Brighton & Hove Albion v Liverpool: Live matchday blog
Mohamed Salah's 50th-minute penalty gave Liverpool a hard-fought and vital 1-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table.
And here's how the top of the table looks, with Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur not in action until later in the weekend schedule.
Here's the story of the game in Opta stats and widgets...
Brighton 0-1 Liverpool
Liverpool get a vital victory over Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.
Mohamed Salah's 50th-minute penalty proved the difference as the Reds moved seven points clear at the top of the Premier League table after a hard-fought encounter with the Seagulls.
Salah comes off for the final seconds. Origi is his replacement.
Vital touch from Alexander-Arnold to stop a low ball reaching Locadia at the back post.
Four minutes of added time to be played...
Keita comes on for Mane for the final moments.
Salah uncharacteristically strikes wide from Milner's pull-back from close range. Looked like he didn't expect the pass to come as the ball headed for touch.
Mane strides into the area but has a left-foot swipe deflected behind by Duffy.
Outstanding play from Salah to set it up.
Wijnaldum drags a left-footed effort from the edge of the box a couple of inches wide of the bottom corner.
Last change for the Seagulls and Gross makes way for Kayal.
Andone nudges a Bong cross wide at the near post.
Salah almost latches onto a wayward back pass from Dunk, but Button is off his line to clear.
Powerful run from Firmino right into the centre of the Brighton box; however, his eventual strike is too close to Button.
Our first change sees Shaqiri replaced by Milner.
Locadia has a go from range with a dipping drive that Alisson needs to push around the post.
A double change for the hosts as March and Murray go off, Knockaert and Andone come on.
Chance for Brighton as Gross meets a low ball into the area with a side-foot sweep towards goal from close range following a centre from Montoya; however, Fabinho manages to block on the edge of the six-yard box.
GOAL! MOHAMED SALAH!
No mistake from the Egyptian King!
Penalty to Liverpool!
Salah is brought down by Gross and it's a spot-kick to the Reds.
Salah bursts into the area down the left, but his low drive is too close to Button, who makes the stop.
Back under way...
Liverpool re-start the game at the Amex.
Come on you Reds!
The story of the first half in Opta stats...
Brighton 0-0 Liverpool
It's goalless at the break at the Amex after a fairly low-key opening half. Xherdan Shaqiri's glancing header the closest either side has come to opening the scoring.
Liverpool counter and Henderson's diving header from a central position 12 yards out strikes a Brighton defender.
Shaqiri gets a touch on Alexander-Arnold's left-footed cross from the right, but his header drops a yard wide of the far post.
The closest either side has come so far.
Mane gets a glance on Alexander-Arnold's corner from the right, but he can't direct it towards goal.
Murray heads well over from Gross' delivery from the right for the hosts.
And there is the first chance as Robertson drills in a low centre that is a fraction too far ahead of Firmino in the middle. The Brazilian can't make proper contact on it.
Van Dijk's pass over the top almost finds Shaqiri's run into the area.
Liverpool have dominated the ball since kick off, but they've yet to create a chance.
Wijnaldum hoists a ball forward from inside his own half that is just a touch too far in front of Mane's run.
We're up and running
Brighton start the game at the Amex and we're under way.
Come on you Reds!
Here come the teams...
The Reds are here
Behind closed doors...
Here's how Opta expect the two teams to shape up...
There are nine changes for Liverpool at Brighton and Hove Albion this afternoon.
Jordan Henderson is fit to start in midfield after a knock, while Joel Matip is named on the bench. Daniel Sturridge misses out due to a virus.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Van Dijk, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Shaqiri, Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Subs: Mignolet, Milner, Keita, Moreno, Origi, Matip, Camacho.
Big Shaq on the mic
Pre-match media duties are handled by Xherdan Shaqiri at the Amex.
Hughton demands high level
Brighton boss Chris Hughton believes his side will have to reproduce the level of performance they showed at Anfield earlier this season to thwart the Reds this afternoon.
“We know games don’t come much tougher than this one. Jürgen Klopp’s side have been in outstanding form this season, reflected by their position at the top of the table,” he writes in the matchday programme.
“Today’s game provides us with another opportunity to see how far we have come as a team since last season, when Liverpool put in a particularly impressive performance at the Amex.
“I was, however, delighted with the way we applied ourselves at Anfield in August and we know we will again have to perform at a very high level to get anything out of the game today.”
MATCHDAY CONDITIONS LATEST
Did you think we'd forgotten or something?
Here's your Liverpoolfc.com Official Weather Update™, today brought to you direct from the south coast.
It's an overcast afternoon in Brighton, with some light wind breezing through the Amex at the moment. The trusty thermometer (which belongs to our very own Chris Shaw, true story) is showing nine degrees centigrade and it isn't expected to change much between now and the full-time whistle.
There's no rain at the moment, and although there may be a light shower ahead of kick-off, it's expected to remain dry throughout the 90 minutes.
So, vis-à-vis the current conditions, we recommend a warm coat. Hats, gloves and scarfs can probably stay at home for this one.
The scene on the south coast
The Amex Stadium is ready.
Shouting the odds
BetVictor is offering the following prices for today's game.
Brighton - 10/1
Draw - 4/1
Liverpool - 4/11
Click here for more details.
'We must keep our focus'
That's the message from Roberto Firmino ahead of today's game, with the Reds looking to bounce back from consecutive defeats.
"It’ll be a difficult game. Losing is obviously always bad; nobody likes to lose, and certainly not me," the Brazilian told Liverpoolfc.com.
"But now we’ve got to bounce back. We’ve worked hard every day so we’re prepared for the weekend. It’ll be a big game, a difficult game and we’ll do our best to get the three points... we know we can’t go to sleep and lose silly points. We must maintain our focus until the end of the season."
50 up for the big man?
Mane isn't the only Liverpool player on the brink of an appearance landmark - Van Dijk will hit 50 games for the Reds should he play this afternoon.
Speaking of Sadio...
Did you know our No.10 will make his 100th appearance for the Reds if selected today?
“Of course, it means a lot to me,” Mane said about the prospect of reaching that landmark.
“To play at a club like Liverpool is something incredible. I always said, I am very happy to play for this club. Every single day I enjoy being here and I’m looking forward to playing my 100th game. It will mean a lot.
“Thank you to everybody - the club, the fans and the coach for the trust. I will try to do everything with my teammates to win something for this club.”
Oh yeah, and Salah and Sadio Mane were placed first and second in the CAF African Player of the Year standings for the second year in a row earlier in the week.
Not bad, lads!
...at Melwood on Friday, with Jürgen Klopp and Virgil van Dijk named the Premier League's Manager and Player of the Month for December, and Mohamed Salah scooping the Standard Chartered Player of the Month prize for the second time this season.
In case you needed reminding, here's the situation at the top of the table...
Salah's strike sees off the Seagulls
That's what happened the last time we played Brighton...
As always, you'll hear Liverpool's confirmed line-up first across our channels an hour before kick-off, but we already know a bit about Klopp's selection options.
Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip have returned to full training and could be fit, but Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana and Joe Gomez are unavailable.
Jürgen Klopp's pre-match press conference took place at Melwood on Friday.
Watch it back in full below...
Check out how the teams compare in the Premier League so far this season below...
Here we go again, then!
Liverpool face Brighton and Hove Albion this afternoon in their second Premier League fixture of 2019.
Jürgen Klopp's league leaders will be looking to get back to winning ways and know that victory at the Amex Stadium would increase their advantage at the top to seven points, temporarily at least.
Stick with us for comprehensive rolling coverage of all the build-up, action and post-match reaction from the south coast.