Date: 11th January 2019 at 6:30am
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Mark Lawrenson has boldly predicted Liverpool to draw 1-1 with Brighton when the two sides clash on Saturday in the Premier League.

The BBC pundit is backing the Seagulls to earn a point when they host the Reds as he believes Jurgen Klopp has a problem regarding his central defence with Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip being injured.

Lawrenson is predicting defensive midfielder Fabinho to be utilised as a centre-back against Brighton and as a result is backing it being a draw between the two sides.

“Liverpool have got a problem in central defence with Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip injured, and I suspect Fabinho will play there – I can’t see what else Reds boss Jurgen Klopp would do,” wrote Lawrenson in his column for BBC Sport.

“Ki-Jana Hoever did great when he came on for Lovren against Wolves, but you would not want to chuck a 16-year-old in at Brighton because he would have Glenn Murray to contend with.

“I know the Seagulls are not the most attacking team, and Liverpool turned them over easily at Amex Stadium last season, but Murray against a kid? No, he would have too much experience for him.

“This is a really good test for Liverpool, on the back of their defeat by Manchester City and then their defeat at Molineux after Klopp decided the FA Cup was not in his top two priorities.

“It would clearly be preferable for Liverpool to be at Anfield as they look to bounce back this weekend, especially because the thing about Brighton is that they are very good at stopping teams from playing.

“Brighton have got a good home record too, which is why I am going for a draw here.”

OPINION

Lawrenson hardly every predicts the Reds to drop points and it’s rather bold of him to suggest they are about to. The BBC pundit is right to highlight Brighton’s fantastic home record but at the end of the day after 21 games played, the Reds have only failed to get all three points on four occasions this season. Klopp’s side have lost one and drawn three, while winning 17 games to sit them somewhat comfortably at the top of the table. While the Reds are scrambling for options at the back, you still wouldn’t bet against them overcoming Brighton. This is no disrespect to Brighton but the Reds having attack-minded players capable of causing misery for the majority of teams in the Premier League when on form. The Reds may have lost their last league game against Man City but plenty of players for Klopp’s side impressed in that outing and showed that the team had plenty to offer this season.