Brendan Rodgers welcomes former club Swansea City to Anfield for this Premier League fixture, fully aware he has not beaten the Welsh outfit since leaving them. In addition, the midweek Europa League defeat to Zenit St Petersburg has left the Liverpool boss with a growing realisation that this season will probably end without any significant triumph or progress. Swansea, meanwhile, continue producing excellent performances and hover on the fringes of the top five, propelled by goals from Spanish forward Michu, who ended a six-match barren run with a brace in last week's match against QPR.
Where to Watch Live
Kick-off is set for 3pm GMT. Catch highlights of the game on Match of the Day 2 on BBC 1 and BBC 1 HD, at 11.05pm GMT. Highlights will also be available on Liverpool FC TV, at 6.15pm on 19 February.
Liverpool's UEFA Europa League ambitions were shot to pieces after Russian champions Zenit recorded a comfortable 2-0 win in the first leg of the two clubs' knock-out tie. Summer signing Hulk and Sergey Semak provided the goals against a Reds side bereft of ideas and incision, even from the normally excellent Luis Suarez.
Rodgers and club captain Steven Gerrard have both admitted progress to the next round of the Europa League is now an extremely difficult proposition and although neither has ruled it out altogether, what they must now focus on is the visit of the Swans.
Liverpool come into this game with only one win from the last five league matches - a 5-0 home defeat of Norwich City. That one brief moment aside, the Reds have lost two of the last five. And as a measure of their inconsistency, they were beaten at home by West Brom but played an excellent first 45 minutes in the 2-2 draw against Arsenal at the Emirates.
A season of such unpredictable performances means the Reds languish in ninth place in the Premier League, eight points behind the Gunners in the final qualifying position for European football next season. And in addition to Arsene Wenger's men, city rivals Everton, the Baggies and Sunday's visitors, Swansea, stand between them and Tottenham in a fourth place that will yield hugely lucrative Champions League football for next season.
Rodgers' men have been satisfactory at home, winning six of 13 games. What has been impressive about their home form is that only 12 goals have been conceded at Anfield, which is second only to Manchester City's 11. Fans have seen 22 goals scored at what is, as far as they're concerned, the right end. And this is another aspect of Liverpool's problem - 22 goals in 13 games appears a reasonable return but the fact is five of those came against Norwich and seven between Fulham and Sunderland. Effectively, then, Liverpool have only scored 12 times in 10 home games.
And this could be bad news for the home side. Swansea have conceded only 10 goals in 13 games on the road. Michael Laudrup's men have distributed wins, draws and losses evenly this season, with four wins, four draws and five defeats on the road. Their present away form is not calculated to inspire much confidence - they have not won an away league game since beating Fulham at Craven Cottage on 29 December. However, they have also not conceded defeats on the road - they've only lost one of the last five away games.
The visitors come to Anfield after demolishing relegation-threatened QPR 4-1, in a win that saw top scorer Michu return to form. The summer signing has been in stunning form in his first season in England with 15 goals from 25 league games.
Overall, though, the Swans are still very well placed to fight for European football next season.
Swansea's defence is likely to be key in this match. The side have conceded only four times in the last eight games in all competitions, with four clean sheets in that time. And the last time they came to Anfield, in October, they hammered their hosts 3-1.
- Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): L L D D L
- Last Match: Zenit St Petersburg 2 - 0 Liverpool
- Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): W L D D W
- Last Match: Swansea City 4 - 1 QPR
The good news for Liverpool fans is the January signings Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho are both available. Danish centre-back Daniel Agger is almost certain to start, after sitting out the trip to Russia. Expect Rodgers to rotate his squad, particularly because Zenit will come visiting in midweek and the fans will not countenance another poor performance on the European stage.
Probable Line-Up: Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique; Henderson, Allen, Lucas, Gerrard, Downing; Suarez
Laudrup has one or two concerns ahead of this game, with Leon Britton (ankle) a doubt. The midfielder will almost certainly not start but he may be given a place on the bench, depending on late tests. Spanish defender Chico Flores (ankle) is a long-term absentee. Left-back Neil Taylor (leg) is another absentee.
Probable Line-Up: Vorm; Rangel, Williams, Monk, Davies; Dyer, De Guzman, Ki, Hernandez, Routledge; Michu
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