Liverpool v Hull preview: Mike Phelan bidding for birthday win at Anfield
By Andrew Dickson and Tom Bennett
Last Updated: 24/09/16 2:40pm
Liverpool will attempt to ruin Hull manager Mike Phelan's birthday and win four consecutive games under Jurgen Klopp for just the third time on Saturday.
Both sides won in the EFL Cup in midweek, with Hull coming back to win in stoppage time at Stoke to continue their encouraging start to the season.
They will have to break new ground if they are to succeed at Anfield too, however, having never won in 10 previous visits and drawn just two of those games.
If they can upset the odds, Hull will give caretaker manager Phelan victory on his 54th birthday - but Liverpool are strong at home and have lost just once in their last 14 Premier League games there.
Liverpool midfielders Adam Lallana and Gini Wijnaldum are set to return for the visit of Hull.
The pair were rested for the midweek EFL Cup win over Derby, with striker Daniel Sturridge also sitting that out after missing training with a niggle which could put his place against the Tigers in doubt.
Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is expected to start between the sticks, despite summer signing Loris Karius making his competitive debut and keeping a clean sheet against the Rams.
Hull midfielder Jake Livermore returns to contention following suspension.
Livermore, a makeshift centre-half in the Tigers' first five league games, missed the midweek EFL Cup win at Stoke due to a one-game ban and Phelan must decide whether to recall him or retain Harry Maguire alongside skipper Curtis Davies.
New signings Ryan Mason, Markus Henriksen, David Marshall, Will Keane, James Weir and Dieumerci Mbokani all started on Wednesday night and will be hoping to make their first league starts.
Hull's joint-heaviest Premier League defeat (along with 0-5 v Wigan) came at Anfield in September 2009 as Liverpool beat them 6-1.
Hull have visited Anfield seven times in the league without winning. The only three teams they have visited more without success are Chelsea (17), Manchester United (12) and Manchester City (10).
There have been 18 instances of a manager winning a Premier League game on their birthday, with 25 occasions where a manager has lost a match in the competition on their birthday.
Liverpool's sole loss in their last 14 Premier League games was to Manchester United in January and the 1-0 reverse is the only home league match in which they have failed to score under Klopp.
Hull have named an unchanged team in their five Premier League games this season. The last time a side did this for longer from the start of a season was Aston Villa in 2008-09 (seven games).
Liverpool have lost just one of their last 39 Premier League home games against a newly promoted side (1-2 vs Blackpool in October 2010). They have won 29 and drawn nine of these matches.
Hull will go to Anfield and try to make it difficult. They got another good result at Stoke in the EFL Cup, although I'm not sure they needed that with the squad they've got!
These are the games that worry me for Liverpool. The players get up for the big games against Arsenal, Chelsea and the rest, but they have struggled to put away some of the so-called lesser teams.
Liverpool need to become consistent winners against teams like Hull and if they can win on Saturday, I think they will be a major threat this season.
They will win by a good margin if their attitude is right and if they play their best, Phelan's side won't be able to get near them.
Paul predicts: 3-0 (Sky Bet odds 11/2)
Liverpool are Sky Bet's shortest-priced favourites of the weekend at 2/9, with Hull up against odds of 12/1 to win and 5/1 just to secure a draw.
The Reds' victory at Chelsea on Friday Night Football last weekend saw them climb up to second in the Premier League outright betting at 11/2, leapfrogging Chelsea (8/1), Arsenal (11/1) Manchester United (12/1) in the process.
Hull, by contrast, slipped into odds-on for relegation following their defeat to the Gunners on Saturday.
Daniel Sturridge heads the first goalscorer betting at 11/4 while the in-form Robert Snodgrass is considered the visitors' main threat alongside Abel Hernandez at 12/1 apiece.