Brighton and Hove Albion vs Liverpool Odds, Pick | Premier League Match Prediction
Naomi Baker/Getty. Pictured: Cody Gakpo.
- Can Liverpool turn around their poor form against Brighton on Saturday morning?
- Anthony Dabbundo answers that question with his analysis of the odds.
- He delivers his pick and best bet for the Premier League match.
Brighton and Hove Albion vs. Liverpool Odds
|Brighton and Hove Albion Odds||+230|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-166 / +134)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-200 / +160)|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
All of the top eight teams in the Premier League face off against one another this weekend, and it’s quite surprising that Liverpool are in seventh in the middle of January.
The Reds lost to Brentford last week, tied 2-2 against Wolves in the FA Cup and continue to have major defensive woes. They will be tested away from home on Saturday when they visit the English south coast to take on Brighton and Hove Albion.
The Seagulls trucked Everton 4-1 in the league and then beat Middlesbrough 5-1 in the FA Cup as they continue their elite goal scoring form under new manager Roberto De Zerbi.
Brighton’s willingness to take chances in possession, bait the opponent to press them and then play directly in behind into space should make this a high-event match with plenty of chances at both ends of the pitch.
Given Liverpool’s defensive struggles and injury situation, Brighton are undervalued as this match should be closer to a tossup.
Brighton Still Firing Offensively
Brighton hired De Zerbi to replace the departing Graham Potter in early October. The Seagulls have averaged 1.58 xG per 90 in 11 matches in the league since De Zerbi became manager. The Seagulls’ defense has taken a step back too — they’re conceding 1.40 xGA per match in the same timespan.
They have played five matches against Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea in all competitions and scored 12 goals in those matches. Brighton are more than capable of beating this Liverpool defense that has been below average in the league this year.
De Zerbi plays a double pivot and likes to use conservative possession in their own half to entice the opponents to press them. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has set up the Reds to press as high as any team in the world, and that will lead to some high Brighton turnovers but also lead to space for Kauro Mitoma and the Seagulls to run at the Reds’ vulnerable back line.
Mitoma is third in successful dribbles per 90 completed amongst all Premier League players with at least five 90s played. His elite ball-carrying ability was on full display in the loss to Arsenal and win against Everton.
Even though the Seagulls are unlikely to have Leandro Trossard available for this match, the attack works so well because of the established system. The Seagulls rank third in the league in penalty box touches and fifth in passes into the penalty area. They’re only seventh in shots per 90, so it’s already a somewhat inefficient attack at turning dangerous possession into shots.
Liverpool Still Out of Form and Searching For Answers
Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat at the Brentford Community Stadium last week showcased everything that is wrong with the current iteration of the Reds. The set piece defending was poor and has been all season. Liverpool are 18th in the league in xG per set piece allowed, 11th in crosses allowed into the box, 11th in big scoring chances conceded and the Reds are quite vulnerable in transition.
Brentford exposed all of those weaknesses. They scored in transition, from a set piece and a cross. The Reds were unfortunate to not score more themselves and the attack remains mostly fine, but Liverpool’s defense is showing no sign of improvement.
The Reds added Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven — he’s a good player but not a superstar by any stretch — but the injuries around the squad are mounting. Roberto Firmino, Luis Diaz, Virgil van Dijk and Diogo Jota are all out. Darwin Nunez is questionable and seems to be trending toward out on Saturday too.
Brighton aren’t nearly as good on set pieces as Brentford, but the Seagulls are arguably even better at holding possession under pressure. They have a better midfield and can cause more problems up the Liverpool right than Brentford did on Monday.
Brighton and Hove Albion vs. Liverpool Pick
The Seagulls should find plenty of success up the Liverpool right with Mitoma and Solly March running at the defensively inconsistent Trent Alexander-Arnold.
If Nunez isn’t able to go for Liverpool, that takes away the Reds threat in behind. Brighton like to push their defensive line pretty high and counter-press, and Nunez is elite at running in behind in tandem with Mo Salah. Gakpo doesn’t offer that same kind of threat, nor does Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Brighton are almost an auto-bet at home against the big six sides in the league and they definitely are as a home underdog to a teetering Liverpool side. My projections make Brighton -121 to get a point. If I adjust for all of the injuries, I could get this at a tossup.
Arsenal are in much better form and closed around the same price at Brighton two weeks ago. Brighton +0.5 is a bet for me at -140 or better.
Pick: Brighton +0.5 (-140 or better)