Liverpool FC vs Sheffield United Team News: Fabinho, Lovren, Matip

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With a 13 point lead, and a game in hand to boot, halfway through the Premier League season, the title race is done and dusted and Liverpool FC are champions-elect. Just don’t tell manager Jurgen Klopp.

“We are a unit so we fight until somebody says ‘it’s enough’ and ‘you have enough points’ or not,” Klopp said following Sunday’s win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield. “We will see. But it’s not about belief. If we were not confident it would be really crazy but it’s not about knowing, or wanting to know, that it’s already done. Imagine, really, if you asked me and I sat here and said ‘yeah, actually, I think it’s done’…That would be really crazy.”

Only one team in PL history, 1995-96 Newcastle United, who eventually lost out to David Beckham and Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United, failed to win the title when holding a double digit lead on Christmas.

“Since five, six or seven weeks ago we are still asking that question constantly,” Klopp continued. “And I, as a normal human being, have the same answer. Because it’s not done.”

Liverpool, halfway through the slate, can still achieve an undefeated season; as crazy as that sounds. Up next is a home match against surprising Sheffield United on Jan. 2 and with that in mind let’s take a look at the team news for this one.

Klopp will not have the following players available due to injury:

Rhian Brewster (ankle), Nathaniel Clyne (knee), Fabinho (ankle), Dejan Lovren (thigh), Joel Matip (knee), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (ankle) and Xherdan Shaqiri (thigh).

Shifting over to Sheffield United, John Lundstram is expected to be fit in time for this one. However, Simon Moore (groin) will not be available.

Sheffield United at Liverpool FC FYIs

Liverpool Starting XI Prediction: go to this link

Kickoff: Thur. Jan 2, 8pm, Anfield

Google Result Probability: Liverpool win 76%, Sheffield United win 7%, Draw 17%

Form guide: Liverpool FC WWWWW  Sheffield United LDWWW

Odds via Bet Fair Exchange: Liverpool win 1/4, Sheffield win 12/1, Draw 5/1

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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