Liverpool vs Middlesbrough
Liverpool host already relegated Middlesbrough in hopes of securing a Champions League place. A win for Liverpool could see them move up to 3rd and will guarantee them a Champions League space. Middlesbrough will remain 19th no matter what and are playing simply for pride.
Liverpool will be going into this game needing a win to guarantee them staying in the top 4. Also, if Boro were to beat Liverpool 2-0 and Arsenal were to draw with Everton, we would see a Champions League play-off final between Arsenal and Liverpool to decide who takes the 4th spot. This would be a first of its kind and certainly be interesting.
However, while neutrals may want to see a play-off final, Liverpool will want to do everything in their power to avoid this. So, they will be going into this game giving 100%.
Injury news: Mane and Henderson remain out for Liverpool. Firmino has a muscle injury so is unlikely to start.
With Middlesbrough already down, this game is simply an audition for Steve Agnew to fight for the Boro job. It is also a chance to give players a chance that will still be at the club next season. These include Bamford, Dimi and Fischer. With Valdes, Negredo and Ramirez all likely to leave when Boro goes down, this would be the perfect game for Middlesbrough to test out some underused faces that are likely to replace Valdes, Negredo and Ramirez.
Bamford made his first start for Boro in the League last week against Southampton. He also scored his first goal since his last spell at Boro. Therefore, Bamford will be hoping to start and continue to improve his form for next season.
Injury news: Valdes, Ayala and Ramirez remain out.
Liverpool XI: Mignolet, Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner, Can, Wijnaldum, Coutinho, Lallana, Sturridge, Origi.
Middlesbrough XI: Guzan, Fabio, Gibson, Chambers, Friend, Downing, Traore, De Roon, Clayton, Negredo, Bamford.
Head to head
The two sides have met a total of 146 times. Liverpool have won 65 times, Middlesbrough 42 times and the remaining 39 ended in draws.
Middlesbrough haven’t beaten Liverpool since February 2009.
Last time out Liverpool thrashed Boro 3-0.
Middlesbrough are already down so will be likely to show very little fight. Liverpool on the other hand, need this win to stay in the top four. So, expect Liverpool to start a very strong eleven and dominate already relegated Middlesbrough.
Final score prediction: 3-0 Liverpool