Liverpool travel to Sheffield United with both teams desperate to improve their form.
The Champions recent form is actually worse than the team sitting at the bottom of the Premier League - the reds sent into freefall after Christmas and start the game a huge 22 points behind leaders Man City.
Talk of retaining the title is effectively over and the reds first priority is to improve their form and try and ensure they can get back into the top four.
That looks a tall order on the basis of recent results and a further injury blow with Jordan Henderson set to miss a large part of the rest of the season.
Diogo Jota has returned to training but this game may arrive too soon for him. Fabinho and James Milner also remain out.
Sheffield United have plenty of injury concerns of their own as well as they face a monumental task in trying to secure their Premier League status.
As it happened...
Liverpool are hoping to avoid a fifth consecutive top flight defeat. That last happened in 1953.
Since the beginning of 2021 the reds have lost 6 Premier League games. That's more than in 2019 and 2020 combined.
Mo Salah has been the main man on the road - with seven goals in his last six games away from Anfield in all competitions.
Liverpool are two goals short of scoring their 7,000th top flight goal in English football.
No Jota in the squad. Adrian in goal with Alisson away on compassionate leave. Nat Phillips and Ozan Kabak at the back.
Mane playing his 150th Premier League game for Liverpool. He has 70 goals and 23 assists so far.
Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Kabak, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Jones, Thiago, Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Subs: Ojrzynski, Hughes, Milner, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Shaqiri, Origi, R. Williams, N. Williams.
Some positive news in that both Naby Keita and James Milner are included in the squad but natural concerns over goalkeeping following the news of Alisson's fathers death earlier this week.
On the bench are recent Academy signing - goalkeeper Liam Hughes and 18 year old Polish youth keeper Jakub Ojrzynski.
Ramsdale, Bryan, Jagielka, Ampadu, Stevens, Fleck, Lundstram, Norwood, Baldock, McGoldrick, McBurnie
Subs: Foderingham, Lowe, Ndiaye, Osborn, Maguire, Burke, Brewster, Sharp, Mousset
Diogo Jota didn't make the squad due to illness, according to the club.
Some 'rumours' suggesting it is appendicitis. Others suggesting just a stomach bug.
Knowing our luck it's probably the former.
Roy Keane, part of the Sky Sports team for tonight's game, rightly highlights that Sheffield United have lost 20 of their 25 matches this season.
He says that no matter the changes to LFC's defence they should be rubbing their hands ahead of this game.
The reds have had some poor results this season, and although Sheffield United did beat Manchester United at Old Trafford, this would still be some shock if the reds didn't take all three points here today.
Adrian looking to improve today on his record of conceding 9 goals in his 2 Premier League games.
GET INTO THESE REDMEN!
5' Free kick for Sheffield United and McGoldrick heads at Adrian.
Replay looked offside anyway.
11' Aaron Ramsdale has to make a good save there from Bobby Firmino.
Liverpool applying pressure.
Alexander-Arnold crosses it deep but Salah can't control there.
13' Robertson sets Curtis Jones away down the wing, a drop of the shoulder and he's away.
He passes to Sadio Mane, but Mane's ball back into the area only finds a Sheffield United defender.
17' Shot from Sheffield United takes a wicked deflection but fortunately Adrian pushes it away.
25' Thiago concedes a foul about 10 yards outside the area.
Sheffield United send the deadball out wide and it's Sadio Mane who retrieves it and powers up the pitch.
Liverpool have been bright but the killer ball radar remains absent.
31' Good move by LFC - Firmino finds Mo and Salah tries to go around the outside although Sadio Mane was standing in the middle of the area.
Ramsdale makes the save.
32' Trent puts one of the defenders on his backside and leathers it at goal.
Ramsdale, having a great game obviously, pushes it over.
37' Sheffield United force the ball into the net, Kabak own goal, but McBurnie was offside.
39' Aaron Ramsdale stops a shot from Wijnaldum and then Firmino tries to pass it in the six yard box instead of firing in a follow up.
Bottom of the league 0 - 0 Champions
Not much to separate the two teams. Liverpool have been the better side but boy do we waste some chances.
Second 45 underway.
No changes in personnel.
49' CURTIS JONES leathers it in. Trent Alexander-Arnold did very well to keep the ball in play and Curtis Jones puts the reds ahead.
54' Robbo sends it through and Mane puts it in the net.
But he was offside. Disallowed. Remains 1-0.
Liverpool have the lead! ????— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 28, 2021
Sheffield United thought it went out but the VAR rules the goal as legitimate. A smart finish from Curtis Jones.
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56' Phil Jagielka replaced by Ben Osborn.
58' Great cross by Norwood but McBurnie heads that with pace and just wide.
Had space and time in the box there. Should have done better.
65' BOBBY FIRMINO!!
Interplay with Salah and Mane, Firmino tricks his way into space and his shot takes a deflection into the net.
76' Thiago replaced by Milner.
Chance just before that substitution.
Ball fell neatly to Andy Robertson outside the area but his swerving shot went just over the crossbar.
Liverpool looking fairly comfortable, as would be expected, now.
80' Naby Keita is on for Curtis Jones.
And for United, Billy Sharp replaces John Fleck.
3 minutes added time.
Sheffield United 0-2 Liverpool
Well deserved win from Liverpool who finally found the net a couple of times in the second half.
Liverpool move to within two points of the top four and 7 points away from second place.
Curtis Jones: “(My) goal is for Alisson’s dad. May he rest in peace, if you see this bro, this goal is for your dad.— Anfield Online (@anfieldonline) February 28, 2021
Back to Anfield on Thursday evening.
Big game against Chelsea who are a point ahead of Liverpool in 5th place.