Weir is not part of the matchday squad.

    Alan McGregor (back), Michael Dawson, Moses Odubajo (both knee) and Alex Bruce (achilles) are all absent through injury, while Eldin Jakupovic and David Meyler are the only players from last weekend to miss out as they drop to the bench.

    Head-to-head

    The two sides have only met on 20 previous occasions and although Liverpool dominate the head-to-head record, the teams had not played in the top flight until Hull were promoted to the Premier League in 2008.

    The Tigers have never won a match at Anfield, having lost on eight of their 10 matches at the ground, although they did manage to draw 2-2 in their first visit as a top flight club in December 2008 and again 0-0 on their last visit in October 2014.

    The only two victories that Hull have ever recorded over Liverpool have come in their past four encounters, including their last meeting in April 2015 when Michael Dawson scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory at the KCOM Stadium.

    In a rivalry that started with their first encounter in 1954, Liverpool have won 13 times in total to Hull's two, while five matches between the clubs have ended in draws.

    Score Prediction

    Liverpool 4-1 Hull City
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    Item Reviewed: Liverpool vs Hull City Match Preview Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Richard Tufft
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