EPL

Alisson ruled out of Liverpool's clash with Brighton through illness

By Sports Desk February 03, 2021

Alisson was a notable absentee from Liverpool's squad for Wednesday's Premier League clash with Brighton and Hove Albion due to illness. 

The Brazil international has started 18 of the reigning champions' 21 top-flight games this term, keeping five clean sheets. 

However, he will play no part against Brighton at Anfield, a game which comes four days before the Reds face league leaders Manchester City. 

Caoimhin Kelleher, who had featured just once previously for Liverpool in the Premier League, was drafted in as his replacement. 

Liverpool triumphed in just one of the three previous league games Alisson missed, conceding an average of three goals against in those matches.

That compares to an average of 0.8 goals against in the 18 games Alisson has started, of which the Reds have won 10, drawn six and lost two. 

The only other change made by Jurgen Klopp from the 3-1 win over West Ham at the weekend was up top, Roberto Firmino coming in for Divock Origi. 

Ben Davies, signed from Preston North End on deadline day, was named among the substitutes, though fellow new defender Ozan Kabak was not included in the matchday squad. 

Liverpool are unbeaten in their past 12 meetings with Brighton in all competitions, winning 10 and drawing two in a run stretching back to 1984.

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  • Liverpool must 'rally round' Nunez after red card – Milner Liverpool must 'rally round' Nunez after red card – Milner

    James Milner and his team-mates will "rally round" Darwin Nunez after the striker was sent off on his home debut on Monday, Liverpool's vice-captain has said.

    The Uruguayan was dismissed just before the hour mark at Anfield by referee Paul Tierney during Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace after he reacted to being shoved by Joachim Andersen by pushing his head into the Dane's face.

    The Reds were 1-0 down at the time, but still managed to salvage a point after Luis Diaz equalised Wilfried Zaha's first-half opener with a thunderous effort from all of 25 yards at the Kop end.

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    Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Milner said Nunez will learn from his mistake, with the help of his team-mates.

    "I didn't see the incident," the 36-year-old said. "Obviously he's going to be disappointed with that and it's down to us to get round him and rally. I'm sure he'll learn from it.

    "I think the reaction [from the team] was the most important thing. The team reacted very, very well and the ground reacted very well – as they always do – they got right behind us and we could've nicked a winner. It wasn't to be but we move on.

    "That's what good teams do, they get together with disappointments and you stick together. We've got a great team spirit at the club and you don't have to say too much about the fans here. They're obviously incredible and always get behind us, especially when things are tough. They did that and we rallied.

    "It was disappointing not to get the winner but I think the reaction was incredible from the boys – 10 men and kept pushing."

    Liverpool have already lost ground in the race for the title, sitting four points behind champions Manchester City after two games, but Milner is not concerned given the campaign is still in its infancy.

    "It's not the ideal start but you see the readiness for the season and it's obviously a long, long season," he said. "It's not the start we would want but you see the fight there.

    "We've had a week of tough things that have gone on [injuries] and preparation hasn't been ideal. I think it's disappointing but you see the fighting spirit was there and no-one can deny that. We fought until the end."

    Liverpool went into the break 1-0 down despite having 17 shots on goal to Palace's four in the first half, but Milner heaped praise on Diaz for the quality of his leveller in the second.

    "When we had the chances we had and the moments around the box and didn't quite get the break, sometimes you need that moment of brilliance," he added.

    "Obviously when you've got players like [Diaz] on the pitch that can create something out of nothing, it was an incredible goal and hopefully there'll be many more to come this season from him."

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