Liverpool v Huddersfield Town
A (basket) case for the defence
"That is the world out there: if you find someone who makes a mistake, we go on him. We all make a mistake. I would never let them down. Never would that happen." A few days' contemplation seemed to do Jürgen Klopp the world of good in terms of loyalty to his under-fire defenders, but it's tempting to wonder whether the damage has already been done after last weekend's capitulation against Tottenham.
Liverpool were at sixes at sevens at Wembley, allowing their hosts to cut through them at will in the first half, and it was clear to most who the principal culprits were. Dejan Lovren, hauled off after just 31 minutes - a hammer blow in itself - bore the brunt of the criticism, with Klopp even going so far as to suggest that he would have done a better job in the Croatian's place.
The issue for the Reds is that there are no real alternatives in the squad. Ragnar Klavan is nobody's idea of a top-class defender, meaning Klopp's best option, should he choose to drop Lovren, would be to shuffle Joe Gomez into a central role. Further forward, Georginio Wijnaldum is back after a knee issue and could replace James Milner.
Few gave Huddersfield much of a chance against Manchester United last Saturday. They had netted just one goal in their previous seven games, their confidence seemingly having evaporated after a promising start to the season. But football has a way of defying expectations and the Terriers bore their teeth to claim a fine 2-1 win over their illustrious visitors.
David Wagner's next challenge is going toe-to-toe with Klopp, his friend and former colleague. The two have known each other for 25 years and worked together at Borussia Dortmund, so there's little surprise that there is clear mutual affection there. "He was an open book for me and gave me all the knowledge he has about football," Wagner explained on The Premier League Show this week.
We can probably expect a similar side to the one that started last weekend. That would mean Danny Williams in a holding role, allowing Aaron Mooy a little more freedom to get forward and break into the area. Huddersfield's other scorer against United, Laurent Depoitre, should also get the nod over Steve Mounié.
Liverpool strong favourites
Huddersfield haven't won against Liverpool in ten meetings, but the formbook is really out of date: the last league game between the sides was way back in 1972. Far more relevant is the Reds' habit of making hay against newly-promoted sides: they've managed 32 wins and nine draws from the last 42 such games.
There's little doubt Klopp's charges will be keen to make amends for last weekend, although the fragilities on display then make us sceptical about a price of 1.25. Huddersfield are tempting outsiders at 15.00 and the Asian handicap prices are worth considering if you think Wagner can get one over on Klopp. Huddersfield +2.0 is 1.88.
Goals could flow at Anfield
Liverpool drew a blank in their last home game (0-0 vs Manchester United) but have generally been among the goals at Anfield, managing 12 in their previous five matches there. Huddersfield have kept two clean sheets from their four away games so far, but those fixtures have been relatively simple up to this point (Crystal Palace, West Ham, Burnley, Swansea) and this is likely to be a more thorough examination.
Over 2.5 goals is only 1.55, though, so the better move is backing both teams to score at a generous 2.18. Huddersfield should be buoyed by last weekend's exploits and their hosts have only kept one clean sheet in six Premier League games.
Salah the man for Liverpool
With Sadio Mané sidelined and Roberto Firmino out of sorts, Mohamed Salah continues to be Liverpool's most compelling threat in the final third. The Egyptian took his league tally to five with a goal at Wembley and can be backed to repeat the trick here at 2.00.
Back both teams to score at 2.18