Liverpool vs. Middlesbrough: Team News, Preview, Live Stream and TV Info

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2017

Liverpool's English striker Daniel Sturridge (C) joins the celerbation after Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho (2R) scored their second goal during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Liverpool at The London Stadium, in east London on May 14, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/Getty Images

Liverpool's destiny is in their own hands on Sunday in the final match of the Premier League season, as they know a win over Middlesbrough at Anfield would be enough for them to secure a UEFA Champions League spot.

The Reds are in fourth place in the table ahead of the contest, a point clear of Arsenal. The Gunners must win and hope Liverpool drop points to the Championship-bound Teesiders. 

It'll be a fascinating atmosphere at Anfield, one that'll no doubt be laced with nerves and expectation. Here are all the details needed on where to catch the action, the latest team news for both sides and a look at how this fixture will play out.

    

Date: Sunday, May 21

Time: 3 p.m. (BST), 10 a.m. (ET)

TV Info: Sky Sports (U.K.), NBC Sports (U.S.)

Live Stream: Sky Go (U.K.), NBC Sports App (U.S.)

     

Team News

Liverpool: After sitting out the win over West Ham United on Sunday, Roberto Firmino is the big doubt for the Reds, meaning Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi may continue up front. Sadio Mane and Jordan Henderson are both long-term absentees.

Likely XI: Simon Mignolet; Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, James Milner; Emre Can, Georginio Wijnaldum, Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana; Divock Origi, Daniel Sturridge

Middlesbrough: After back-to-back losses against Chelsea and Southampton, manager Steve Agnew may well make some significant changes for their last game in the Premier League for another season at least. 

Likely XI: Brad Guzan; Fabio, Calum Chambers, Ben Gibson, George Friend; Adam Clayton, Adam Forshaw, Marten De Roon; Stewart Downing, Adama Traore, Alvaro Negredo

     

Preview

Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp waits for kick off of the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Liverpool at The London Stadium, in east London on May 14, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/Getty Images

Although there were heady ambitions of winning the Premier League title early in the campaign, Liverpool supporters would have been delighted to be in this position if offered at the start of the 2016-17 term.

Indeed, the team have made undeniable progress under the guidance of Klopp. In the early stages of the season, the Reds' form was frightening, as they brushed aside teams.

That spark has been sapped by the rigours of a long season, but there were some signs it was back on Sunday when Liverpool tore West Ham United apart in a 4-0 win.

Coutinho was exceptional against West Ham.
Coutinho was exceptional against West Ham.Jan Kruger/Getty Images

The orchestrator-in-chief of that win was Coutinho. As noted by Jack Lusby of This Is Anfield, he was so incisive in his use of the ball:

Given Middlesbrough are likely to come to Merseyside and sit deep in this encounter, the Reds will need the Brazilian to find those lock-picking passes again on Sunday. They'll also be looking for Sturridge to latch on to the end of some.

The striker made his first start since January in the Premier League at the London Stadium and was lethal when played in by the Liverpool No. 10, netting the opening goal of the game. It's a goalscoring instinct Liverpool have lacked at times in crucial tussles this season.

There's a chance this fixture may be Sturridge's last for Liverpool, with some speculation gathering pace he may be on his way out of Anfield. As noted by Sky Sports Statto, he's not played nearly enough football in recent years:

Although Liverpool will be expected to secure a comfortable win here, if the game does start slowly there will be edginess around Anfield.

Agnew will want to see his side put in a determined performance.
Agnew will want to see his side put in a determined performance.Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Boro, for all their flaws, have shown they can frustrate big sides this season. They've drawn twice with Manchester City and held Arsenal to a 0-0 at the Emirates Stadium. If they can dig in at Anfield—where Liverpool have failed to win any of their last three games—then perhaps they can make things interesting.

But Liverpool have performed well when under pressure this term and you sense the iconic stadium will be a cauldron of noise for this one. Should the Reds score early, as they did against West Ham a week ago, they should cruise to a comprehensive triumph.

    

Prediction: Liverpool 4-0 Middlesbrough