Liverpool went into the international break with some momentum after victories at Arsenal and at home to Bolton although the Reds’ Premier League title hopes have been derailed by losses at Stoke and Tottenham.
Kenny Daglish saw his team perform badly at White Hart Lane on Sunday, losing 4-0 and having two players sent off and there are sure to be changes for this Carling Cup tie at the AMEX Stadium.
The bookies still make them favourites at 4/6 (bet365 – £200 free bets) to book their place in the next round of the tournament, with Steven Gerrard rumoured to be returning to the team for this game. The Pool captain is a 7/1 chance (Sky Bet – £35 free betting) to open the scoring against the Seagulls.
Even so, this is not an ideal match for Liverpool ahead of Saturday’s Premier League match at home to Wolves, with the Merseyside club facing a Championship side who are challenging at the top of the table following a bright start.
Gus Poyet has transformed fortunes on the south coast and the Uruguayan will be urging his team to replicate the performance which saw Brighton knock Sunderland out in the previous round after their match went to extra-time.
Albion are a 4/1 chance to claim victory in normal time and consign Liverpool to their third straight defeat with the draw priced at 3/1 and few would be surprised if the game went to extra-time, especially with Dalglish likely to make several changes.