Philippe Coutinho and Simon Mignolet could each make their 200th Liverpool appearance against Swansea City on Boxing Day.
For eight more pre-match facts and figures ahead of the Premier League contest at Anfield, courtesy of club statistician Ged Rea, read on…
Coutinho has found the net six times already in December – his most profitable month for goals since joining the club in January 2013. His first ever strike for Liverpool was against today’s opponents.
Klopp's first home league win as Reds manager came against Swansea, with James Milner scoring from the spot in November 2015.
The Reds have scored 67 goals against Swansea in the 23 clashes at Anfield in all competitions and have netted at least four goals in nine of the 16 league meetings here.
Should Mohamed Salah score three times in the remaining two games of 2017 he will set a new club record for most goals in a season before New Year. He has scored 21 currently, two behind Roger Hunt's tally of 23 set in 1961-62.
Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 10 Boxing Day home games since losing 1-0 to Manchester United in 1986.
The two sides have met three times before in the league during the month of December – all at Anfield and the Reds have won them all, scoring four in each game.
Liverpool's next goal will be their 250th in all matches under Klopp.
Swansea are aiming to record back-to-back league victories over Liverpool for the first time in their history.
Jürgen Klopp looks back on 2017 as a year of undoubted progression for Liverpool but with a sharp hunger to achieve more for the club in the 12 months to come.
The Reds secured a return to Champions League football with a fourth-place finish in the Premier League last season and subsequent play-off victory over Hoffenheim.
So far this term, Klopp’s men have eased into the last 16 of Europe’s elite club competition – where they will face FC Porto – and remain in the top four domestically at the halfway point.
As Liverpool kick off the second half of the campaign by hosting Swansea City at Anfield, the manager has taken a moment to assess his team’s development during the calendar year.
“It is maybe more important than ever that as a club – that is team and supporters – we recognise the importance of our continued development,” writes Klopp in matchday programme ‘This is Anfield’.
“No-one here ever concedes a fight until the final bell of the final round sounds, but realistically Manchester City are in a good moment. If we were lesser people than we are collectively, we could maybe use that as an excuse to not perform to our maximum. It is vital that we all – every single one of us who cares about this club – banishes any attitude of that nature to the sidelines.
“We are about progression and development and our ambition is below no-one. We have trophies to fight for and goals to achieve this season. This team and this group of players is about so much more than just entertaining. Yes, we work every day because we love football and we all believe in playing the game in an adventurous, positive way. But that is just a part of what we are about.
“Our identity – as individuals, as a team, a squad and as a club – is about winning.
“So, with the year coming to a close in the next few days it is appropriate we look back briefly on what has been a very fulfilling 12 months together, but more so look ahead to what is still to be achieved together.
“We must take the information and learning from the last year and use it to our advantage for what is to come. I have confidence with the amazing players and staff we have, allied with the support we get each and every matchday, that the next year will be even better.”
Pick up your copy of ‘This is Anfield’ at the stadium today, or subscribe online here.
Liverpool have scored some excellent goals on Boxing Day in the Premier League era and you can relive 10 of the best with our free video.
The Reds welcome Swansea City to Anfield this evening with a view to giving fans a belated Christmas present by claiming all three points.
Before the game gets under way, registered users should check out our list of the club’s finest efforts on December 26 in recent history – featuring the likes of Steven Gerrard, Sami Hyypia and Fernando Torres – in the clip above.
After a bizarre night at the Emirates when Liverpool oscillated between the exhilarating and the exasperating, it is back to Anfield on Boxing Day, as the Reds welcome bottom-placed Swansea City in a game they should be hoping to take three points from.
Liverpool’s familiar problems with the goalkeeper and the defence resurfaced in five terrible second-half minutes that saw the Reds concede three goals, arguably all of which were avoidable.
Swansea’s season appeared to take a turn for the better when they got their first win in almost three months against West Brom, but they haven’t won their three games since, and have also seen manager Paul Clement get the boot. Leon Britton will continue to hold the reins for them as they look to heap more Anfield misery for Jurgen Klopp’s side, who have drawn more Premier League games at home than they have won.
Skipper Jordan Henderson is ruled out, but that aside, the Reds have a clean bill of health aside from the long-term absentees – Alberto Moreno and Nathaniel Clyne – and the rotation could come into full force as the Reds play their second in a run of four games in ten days.
Here are the key individual battles that could decide the outcome of the game.MOHAMED SALAH v MARTIN OLSSON
The King of Egypt. Need we say any more about Salah at this stage? 21 goals in the season so far, and there is half of it still to go. He had among his more forgettable displays in a red shirt at the Emirates, but he still ended the night with a goal and a “fake” assist.
His pace, his power, his shooting, his strength to hold defenders off and more importantly, his understanding with the rest of the Liverpool attackers, mean that Olsson will have his task cut out. The Swede will have happy memories of Anfield, as he was one of the Swans’ best performers in their shock 3-2 win earlier this year.
For Salah though, he has shown that no reputation fazes him, and he has also shown that if anything, he has induced fear into oppositions, rather than the other way around.
Needless to say, he will be the man the Reds look to for goal-scoring inspiration, and that is a position that most teams in the world would want to find themselves in, at this stage.
There was a notion a few weeks ago that the Reds were becoming over-dependent on Salah but that has been emphatically put to bed in the last few games. But it is no secret that Salah’s pace is now the preferred weapon of choice, so it is important for Jurgen Klopp that his big summer acquisition spreads some more cheer on Merseyside on Boxing Day.ROBERTO FIRMINO v ALFIE MAWSON
We need a 20-goal-a-season striker. Firmino is not a no. 9. 2017-18 has given us responses to both. No, and no. Firmino is the most important player in this system, and he has the numbers to back up the fact his end-product has considerably improved this season as well.
Mawson arrived in the Premier League with a bang and had a stellar season for the Swans last term, but much like the whole team, his form too has tapered off.
Swansea’s problems this season have been more at the other end of the pitch, with as many as 11 other sides having conceded more goals than them this season, but confidence is low and that can never be a good sign for any team before facing an attack as potent as the Reds’.
Firmino was sensational against Arsenal, with the intensity, the pressing, the passing, all on point. Salah’s goal in that game just typified the importance of Firmino being in that no. 9 role.
His movement and understanding of when and where to vacate spaces for the quicker men to run in to has been one of the striking features of his play, and that goal exemplified that, along with his ridiculously good ability to see a killer pass.
Swansea are likely to sit deep and be well organised, with the intention being to hit Liverpool on the break. That kind of a system needs strong centre-halves, and on their day, both Mawson and Federico Fernandez can prove to be that. With the relegation dogfight being a little more crowded this season, it is time for the Swans to start picking up some points, and Anfield won’t be a bad place to start for the team, and for Mawson to kickstart his season.RAGNAR KLAVAN v TAMMY ABRAHAM
Abraham has blown hot and cold for Swansea since his loan move from Chelsea, with his promise enough for Gareth Southgate to give him an England debut last month.
But in the stage that Swansea are in, just potential is not good enough. The goals have got to come from somewhere to kickstart the Swans’ season. They have only scored 11 goals in 19 games, the lowest in the Premier League.
For Klavan, he is in the middle of what you could call a purple patch. He’s barely put a foot wrong since coming into the side after Joel Matip’s injury, and his demeanour on the pitch has shown that he is playing with confidence.
Klavan and Dejan Lovren both played well for most of the game against Arsenal, and seem to be developing an understanding between themselves, but they will hope that the overall number of individual errors the Reds are committing is reduced.
It is no good defending well for 85 out of 90 minutes when it all collapses for 5 minutes as it did at the Emirates. That is going to be a challenge for both Klavan and Lovren, especially if Matip doesn’t come back any sooner.
Playing 4 games in 10 days is a challenge, even for a centre-back, and physical tiredness could often lead to lapses in concentration and poor decision-making.
One can only hope that Klavan rides on the confidence of strong recent performances and ensures that the man behind him – whoever it is – doesn’t have much work to do, because there hasn’t been much from the man between the sticks to inspire confidence for Reds fans.Listen to Liverpool FC legends like Jan Molby and Peter Beardsley as well as the best tactical and statistical analysis on Liverpool FC exclusively on AnfieldIndex Pro! Subscribe Now!
Liverpool vs. Swansea City
Boxing Day, 2017 — 5:30pm (GMT)
Referee: Kevin Friend
Yet again, we were left frustrated by this brilliant but flawed Liverpool outfit on Friday night, on a crazy night at the Emirates.
The 3-3 draw with Arsenal was far from a bad result, but blowing a two-goal lead and conceding three times in less than five minutes once again highlighted this team’s ability to capitulate.
It was yet more dropped points from a winning position – now 43 since Jurgen Klopp took charge in October 2015, which is the most by any team in Europe in that period.
After the disappointment of not seeing off a top-four rival, having dominated them, the Reds must bounce back in style on Boxing Day.
A beleaguered Swansea outfit make the trip to Anfield propping up the rest of the Premier League table, and anything other than three points for the hosts will be unacceptable.
There is the risk of the Swans having a new manager ‘bounce’, with player-manager Leon Britton set to be in charge for the game, but Liverpool should have more than enough quality to prevail.
Liverpool couldn’t ask for a nicer Boxing Day fixture – they must get the job done in ruthless, professional fashion.
Last Meeting: Liverpool 2-3 Swansea CityTeam News
Swansea have no new injury concerns, which is at least one positive for Britton, at a tricky time for the club.Last 5 at home to Swansea City (All Competitions)
Liverpool 2-3 Swansea City – January 21, 2017 (Firmino x2; Llorente x2, Sigurdsson)
Liverpool 1-0 Swansea City – November 29, 2015 (Milner pen)
Liverpool 4-1 Swansea City – December 29, 2014 (Moreno, Lallana x2, Shelvey OG; Sigurdsson)
Liverpool 2-1 Swansea City – October 28, 2014 (Balotelli, Lovren; Emnes)
Liverpool 4-3 Swansea City – February 23, 2014 (Sturridge x2, Henderson x2; Shelvey, Skrtel OG, Bony pen)
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Swansea City – Last five results (all competitions)
Since Swansea beat Liverpool at Anfield back in January this year, the Reds have lost just two of the 24 matches since, in all competitions.Klopp’s View
In his press conference, which actually took place after the Arsenal game, Klopp spoke about Britton, comparing it to his formative years as a manager:
“If he stays as manager then it’s the same career I had years ago – that’s how I became a manager at Mainz,” Klopp said.
“Maybe Swansea will take a chance on him. I wouldn’t like to say I know him well because that would be a lie, but I know him as a player.
“I was a lifelong player at Mainz, like he was at Swansea. I think there’s a chance he becomes manager, but we want to stop his dreams.
“Swansea are under pressure and we will be ready for them.”TV & Live Blog Info
The match finishes off the Boxing Day action in the Premier League, with coverage on Sky Sports Main Event starting at 5:15pm (GMT). Kick-off is at 5:30pm.
Our matchday live blog will be available from 4:45pm, with Henry Jackson in charge, having just about worked off his Christmas dinner.
Last Updated: 25/12/17 6:48pm
Jurgen Klopp has urged Liverpool to stay motivated in their bid to secure Champions League qualification for next season.
Klopp has acknowledged ahead of Liverpool's Boxing Day clash with bottom side Swansea at Anfield, live on Sky Sports Premier League, that a title challenge is beyond them given they trail leaders Manchester City by 20 points.Liverpool vs Swansea
December 26, 2017, 5:15pm
But the German believes there is still plenty for the fourth-placed Reds to play for and says they should not get complacent just because City are so far ahead.
"We have to qualify for the Champions League. We have to finish as high as possible," Klopp said.
"It looks like we could be second, third or fourth this year, that's a fantastic situation. Not the dream but a fantastic situation.
"That's what we are working on and for this we have to improve in all departments.Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool's defensive problems are down to individual errors and not their attacking approach. Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool's defensive problems are down to individual errors and not their attacking approach.
"This year, I don't think that anyone apart from Manchester City and maybe Manchester United are thinking too much about how they can win the league.
"In a very difficult league, performance-wise we are really consistent so far. If we stay consistent and avoid our mistakes, mistakes like in the 3-3 draw with Arsenal, we will win much more games than we lose or draw.
"As it was and so it will be against Swansea, we have to perform first of all and then we have to see how the other team can react."Arsenal 3-3 Liverpool Arsenal 3-3 Liverpool
Even though Swansea are at the foot of the table, Klopp does not want his players to assume the result will be a foregone conclusion.
"They are under pressure and that's clear because they fight for the league, 100 per cent, and that will not change before Boxing Day," Klopp added.
"But we will be ready and we will perform, if possible, like against Arsenal but avoid the mistakes we made.
"I don't really remember the game from last year, to be honest. I remember that we lost it. But that's not the plan!"
Last Updated: 25/12/17 4:08pmMohamed Salah reveals his favourite goals for Liverpool and assesses his start to life at Anfield Mohamed Salah reveals his favourite goals for Liverpool and assesses his start to life at Anfield
Mohamed Salah has been one of the signings of the season in the Premier League, but what are his favourite goals for Liverpool?
The Egypt international has been a revelation for the Reds after joining from Roma in the summer, scoring 15 goals to top the Premier League scoring charts alongside Harry Kane at Christmas.
In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, Salah talks us through his top 10 goals for Liverpool, assesses his start to life at Anfield, and discusses his ambitions for 2018...Liverpool vs Swansea
December 26, 2017, 5:15pm
Live onDebut goal - Watford 3-3 Liverpool
It was a great feeling for me to score in my first game for Liverpool. I was very happy. First of all I was thinking if it was a offside or not, but then I looked to the linesman and he said goal so I was very happy.Salah netted in his first Premier League game against Watford Salah netted in his first Premier League game against Watford First Premier League goal at Anfield - Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal
I always like to score in the big games. I like the way I scored this goal - the speed, on the counter-attack - and the result was good for us. I always like to score at Anfield, especially in these kind of games. I was thinking if someone was on the other side I would have passed, 100 per cent, but I was fast, maybe faster than anyone at that moment, so I took the decision to shoot. I missed some chances before, but this was good.Watch Salah's goal against Arsenal Watch Salah's goal against Arsenal Burnley boost - Liverpool 1-1 Burnley
With the boss [Jurgen Klopp] now I play closer to the goal than I have with any other club. I am always in front of the goal and close to it so I can score. I expected the ball from Emre [Can], I made the run, got the ball, controlled it and it was a good finish also. The run is the kind of thing that the boss has always told me in training.Salah equalised for Liverpool in a 1-1 draw against Burnley Salah equalised for Liverpool in a 1-1 draw against Burnley Lifeline at Wembley - Tottenham 4-1 Liverpool
I expected the ball from [Jordan] Henderson because he always likes to play this ball behind the centre-backs. The score was not good for us at the time as it was 2-0 to them, and I had to score. We had a bad start in the game - I don't want to say we were nervous but it was a bad start.
I expected the ball and made the run and I want to shoot with my left foot but the ball was on my right foot and I was a little bit lucky, but in the end a goal is a goal. They scored two goals in 12 minutes at the start so it was not easy for us to accept that it was 2-0. It was a difficult game for us.Salah scored in a losing effort at Wembley Salah scored in a losing effort at Wembley Southampton double - Liverpool 3-0 Southampton
I'm playing like a No 9 for the first goal. I am always changing with [Roberto] Firmino, that game I think we were playing like two strikers, so Firmino goes and the centre-back goes with him and then I go behind him. The quality of the players makes everything easier for me because we have great players in front, also at the back and in midfield. We have very good quality and they make it easier for me.
You can see the pass from [Philippe] Coutinho. He always tries to do that. He did in Sevilla and I missed it. He is magic and a great player. I am very happy to play alongside this kind of player. Firmino, Coutinho, Sadio [Mane], Ox [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain], Dom [Dominic Solanke], Studge [Daniel Sturridge]; they are all fantastic.I am always trying to improve and see my weakness and work on it.
With the second goal, sometimes I take the corner, sometimes it is Coutinho. We are not fighting for it, but I took it and then Firmino reacts very quickly. I get the ball from Gini [Wijnaldum] and I took the decision to shoot.
I am always trying to improve and see my weakness and work on it. I am always trying to score from many different ways in training and alone in training afterwards, the coaches help me a lot to do that. I have to try that in the game. You cannot score 10 goals from 10 shots, that's impossible, but I am trying. I miss many chances but I always keep trying and sometimes you score easy goals or difficult goals, but in the end I am trying to score.Watch Salah's double against Southampton Watch Salah's double against Southampton Super sub - Stoke 0-3 Liverpool
It was too cold in Stoke! But this game was special. I was on the bench and then come on and score two goals to help the team with a good result. Sadio scored the first goal and the second goal for me he did everything. He played a great ball and then I took the decision to volley and it was a good finish, but Sadio did everything for that goal.
Sadio and myself are very close, maybe he is my closest friend in the team. He is a great guy, fantastic player and very fast, with quality and confidence. I am very happy to share everything with him.Salah netted twice after coming off the bench against Stoke Salah netted twice after coming off the bench against Stoke Derby delight - Liverpool 1-1 Everton
The first derby was special for me and it was a very good goal. I get the ball from Joe [Gomez] and it was a nice skill and nice finish. I am sure if someone was in a better position I would pass the ball but in the end I want to score and help the team to get the points. You can see the reaction of the fans, it's very nice!
They are a good team but we were unlucky to lose two points in that game.Watch highlights of Liverpool's draw with Everton Watch highlights of Liverpool's draw with Everton Cherry on top - Bournemouth 0-4 Liverpool
In this game I missed two or three chances before, but in my mind I always want to score to help the team, not for personal goals, but to get points, to help the team achieve something and win something. In that game I was happy because it was 2-0 and then I scored the third goal.
I like the run I did and the boss asks us to do that all the time. We work on different tactics and I like to score in different ways. The Everton goal was different to this and I am trying different ways to score and help the team win.Salah scored in Liverpool's 4-0 win over Bournemouth Salah scored in Liverpool's 4-0 win over Bournemouth Salah on…
How quickly did you settle in at Liverpool? At the beginning when I signed for Liverpool it was a bit different to Rome. But soon I knew what the coach wanted from me and the quality of players makes everything easier for me. From the first day I knew what I wanted to do and I scored goals in the pre-season so I had a good start.
What's the togetherness like in the team? Anyone in the team can score and everyone will run to him because we are happy for each other. You can see that. We all want to score but in the end if someone is in a better position then they will give the ball. In the end we play for the team.
Did you expect to score so many goals? Honestly, yes. I always say nothing is by luck. You work, you expect more and you will get what you deserve.I came here to win titles. To win something for the club, for us, for the fans. I would love to win something here. We are working hard every day to win something and I am sure we will this year.
Mohamed Salah's ambitions for 2018
Favourite goal? The goal against Southampton was good and Everton I like a lot. Watford was a special moment too. It was a good feeling to start with a goal in the Premier League and I wanted to do it in the first game. But it has to be Everton because I am using everything for this goal - power, skill, finishing. That's my best goal so far.
Ambitions for 2018? I am always saying I want to win titles here. I came here to win titles. To win something for the club, for us, for the fans. I would love to win something here. We are working hard every day to win something and I am sure we will this year.
Watch the exclusive interview with Mo Salah on Christmas Day on Sky Sports News and On Demand.Super 6 £1m jackpot
Simply predict six correct scores to win Jeff's £1 million. Enter your selections for free here.
© Copyright 2017 The Liverpool Football Club and Athletic Grounds Limited. All rights reserved.
Match Statistics supplied by Opta Sports Data Limited. Reproduced under licence from Football DataCo Limited. All rights reserved.
It’s that time of year again Reds! Here we are back once again with another TIA Christmas quiz.
If you’ve opened all your presents, had your Christmas dinner and just realised there’s nothing on telly, why not sit down and try our 12 questions on Liverpool FC’s festive fortunes over the years.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and good luck with our quiz!
Jordan Henderson has used his Boxing Day programme notes to pay a special tribute to the 'team behind the team' at Liverpool.
At such a hectic stage of the Premier League season, the Reds captain – who has been ruled out of the Anfield clash with Swansea City – turns the spotlight on the vital work carried out by staff around the club to provide the players with a platform to perform.
“For those of us at Liverpool, this time of year does make us think more of what is often referenced as the ‘team behind the team’: the staff at Melwood,” writes Henderson in ‘This is Anfield’.
“Melwood, our training ground, has a life of its own. It’s hard to put into words what it’s like to work there, but from the moment we drive in through the gates the players are surrounded by brilliant people and professionals who are there to help us be the best we can on the pitch.
“Probably because they’re the most visible, the coaching staff and medical team are often in the public eye: they’re seen in pictures either on the training ground or on matchday. But ask any of the players in our dressing room and they’ll tell you that they are just one part of a very important group of people we see on a daily basis.
“From the staff on the security gate to the kit and laundry guys, the reception and admin staff, the ground staff, the cleaners and the canteen team, they are all very much unsung heroes. These are the people who make Melwood what it is and help us each and every day.
“I noticed recently there was an article on the official club website about Carol and Caroline, who are the heart and soul of the canteen at Melwood. They’re part of the furniture there and would do anything for anyone.
“I loved reading that article, not because it gave Carol and Caroline publicity but because it highlighted that a football club is about far more than just people like us, the players and coaches, who get all the limelight and credit when things are going well.
“Carol and Caroline represent the sort of humour and spirit that gives Melwood warmth and personality as a place to go into work. Right through the building and outside working on the pitches and across the facility, we are blessed with brilliant individuals.
“The reason it hits home at this time of year is because these guys make similar sacrifices to us as players but without the same benefits we are lucky to have. When we’re in, they’re in – simple as that. They work all through Christmas and New Year and never once do you hear any complaining. They all are so proud to work for Liverpool and the club is very lucky to have them.
“Aside from Melwood, there will be staff who will have worked right through Christmas at Anfield as well, so that the game [on Boxing Day] can go ahead as normal. Again, these guys work incredibly hard during a time of year when the majority of people can wind down.
“I suppose it’s to be expected that the team will always hog the limelight and attention, but on behalf of all the players I wanted to use these Boxing Day notes to say how much we appreciate the work done by huge numbers of staff from across the club that make it such a special place.
“To the ones we see at Melwood we can say thanks and Merry Christmas personally. To the army of Anfield workers, the team is just as appreciative of your crucial role as well.”
Pick up your copy of ‘This is Anfield’ at the stadium, or subscribe online here.
As we lie around feeling drunk and bloated over the Christmas period, Premier League footballers are preparing for yet more action.
Liverpool were left frustrated in their last outing, with the 3-3 draw at Arsenal feeling like a defeat, having led 2-0 in the second-half.
The Reds host Swansea City on Boxing Day, which provides them with a perfect opportunity to respond, against the division’s bottom-placed side.
All 20 top flight teams are playing over the next three days – here’s some of the best action to keep an eye on.One To Watch: Crystal Palace vs. Arsenal
Sometimes, you have to begrudgingly take your hate off to Roy Hodgson.
Liverpool’s worst ever manager is doing an impressive job at Crystal Palace, and the Eagles’ 1-1 draw at Swansea on Saturday made it eight matches unbeaten.
On Thursday night, Palace welcome Arsenal to south London, in a game that promises to be entertaining under the lights of an atmospheric Selhurst Park.
These are traditionally the occasions in which the Gunners struggle, with in-your-face lesser teams suffocating them and producing shock results, and they cannot afford to take their opponents for granted.
Arsenal were not remotely impressive against Liverpool, barring that five-minute burst, and you could easily see them dropping points here.
Palace will definitely fancy their chances, and if Wilfried Zaha keeps up his superb recent form, he will be a nightmare to deal with.
On paper, the visitors should have more than enough quality to win, but we’ve see this one before.One To Avoid: Man United vs. Burnley
Their League Cup exit at the hands of Bristol City was fairly humiliating, and the late goal conceded at 10-man Leicester put more pressure on Jose Mourinho.
On Boxing Day, Liverpool’s fiercest rivals host Burnley – it’s fair to say it could be a very defence-minded 90 minutes.
The two sides have conceded just 29 league goals between them this season, in a combined 38 matches, and neither Mourinho or Sean Dyche are famed for their attacking style.
This is a game you could easily see being 0-0 in the second-half, with United nicking a scrappy goal to take home the points, but you could also see the Clarets getting something, too.
Whatever happens, it’s not going to be a classic.Potential Upset: Newcastle vs. Man City
I know, I know, what are we thinking selecting this as our ‘potential upset’!
Man City‘s form is frightening at the moment, with 17 league wins in succession an incredible achievement. It puts the Reds 11-game winning streak in 2013/14 into perspective.
The football Pep Guardiola’s side are playing is some of the best in Premier League history, and Maguire’s late equaliser means City are now 13 points clear at the top at Christmas.
Despite their brilliance, Wednesday’s trip to St James’ Park to face Newcastle could see them finally drop points again.
Getting one over the league leaders is exactly the kind of thing Rafa Benitez would do, especially in front of a ferocious home crowd.
The Magpies’ thrilling 3-2 win at West Ham was a huge result for them, following some wretched form, so they will go into this fixture feeling good about themselves.
City can’t keep winning – the law of averages says so! – and they may just rest players and take their foot off the gas.
A home win is unlikely, but even a draw against this City outfit has to be considered a shock.Fixtures, UK TV Info & Predictions
Chelsea vs. Brighton – 3pm
Huddersfield vs. Stoke – 3pm
Watford vs. Leicester – 3pm
Liverpool vs. Swansea – 5:30pm, Sky Sports Main Event
Wednesday (December 27)
Newcastle vs. Man City – 7:45pm, Sky Sports Main Event
Jürgen Klopp has shared a special message for Liverpool supporters around the world on Christmas Day...
I would like to wish all of our supporters, however they choose to mark this time of year, a very happy and peaceful Christmas.
I know our fans, be they from Liverpool the city itself, across the UK or from anywhere around the world, have a diverse set of beliefs and customs – and some who choose to follow none. This is the case within our team, for example – a wonderful and diverse coming together of cultures and backgrounds.
But regardless of faith or religion, at this time of year in the UK and many parts of the globe people come together with friends and family to enjoy spending time with each other. I absolutely love this.
This is my third Christmas as manager of Liverpool Football Club and I feel more energised and excited than I ever have done about the times we have ahead of us.
Of course, we would like more wins, more points and to be on track to win everything we compete for. I know this is important for our supporters. But I think in football, as in life, you can make a choice to be joyful and enjoy great moments and great times together. We have had these moments and we have had them in the last few years. These moments have been more special for those of us blessed to work for the club because we have shared them with our supporters.
It is important never to make specific promises that you can’t guarantee 100 per cent you can deliver on – but that doesn’t mean we should ever try to hide our ambitions in the shade or stop ourselves lifting our heads high and love being part of LFC. I say again – when I look at where we are as a team and a club and the progress we make, and the strides forward we take, I am filled with positivity and hope for 2018 and the years beyond.
There are crazy things happening in the world at the moment and football is not immune to it. For our supporters, wherever in the world, who are experiencing tough times, I hope that Christmas brings some respite from the day-to-day struggles of life.
Very close to us, Anfield and Melwood, we have two causes that demonstrate perfectly why those of us who are blessed with health and opportunity should always be thankful for it and not ignore our friends and neighbours.
At Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, there’ll be brave kids and parents today who are fighting some of the most important battles you could ever imagine – and doing it with courage and spirit. They’re courageously battling with the help and support of the world-class staff, be it doctors, nurses, porters, cleaners, security or admin staff. Their dedication and compassion makes Alder Hey the amazing place Liverpool is so unbelievably proud of.
Locally – at Anfield and across the city – the various foodbank projects have supported families and individuals who are in need of a helping hand, not because of any fault of their own, but the circumstances they find themselves in, completely beyond their control. For this to be the case in a country that has wealth and resources like this one, is simply beyond belief. The extent the volunteers from organisations like Fans Supporting Foodbanks go to, to help and support others in their local community, is very humbling.
There’ll be hundreds and hundreds of other volunteers across Merseyside giving up their Christmas Day to help and support others – and also others working their regular jobs for the care and safety of others. To these special people we say a very loud Merry Christmas.
On behalf of the team, we look forward to seeing a good number of you at Anfield on Boxing Day and I know many more will be watching, listening and following the match through other means. We always appreciate your support and recognise that in doing so you invest a great deal in us. We will never take this for granted.
Have a great day, however you choose to spend it.
You’ll Never Walk Alone
Last Updated: 24/12/17 12:13pmWatch Liverpool v Swansea on Sky Sports Premier League
Swansea worked hard to earn a point against Crystal Palace on Saturday, but their bid to scramble off the foot of the Premier League table doesn't get any easier as they travel to Anfield on Boxing Day, live on Sky Sports Premier League.
Liverpool will have the extra day's rest following their barnstorming 3-3 draw with Arsenal on Friday Night Football - a result which extended their unbeaten league run to 10 games - but given the tight battle that is building for the Champions League spots behind Manchester City, this is a must-win game for Jurgen Klopp's side.Arsenal 3-3 Liverpool Arsenal 3-3 Liverpool
The German admitted to Liverpool's "obvious problems" in defence after their implosion at the Emirates, although shot-shy Swansea are unlikely to pose the attacking threat of the Gunners.Liverpool vs Swansea
December 26, 2017, 5:15pm
In the other dugout, Leon Britton is set to take charge of his second game as temporary boss, having reiterated after the 1-1 draw with Palace that he has no interest in taking the job full-time.
"The fans have been great with me, as player or manager, you could hear them being very vocal which I appreciate, but in terms of the job, nothing has changed and I'm not looking for the job full time," he said.Swansea 1-1 Crystal Palace Swansea 1-1 Crystal Palace
"They need to make the right decision, make sure it's clear what they want, whether that's before Liverpool, after Liverpool or in January. They have to make sure they take their time and get the right man."Team news
Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson will sit out the game at Anfield after injuring his right hamstring early in the draw with Arsenal and has been ruled out by Klopp.Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson receives treatment against Arsenal
However, Liverpool's boss insisted that while a few knocks were sustained against the Gunners, no others players were expected to miss out against the Swans.
Kyle Naughton has joined the Swansea casualty list after suffering a groin injury in Saturday's 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace, with Angel Rangel set to deputise.Watch a preview of Boxing Day's Premier League games including Tottenham v Southampton and Liverpool v Swansea Watch a preview of Boxing Day's Premier League games including Tottenham v Southampton and Liverpool v Swansea
Swansea are already without Wilfried Bony (hamstring), Ki Sung-yueng (calf) and Kyle Bartley (knee ligaments), while Leroy Fer (back) will be assessed on Christmas Day.Opta stats
Liverpool have lost two of their last three Premier League games against Swansea - including this exact fixture last season - having lost just one of the previous nine against them in the competition (W5 D3).
Swansea's 3-2 victory at Anfield last season was their only win in 16 total league visits there (D3 L12).Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool's defensive problems are down to individual errors and not their attacking approach Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool's defensive problems are down to individual errors and not their attacking approach
After the first three Premier League meetings between these sides produced just one goal, the following nine have seen 35 scored, at a rate of 3.9 per game (22 for Liverpool, 13 for Swansea).
The Reds haven't lost a home league game on Boxing Day since 1986 (0-1 vs Man Utd), winning seven and drawing three of their 10 at Anfield since then.A proud Leon Britton credits his Swansea side after they came back from a goal down to draw 1-1 against Crystal Palace A proud Leon Britton credits his Swansea side after they came back from a goal down to draw 1-1 against Crystal Palace Merson's prediction
It was not the worst result in the world for Swansea on Saturday the way Palace have been playing (1-1), but I just think Liverpool are irresistible, are they not?
PAUL PREDICTS: 4-0 (17/2 with Sky Bet)Super 6 £1m jackpot
Simply predict six correct scores to win Jeff's £1 million. Enter your selections for free here.
Football Expert & Columnist @PaulMerse
Last Updated: 24/12/17 12:38pm
Paul Merson gives his Premier League Boxing Day predictions - how will he get on?
There are eight Premier League clashes on Boxing Day - including Tottenham v Southampton and Liverpool v Swansea City both live on Sky Sports - as well as a couple more on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Magic Man gives us his predictions for all the fixtures...Tottenham v Southampton (Tuesday, 12.30pm, live on Sky Sports Premier League) Tottenham vs So'ton
December 26, 2017, 12:00pm
They absolutely ripped Burnley apart, considering what Burnley have been doing and considering they had not won away from home since September, it was a big result. Southampton have gone - no Charlie Austin, no Virgil van Dijk, so I cannot see anything other than a Tottenham win.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0 (15/2 with Sky Bet)Burnley 0-3 Tottenham Burnley 0-3 Tottenham Bournemouth v West Ham (Tuesday, 3pm)
It is six games without a win now for Bournemouth, and Newcastle go to West Ham and win, and yet they had kept clean sheets against three top teams. They have played Chelsea, Arsenal and Stoke, who scored three goals on Saturday, and kept clean sheets. And then they go and let in three goals against Newcastle, who cannot win for toffee, and that was a poor result for West Ham. So it is so hard to predict. This is a big game for Bournemouth. I think they are in major, major trouble because I did not think they would go down. I thought they would have too much.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (9/1 with Sky Bet)West Ham 2-3 Newcastle West Ham 2-3 Newcastle Chelsea v Brighton & Hove Albion(Tuesday, 3pm)
Brighton did well on Saturday (in beating Watford 1-0), they just do not put their chances away. Chris Hughton must sit there on tenterhooks - he needs to watch a game where he can relax for once! I watched them against Burnley when they should have been two or three up, but missed a penalty, drew 0-0 and were hanging on at the end. On Saturday they had chance after chance to kill the game, while Chelsea were unlucky against Everton, let's be honest, they should have won. Brighton have got bigger games over Christmas than this and you will find some teams will rest players for bigger games. With three games coming up really quickly, you are not going to put all your first-team players out in this game, get beat 3-0 and then they are all tired for the big games coming up.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0 (5/1 with Sky Bet)Everton 0-0 Chelsea Everton 0-0 Chelsea Huddersfield Town v Stoke City(Tuesday, 3pm)
West Brom were a bit unlucky against Stoke on Saturday, but it was a big result for them. I am pleased for Mark Hughes, he is a good manager. And when you are a chairman or an owner of a club, then you should not worry about your manager as when the chips were down and they needed a win, they turned up for their manager and that is a big statement for me. That is what all chairmen and owners should look at - if you go five or six games without a win and then the pressure is on and they turn in a performance and win… you can only get the sack if you lose the players and he has not done that, no way and what a result that was. But this is a tough game for Stoke as Huddersfield are alright at home, they are a handful and are hard to beat, they suffocate you and I just do not think Stoke have got much pace on the counter-attack. So I think they will squeeze Stoke and win 2-0.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (9/1 with Sky Bet)Southampton 1-1 Huddersfield Southampton 1-1 Huddersfield Manchester United v Burnley (Tuesday, 3pm)
It is alright saying we missed chance after chance, but Man Utd's final pass was sometimes atrocious and if I was the manager, I would have been fuming. At the highest level, that was poor. To just let players drop off and get the ball against 10 men…. But I am going to go for Man Utd, they are going to beat someone soon, so I am going to go 4-0 as I think losing to Spurs will have affected Burnley on Saturday. They got well beaten and I just think Man Utd are waiting for the goals to start flowing, while James Tarkowski is a big miss for Burnley - you saw that on Saturday.
PAUL PREDICTS: 4-0 (10/1 with Sky Bet)Leicester 2-2 Manchester Utd Leicester 2-2 Manchester Utd Watford v Leicester City (Tuesday, 3pm)
I watched Watford on Saturday (losing 1-0 at Brighton) and they are all over the place defensively and Brighton really should have won 3-0 or 4-0. They were a much better team and I just cannot believe what has happened to Watford. And I am going to go for Leicester to win this, Watford are all over the place and have hit a brick wall at the moment, while Riyad Mahrez looks like he has the bit between his teeth, Leicester look pacy, so I am going to go for them to win 2-1.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-2 (9/1 with Sky Bet)Brighton 1-0 Watford Brighton 1-0 Watford West Brom v Everton (Tuesday, 3pm)
Sam Allardyce just does what it says on the tin and that is what they were hoping for at West Brom, was it not? It is alright West Brom saying they were unlucky, but I just do not see it. I think Everton will go there and frustrate them and win 2-1. It was easy when West Brom were 2-0 down at home to Man Utd the other week, as then they started playing. And that would be a shocking result for West Brom.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-2 (11/1 with Sky Bet)Stoke 3-1 West Brom Stoke 3-1 West Brom Liverpool v Swansea City (Tuesday, 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports Premier League) Liverpool vs Swansea
December 26, 2017, 5:15pm
It was not the worst result in the world for Swansea on Saturday the way Palace have been playing (1-1), but I just think Liverpool are irresistible, are they not?
PAUL PREDICTS: 4-0 (17/2 with Sky Bet)Swansea 1-1 Crystal Palace Swansea 1-1 Crystal Palace Newcastle v Manchester City (Wednesday, 7.45pm, live on Sky Sports Premier League) Newcastle vs Man City
December 27, 2017, 7:30pm
Man City played in second gear and still beat Bournemouth 4-0 on Saturday! They won 4-0 in second gear, so I am going to go for another 4-0 win. I think City will just rip them apart and Newcastle have had their result (beating West Ham). The problem is that Newcastle will sit 10 men behind the ball, but you are going to get broken down though before the end of the game. And City are just relentless, relentless, but it is no disrespect to Newcastle, who had a massive football result at West Ham on Saturday, but City will beat better teams than Newcastle by more than 4-0.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-4 (10/1 with Sky Bet)Manchester City 4-0 Bournemouth Manchester City 4-0 Bournemouth Crystal Palace v Arsenal (Thursday, 8pm, live on Sky Sports Premier League) C Palace vs Arsenal
December 28, 2017, 7:30pm
This will be a good game. You look at Arsenal against Liverpool and it was an entertaining game. But seriously, you are not going to win anything at all playing like that. I am going to go 3-2 to Arsenal though…
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-3 (20/1 with Sky Bet)Arsenal 3-3 Liverpool Arsenal 3-3 Liverpool Super 6 £1m jackpot
Simply predict six correct scores to win Jeff's £1 million. Enter your selections for free here.