Date: 20 January 2017 10:23
Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League encounter at Anfield on Saturday
Liverpool are targeting their first Premier League win of 2017 by exacerbating Swansea City's struggles and advancing their own ambitions at the top end of the table.
The division's bottom club travel to Anfield with new manager Paul Clement admitting that the encounter provides a bigger obstacle than lining up against Arsenal last time out, which ended in a 4-0 defeat.
"We are away from home against title contenders who play good football and defend with a lot of energy," was his assessment and Jurgen Klopp will be hoping to see his side return to their devastating best on Saturday.
The Reds are looking to record their fourth league double over the Swans following their 2-1 victory at the Liberty Stadium back in October.
Nathaniel Clyne has missed the past two clashes after sustaining a rib/abdominal injury during the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-final at Southampton. Jordan Henderson, meanwhile, returned to action against Manchester United last weekend after nursing a heel issue, before sitting out the 1-0 FA Cup replay victory at Plymouth Argyle.
Klopp expects both England internationals to be in contention for Saturday's test. "All in a good way. Clyney and Hendo were not in team training until now but should be back today," he said on Friday.
"Clyney could make two running sessions, only to feel if he can cope with the pain. I saw him yesterday and the thumb was very up – so that's good. Hendo should be OK, too."
On the skipper's situation in particular, the Reds boss added: "He felt the muscle a little bit more than he's used to. It's still about the heel. That's more the problem still."
There are no suspensions for the hosts, who are awaiting FIFA's word on Joel Matip's eligibility to feature during the Africa Cup of Nations. Klopp expects an update on Friday, but at the time of publication there was "nothing new".
With Philippe Coutinho starting against Plymouth in midweek to aid his sharpness, the Brazilian should make the XI.
"You saw it already in the few minutes he had in the last games now," Klopp remarked on the 24-year-old's influence.
"I was actually happy about the opportunity at Plymouth, that we could give him this 60-something minutes.
"It was really good for him, for us, to get kind of a rhythm, because even Phil Coutinho cannot be back on the pitch and immediately [be] at 100 per cent; that's actually not really possible.
"[He's] very important for us and I'm happy about this fact. It's not 150 [per cent] good news in the last few days but that is one of the best for sure."
If Henderson and Clyne receive the all-clear, they will also strengthen Klopp's hand from the off.
Swansea have conceded three or more goals in 11 of their 21 top-flight fixtures this season, which is more than they have let in in any other previous Premier League campaign.
In addition to a porous rearguard, they have been pained in front of the posts too. Their last six games across all competitions has seen them get on the scoresheet just twice, with the opposition managing to do so 18 times.
Clement has already suggested an approach of containment this weekend and given Swansea have the league's worst defensive record - picking the ball out of the net as many times as Liverpool, the most successful attack, have managed to put it in - it is a strategy that is sensible albeit hard to sustain.
Klopp, though, has noted advancement in the opposition since their change at the helm. "I'm not sure I have ever seen such an improvement in such a short time, the playing style, what they have done is a really unbelievable job," he said.
Liverpool have won five of their last six Premier League games against Swansea, losing only once (1-3 at Liberty Stadium in 2015-16).
The Swans have yet to win at Anfield in the Premier League, drawing on their first visit but losing four consecutive games since, shipping 14 goals in the process.
James Milner has found the back of the net in each of his last three Premier League appearances against Swansea (two for Liverpool, one for Man City).
Jordan Henderson has been directly involved in five goals in his last five PL games against Swansea, scoring three and assisting twice.
Kick off is at 12:30pm, with the match televised live on BT Sport.