Liverpool travel to Hull on Saturday knowing that they must win all of their remaining games if they are going to stand a chance of catching league leaders Manchester United. England’s most successful team will be eager to prevent their rivals from equalling their league title record, however with United three points clear with a game in hand the chances of that happening are not high.
Hull however have problems at the other end of the table, Phil Brown’s side currently sit in 16th and are just three points outside the relegation zone. A defeat here would leave them at the mercy of Blackburn Rovers and Sunderland both of whom could leapfrog the East Yorkshire club were they were to come out of their own Saturday fixtures victorious.
Rafa Benitez will be conscious of the fact that his team have played two – eight goal thrillers in the last two weeks and may elect to rotate his squad. However with Steven Gerrard still doubtful due to the groin strain he picked up in the first leg of Liverpool’s Champion’s League Semi Final against Chelsea his midfield options may be limited.
The Reds’ skipper missed out on his side’s home draw against Arsenal on Tuesday night and will be keen to get back into action before the end of the season. Benitez has previously admitted it may be difficult for the England international to be ready in time and in form Israeli, Yossi Benayoun, is likely to come in to the starting XI.
Skrtel is likely to regain his place at the expense of Daniel Agger whose poor defending was responsible for at least one of the four that the team conceded earlier in the week. With only six games remaining Benitez will be aiming for the three points at the KC Stadium.
The Tigers should welcome back Bernard Mendy who terrorised the Liverpool defence at Anfield earlier in the season. Daniel Cousin will face a late medical on his back and club skipper Ian Ashbee will serve the second game of his two match suspension having picked up 10 yellow cards. With Hull looking for what would be only their second win in 18 games three points would be invaluable. It would help pull them away from the relegation table and raise morale before the last few games of the season.
Currently sitting in 2nd Liverpool will take nothing less than the win; they have been frustrated at home this season in games that they would have hoped to take all the points. In the reverse fixture of this earlier in the season the Reds were held to a 2-2 draw in front of an unimpressed Kop and the Red half of Merseyside will be hoping that they rectify this mistake on Saturday.
Victory would put them back atop the Premiership, until Manchester United play in the late kick off, at least.
Soccerlens prediction: Liverpool to win 1-0.