Liverpool will be looking to start 2020 as they ended 2019 by continuing their march towards the Premier League title.
The Reds are currently 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League with a game in hand, winning 18 of their opening 19 matches and drawing the other.
But match 20 will not be an easy one against a Sheffield United side who are deserving of their place in eighth so far.
Chris Wilder’s men have been excellent, especially away from home, and were unfortunate not to get something from their recent match against Manchester City – just their fifth defeat of the season.
Read on for our Liverpool vs Sheffield United preview, team news, TV coverage information and more.
When is Liverpool vs Sheffield Utd and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Date: Thursday, 02 January 2020
Kick-off: 5:30 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): BT Sport ESPN
Last five meetings: Liverpool vs Sheffield Utd
28 September 2019: Sheffield Utd 0-1 Liverpool (Premier League)
24 February 2007: Liverpool 4-0 Sheffield Utd (Premier League)
19 August 2006: Sheffield Utd 1-1 Liverpool (Premier League)
21 January 2003: Liverpool 2-0 Sheffield Utd (League Cup)
8 January 2003: Sheffield Utd 2-1 Liverpool (League Cup)
Aggregate Score: Liverpool (WWDWL) 9-3 Sheffield Utd (LLDLW)
Ones to watch
Liverpool: Sadio Mane
Sadio Mane had a wonderful 2019 and has arguably been Liverpool’s best player in the Premier League this season as they look to end their long title wait.
The Senegalese forward became the first Liverpool player to reach 10 Premier League goals for the season in their 1-0 win over Wolves at the weekend, moving one ahead of Mohamed Salah.
But Mane hasn’t just been scoring goals, he has also chipped in with six assists so far and is only behind Trent Alexander-Arnold among the Liverpool squad.
Key stat: Sadio Mane (16) has been directly involved in more Premier League goals than any other Liverpool player this season.
Sheffield Utd: Oliver Norwood
If Sheffield United are to get anything against the runaway Premier League leaders, captain Oliver Norwood will need to be at his best.
The 28-year-old has been superb for Sheffield United this season in both defensive and attacking aspects of the game. He is a constant threat creatively and is also not afraid to get stuck into a tackle, with only Chris Basham (47) making more than Norwood in the Premier League for the Blades.
With Liverpool set to attack, Norwood’s position at the heart of Sheffield United’s midfield will be key to try and stop the likes of Mane, Roberto Firmino and Salah.
Key stat: Oliver Norwood has created more chances (29) than any other Sheffield United player in the Premier League this season.
Liverpool remain injury-hit and don’t have too many players at their disposal, certainly not enough to rotate heavily. As a result, Jurgen Klopp is likely to stick to a similar XI to the one that beat Wolves.
One change that could happen, though, is Adam Lallana dropping down to the bench with Naby Keita likely to come in. However, James Milner is another option and could slot in a right-back if Klopp wishes to rest Alexander-Arnold ahead of the FA Cup Merseyside Derby.
Predicted XI: Alisson; Milner, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Keita, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane.
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Sheffield United are definitely without Simon Moore but could see John Lundstram return after he missed the Man City game with a foot injury.
Other than that, Wilder has a full-strength squad to chose from and may look to stick with a strong XI given Sheffield United’s FA Cup tie next weekend is a favourable one against AFC Fylde.
Predicted XI: Henderson; Basham, Egan, O’Connell; Baldock, Norwood, Lundstram, Fleck, Stevens; Mousset, McBurnie.
Many believe the Premier League title is already wrapped up but Liverpool will certainly not be resting on their laurels.
On top of their title quest the Reds will surely have their eyes on an unbeaten season, having made it to the halfway stage without defeat.
Only three teams have reached 50+ consecutive home games unbeaten in the English top-flight:
🔵 Chelsea (86)
🔴 Liverpool (63)
🔴 Liverpool (50)
The Reds have now done it twice. pic.twitter.com/fHIcvLApUd
— Coral (@Coral) December 29, 2019
Sheffield United have been excellent away from home this season but lost for the first time on the road against Man City at the weekend and, with Anfield being the fortress it is, Liverpool should have enough for victory.
Scoreline prediction: Liverpool 2-0 Sheffield Utd
Check out more of Squawka’s Premier League predictions here.