Orlando Pirates suffered something of a disappointment when they were held 0-0 by Namibia's African Stars in Saturday's CAF Champions League First Round first leg clash at Orlando Stadium.
The home side started with great promise as Vincent Pule fired on goal without any joy in the opening exchanges.
The visitors appeared content to park the bus in numbers and lacked any real attacking threat going forward.
The Sea Robbers were largely stifled by the massed defence though Linda Mntambo did threaten with a wayward strike.
Just before the interval Bucs' striker Justin Shonga may have done better but his first-time volley went over after the home side did well to win back possession.
The hosts made some changes in the second stanza as Augustine Mulenga came on and he found Zambian compatriot Shonga in the area.
Yet, he controlled with his hand and his finish into the back of the net did not count.
It remained tight in the closing stages though Mntambo saw his strike well saved by the away side's keeper for a corner.
At the death, Shonga saw his free-kick blocked by the wall as it ended 0-0 at the Orlando Stadium.
SuperSport United halted a three-match winless run in the Premiership as they narrowly beat Maritzburg United 1-0 at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.
The winner was controversial after Aubrey Modiba converted a 63rd-minute penalty when James Keene went to ground under minimal contact from Pogiso Sanoka.
The goal was a welcome sight for Kaitano Tembo's side, who moved up to fifth in the table, just one points behind the African places.
The Team of Choice remain without a win in their last eight games and find themselves one point adrift of safety in 15th position.
Both teams had managed to score just once in their last three league outings and the opening 45 minutes in Nelspruit suggested that would not change as neither goalkeeper was seriously tested.
Most of the attempts before the break came from outside the box, with Deolin Mekoa failing to work Ronwen Williams on four minutes, while Sipho Mbule fired high and wide of the right post seven minutes later.
Williams was called into action on the quarter-hour mark, although Mekoa's strike from 19 yards out on the right went straight to the keeper, who was grateful to see Mohau Mokate direct a header into his arms in the 25th minute.
Richard Ofori was largely untroubled before half-time, but he was thrust into the spotlight on 63 minutes when the hosts were awarded a penalty for Pogiso Sanoka's apparent foul on James Keene inside the area.
Ofori had to take the ball out of the back of the net, however, after being beaten by Modiba from 12 yards out.
Fortune Makaringe looked to respond for the visitors with an ambitious volley from 25 yards out that flew well over the bar on 67 minutes after a cross was cleared out to him, while Ofori kept them in the contest with a sharp save to deny Keene from an angle on the left after Sanoka made a hash of his clearance inside the box.
Ofori made a routine save from Modiba's curling free-kick on the right 11 minutes from time, before Mbule threatened with a curler from 21 yards out that went to the right of the goal on 82 minutes.
Matlala Makgalwa almost snatched an equaliser moments later as he collected the ball in midfield and drove at the defence, but his low strike flew just inches wide of the right post with Williams rooted to the spot.
Dylan Kerr picked up his first win as Black Leopards coach after his side beat AmaZulu 3-1 at the Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Lidoda Duvha came into the Premiership clash without a win in their last six games, but second-half goals from Lefa Hlongwane, Tshwarelo Bereng and Mwape Musonda saw them climb off the foot of the table up to 12th place.
Ovidy Karuru managed to pull one back for Usuthu, who suffered their first defeat in four matches, although they have a chance to finish the year on a high against Golden Arrows next weekend.
AmaZulu made the better start in Limpopo and had an early sight at goal when Emiliano Tade beat his man from a charge down and forced Rotshidzwa Muleka into a save inside the opening five minutes.
Muleka was forced off through injury soon afterwards and King Ndlovu took his place in the home goal. The substitute keeper was quickly into the action as he pulled off a fingertip save to deny Butholezwe Ncube from outside the area.
The hosts grew into the game as the first half wore on, but they failed to fashion any clear-cut chances before the break.
The second stanza was much more of a spectacle as both teams carved out good opportunities, with Tade narrowly missing the target from range early on, before Siyabonga Mbatha denied Pentjie Zulu and Khuliso Mudau in a short space of time at the other end.
The home fans finally had something to celebrate on the hour mark when Hlongwane produced a clinical finish from Zulu's cutback on the left to open the scoring.
Leopards were presented with a good chance to double their advantage just two minutes later from a free-kick just outside the box, but Zulu failed to test Mbatha with a curler that cleared the crossbar.
It was 2-0 on 79 minutes, however, when Mudau collected a deep cross from the left and picked out the advancing Bereng, who fired into the top-left corner of the net.
Substitute Lesedi Kapinga was just inches away from making it three on 83 minutes as he cut inside from the right and curled a shot fractionally wide of the left post from 19 yards out.
Karuru halved the deficit four minutes later with a smart finish, converting with a flicked backheel from close range after connecting with Ncube's drilled cross into the box.
But Musonda killed off any thoughts of a comeback moments later when he beat the offside trap to latch onto Bereng's through-ball and fire into the far corner of the goal from an angle on the right.
Premier League champions Manchester City put their first defeat of the season well and truly behind them with a commanding 3-1 win over Everton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
It was also a great day for City's Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus, who ended a four-month barren run in the Premier League by scoring their first two goals of the afternoon.
Everton started with three at the back, but it didn't take long for the hosts to start causing problems.
Andre Gomes had to be alert to the danger after Ilkay Gundogan released Leroy Sane down the left flank, and minutes later it was Kurt Zouma who had to get back and make a challenge after Jesus turned away Michael Keane inside the box.
City were applying most of the pressure, but it was Everton who probably had the best chance of the match to date on 15 minutes after Kyle Walker was caught in possession inside his own box by Lucas Digne. The left-back found Richarlison unmarked at the back post, but the Brazilian blazed his volley over the crossbar.
City would find themselves in front not long after, however. Having made a great save to stop Keane from scoring an own goal as he tried to prevent Jesus from getting on the end of a Bernardo cross, Jordan Pickford was powerless to stop City's Brazilian striker from making it 1-0 a minute later.
Yerry Mina gave away an aimless ball in midfield and was then slow to react, playing Jesus onside as a couple of quick passes sent him through on goal. Sane was the man to provide the killer assist, as Jesus collected the pass and stroked the ball effortlessly past Pickford at the near post to put the Citizens ahead.
As the first half wore on, City took complete control of the match, and Everton were lucky to not go further behind before the break, with Sane, Aymeric Laporte and Riyad Mahrez all having chances to add to their tally.
The second goal did eventually arrive five minutes into the second half. Having just scored his first Premier League goal in four months, Jesus wasted little time in getting another, as Sane again played provider with a neat cross into the middle, allowing the Brazilian to double City's lead with a buller header past a helpless Pickford.
Everton seemed dead and buried at this point, but they were given a lifeline by Dominic Calvert-Lewin with 25 minutes remaining. Digne was the man who delivered a pinpoint cross into the box, where Calvert-Lewin was waiting to head home after beating Fabian Delph in the air.
Unfortunately for Everton fans, their joy was short-lived, as City scored their third of the afternoon just four minutes later.
Having just come onto the pitch as a substitute, Raheem Sterling was soon celebrating after some clever interplay between Fernandinho and Jesus led to the cross coming in for the new arrival, who headed home from close range to make it 3-1.
That killed any real chance of an Everton fightback, and City were able to see out the rest of the match with ease to put last week's defeat at Chelsea behind them and return to the top of the Premier League table.
Baroka host Bidvest Wits in a Premier League clash at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday.
At opposite end of the table, with Wits in second on 24 points, Gavin Hunt's side are in a far better shape than Bakgaga in second-last place with 11 points.
A win for the visiting team could see them move ahead of current leaders Orlando Pirates but Baroka head coach Wedson Nyirenda knows his side need to engineer some wins, having won just one of their last 11 league matches.
Both sides come into this tie on the back of draws as Baroka held Sundowns to a goalless stalemate, while the Clever Boys threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Golden Arrows.
Nyirenda told SuperSport: "We are not going to be relegated. If you look at our game against Mamelodi Sundowns, you will realise that our players have matured.
"Wits are coming for revenge, but it is not for me to say what we expect from them because I will be giving away some of our plans for the match."
Hunt added: "These results are costing us big time. Experienced defenders are making major mistakes and it is disappointing.
"We are second in the league with two games in hand. We should have jumped up. We should have been right up there, but we didn't. It is a long way to go."
Liverpool star Mohamed Salah has joined an elite list after being named BBC African Footballer of the Year for the second year running.
The Egypt international scooped the accolade for the first time in 2017 following an impressive start to life at Anfield and he went on to score 32 Premier League goals last term to win the Golden Boot.
Salah found the back of the net 44 times across all competitions for the Reds to fall just short of Ian Rush's record of 47 in a single season.
The 26-year-old forward has spearheaded the Merseysiders' title challenge in the 2018/19 campaign with 10 goals as they top the table by one point ahead of defending champions Manchester City.
Salah becomes only the second player to retain the coveted award after Nigerian icon Jay-Jay Okocha managed the feat in 2003 and 2004.
"It's a great feeling to win again. I'm happy and I would like to win it also next year," he told the BBC.
"There have been many good moments in 2018. The game against Roma at Anfield (Champions League semi-final, first leg) was unbelievable.
"I'm scoring goals and helping the team to get the points to be top of the league. That's always a great feeling."
Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen is set to sign a one-year contract extension at the club, although he's hoping to remain a part of their plans beyond 2020.
The Belgium international confirmed that Spurs will take up the option to extend his current deal - which runs out at the end of the 2018/19 campaign - by a further 12 months.
And with the north Londoners expected to move to their new stadium in 2019, Vertonghen is keen to see the project through under Mauricio Pochettino.
The 31-year-old has racked up over 250 appearances for Spurs since his arrival from Ajax in 2012 and feels he has much more to contribute to Pochettino's side.
"I've got a contract until 2020 - there's an option and Tottenham will take that option," Vertonghen told the Evening Standard.
"So I've got a year and a half left and then we'll see. The way I feel now, I've got at least four to five good years left in the tank.
"There are no talks [with the club], but that's something to discuss. At the moment I feel great at Tottenham.
"It's a club with unbelievable potential - not just the players but everything around it. Everyone wants to be part of it."
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has countered Jose Mourinho's claim that "trophies matter" ahead of Manchester United's trip to Anfield on Sunday.
Mourinho was asked in his pre-match press conference about the importance of winning silverware, with Klopp yet to manage the feat since arriving on Merseyside in October 2015.
The Red Devils boss secured the League Cup and Europa League in his first season at Old Trafford, and feels it is time for Klopp to deliver after taking the Reds to three finals and losing them all.
The German coach, though, believes he should not be judged on titles alone, as he pointed to his side's fine run to the UEFA Champions League final last term.
"No that's true but do I have to? Do I have to win it?" Klopp told the Telegraph.
"People might remember that but what I have to do is make the best of the things the club is offering me - that is what I believe in.
"If people say the Champions League campaign last season was not a success because we didn't win the final then I cannot change that. Is the finish successful? No, but the ride was brilliant. I enjoyed it a lot.
"The pressure is from outside, people saying if I don't win silverware then I have to leave. In the moment you find someone who can do the job better you have to take him."
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says he is hopeful of not conceding in Sunday's clash with Libya's Al Ahli Benghazi as at home Downs can hurt them with individual skill.
Sundowns are set to face Benghazi in a CAF Confederations Cup First Round first leg tie in Egypt. The match is being played in a neutral country due to political instability in Libya.
Going into the contest, the Brazilians have some injury concerns in the heart of defence with it being touch and go whether Rivaldo Coetzee will be passed fit from a foot injury.
Mosimane told TimesLIVE: "We need players back and it is unfortunate because sometimes I say I have five centre-backs but suddenly Ricardo Nascimento is out, Motjeka Madisha stamped on Rivaldo Coetzee at training and Mosa Lebusa was suspended and also had flu against Baroka.
"We have three centrebacks out at the same time and sometimes you say: 'Why do you need a lot?' But that's how football works. For the match against Baroka, we also lost Themba Zwane at training."
He added of facing relatively unknown opponents on Sunday: "It is difficult because we can't get footage because they are not on TV. We sent our analyst to help us and he got some footage through the way we always get it.
"We have a sense of direction to say what kind of a team. They have European influence, they are organised and they have a rigid structure.
"We have to dig a little bit deeper and if we don't score we must not concede and we can sort it out here because our play always gives the North Africans tough time. They don't like people who dribble a little bit.
"It is not easy because we have to go through Dubai but that's what comes with the Champions League. I think we have played about three games in seven days and that's why you have muscle injuries. That's why to win the Champions League is a big thing."
Kaizer Chiefs football manager Bobby Motaung says the club are absolutely committed to bringing home glory in the CAF Confederations Cup in 2018/19.
Chiefs have in the past been criticised for seemingly not taking African continental club competitions as seriously as Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns.
In 2005 the Glamour Boys withdrew from the CCC reportedly citing the cost of travel on the continent as well as the low attendance for home matches.
In addition, Amakhosi sent a second string 13-man squad under the guidance of then assistant coach Doctor Khumalo to face ASEC Mimosas in 2014 in the CCC. ASEC won 3-1 in that encounter.
Nonetheless, Motaung, affectionately known as 'Bobsteak' by supporters, said in this season's edition of the tournament Chiefs promise to be competitive.
He told Kickoff: "We want to win a cup. We are playing in there not to be a face. We are going there to compete, we are not going there for fun.
"Every game Kaizer Chiefs plays, whether it's a friendly, a Confed game or the league, we have a responsibility. It's about the brand, it's about the country, it's about the job that we have to do.
"So there's nothing like Kaizer Chiefs does not take Africa serious. It's just that in football you go with the fighting spirit of winning and then you lose.
"If you remember Sundowns had also lost, but fortunately with God's grace they were brought in and then won it [the 2016 Champions League]. Sometimes you lose, but not intentionally. We take it serious. We respect our brand, we respect our supporters and we respect football. We are there and we will compete."
Amakhosi are next in action in Africa's second most prestigious continental club competition when they meet Madagascar's Elgeco Plus at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday evening. Kickoff is 20:15.
The South African Football Association have confirmed the tragic passing of referee Eketsang Setloboko, who refereed the Soweto derby on 27 October.
The official was in charge of the Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs in late October at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.
In that encounter, the Sea Robbers claimed all three points courtesy of goals for Innocent Maela and Vincent Pule.
Earlier in the contest, Chiefs forward Khama Billiat had opened the scoring with a 15th minute strike.
Nonetheless, SAFA announced the sad news of Setloboko's passing and said the referee died in an accident on Friday evening.
The official was from Mount Fletcher in the Eastern Cape and it appeared he had a promising future ahead of him.
SAFA's official Twitter account said: "One of rising National Panel referees, Eketsang Setloboko, has passed away.
"He passed on in an accident last night. He was from Mount Fletcher, Eastern Cape and recently handled the Kaizer Chiefs v Orlando Pirates derby at FNB Stadium. May his soul rest in peace."
Vodacom Soccer extends huge condolences to Setloboko's family at this difficult time.
Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene says coach Pitso Mosimane must be given time to mould another squad capable of challenging for the CAF Champions League trophy.
Sundowns have lost a number of major players that won the competition in 2016 which includes the likes of Percy Tau, Keagan Dolly, Khama Billiat and Teko Modise.
As such, Mweene has stressed that Mosimane's current squad is a work in progress. The Brazilians are set to face Libya's Al-Ahly SC Benghazi on Sunday in a CCL First Round first leg tie in Cairo.
The experienced shot-stopper told Soccer Laduma: "I cannot compare the two squads, the reason being that coach Pitso took time to build that squad, which won the Champions League. It took him a long time.
"But I cannot call it a very big challenge because he's trying to build another team, because we've lost some players who have left. For that team to click it took him three or four years to build it. That's why we went all the way.
"Again now, we have started to rebuild. We've got Toni Silva, Ali Menza, Gaston (Sirino) Lebohang (Maboe) and Phakamani (Mahlambi). They have to come and know how to play in the Champions League. They have to learn all these things and it will take a bit of time for the coach, but it's not an excuse.
"I think, also the players who have been here before, we know the feeling, we know the experience, we have to also help the coach and that's why we come as players like Hlompho (Kekana), Anele (Ngcongca), me, Denis (Onyango), Anthony (Laffor)...all those guys who have been here and who have played in the final before. That's why we are here to help the coach also so that the new players can integrate very easily into the team."
Orlando Pirates welcome back star central midfielder Xola Mlambo as well as defender Marshall Munetsi from suspension ahead of Saturday's clash against African Stars.
The Sea Robbers are set to take on the Namibian Premier League outfit in a CAF Champions League First Round first leg tie at Orlando Stadium.
As such, Bucs have been boosted with the news that playmaker Mlambo is available after a he served a one-match ban in Tuesday's 3-1 win over Free State Stars at Goble Park.
In addition, Munetsi is set for a return as he is eligible to play in the competition despite still being suspended in the Premiership.
The player saw red in the Telkom Knockout final defeat to Baroka for a crude foul on Bakgaga's Jemondre Dickens.
Mlambo has made 17 starts in all competitions in 2018/19 while the normally reliable Munetsi has made nine appearances.
Kickoff for the clash against Stars is set for 20:15 in Johannesburg.
Orlando Pirates striker Justin Shonga believes his good combination with Augustine Mulenga has come about due to the understanding they have built up with Zambia.
In recent weeks, Mulenga has turned provider for Shonga in the Telkom Knockout semi-final victory over Kaizer Chiefs, as well as in the 3-1 victory over Free State Stars in the Premiership.
The forward now has four goals in all competitions in 2018/19 and alongside his Copper Bullets teammate, the pairing are turning into a formidable unit.
Partly because of their combination, the Sea Robbers top the Premiership standings and appear to be amongst the favourites to challenge for the PSL title this season.
He said: "It's been maybe two years we have been playing together in the national team.
"I know his movement and I am getting better and better, getting used to playing alongside him because we even stay together.
"We talk about football and we even watch the games we play and give each other advice.
"So that is helping me so much, and him as well. It looks like it's a brother thing, that's what I would say."
Kaizer Chiefs forward Lebogang Manyama is grateful to be fit and playing football and believes coach Ernst Middendorp can rejuvenate the club's fortunes.
In October the 28-year-old was perhaps lucky to walk away unscathed from a serious car crash although he did fracture his elbow.
As a result, he did miss close to two months of first team football under previous mentor Giovanni Solinas.
Nonetheless, having made his return, the Bafana Bafana star is showing signs he could be a key performer under Middendorp, having played the full 90 minutes in the 1-0 win over SuperSport United.
He said: "There's a new vibe in the camp. Even ahead of the SuperSport United game on Wednesday we had a great training session. There was lots of positivity.
"On our training this week, the positivity was so high. Even players who hardly play, they are motivated. Kgotso Moleko's performance against SuperSport United showed that.
"Mixed reactions are always there, we need to keep on fighting. The pressure will always be there, we can't be really focusing on negative comments. We are motivated to change things in the club.
"I'm not a negative guy but 2018 has been an average year for me, from not playing football to being in a very horrifying car accident. I'm grateful for getting another chance in life."
Mark Mayambela came to Chippa United's rescue on Friday evening, scoring deep in injury time to clinch a 2-2 draw with high-flying Polokwane City at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
The visitors looked to be heading for a narrow victory as goals from Ayanda Nkili and Rodney Ramagalela - either side of Rhulani Manzini's equaliser - before Mayambela popped up in the dying moments of the game to secure a vital point for the struggling Chilli Boys.
The first half was a relatively low-key affair, with neither side creating very many goal-scoring chances.
Mohammed Anas and Mayambela tested Daniel Akpeyi in the Chippa goal early in the first half, while at the opposite end of the pitch, Thabo Rakhale and Andile Mbenyane were denied by Polokwane keeper Harold Ndlovu.
It was, however, a proverbial game of two halves as the floodgates flew open after the half-time break.
Nkili fired the visitors in front just three minutes in, converting Mbulelo Wagaba's inviting cross from the left, only for Manzini to put the teams back on level terms in the 58th minute.
Ramagalela would be forgiven for thinking he had scored the winning goal in the 79th minute, when he found the back of the net with a deflected right-footed effort, as Chippa struggled to muster a response after falling behind for a second time.
However, Mayambela delivered when he was needed the most, rescuing a crucial point from the jaws of defeat. The Chippa skipper showed his composure, as he hammered a powerful effort past Ndlovu to deny Polokwane second place in the Absa Premiership standings ahead of the weekend's remaining fixtures.
Despite being held to a draw, Rise and Shine move up to third place in the standings, with Sundowns dropping down to fourth, albeit with three games in hand.
Bottom club Black Leopards have everything to play for when they meet resurgent AmaZulu in Saturday's Premiership clash at the Thohoyandou Stadium in Limpopo.
Leopards come into the encounter having drawn three and lost two of their last five league outings.
Meanwhile, Usuthu have won three in a row including an impressive 3-0 victory over Bloemfontein Celtic last Wednesday.
As such, it appears the home side may not be favourites for Saturday's clash although it is all on the line for the hosts on home soil.
Despite signing veteran Robert Ng'ambi in the lead-up to the contest, the 32-year-old will not be available.
Team manager Elijah Mulaudzi told Soccer Laduma: "We have signed Robert Ng'ambi. I don't think he will play in this weekend's game. In fact, I can confirm that he is out for this one."
Meanwhile, for the Durban-based outfit Emiliano Tade comes into the game in great form with five league goals in 11 appearances, including a brace against Celtic in mid-week.
In team news, Chris Katjiukua returns for availability after serving a suspension while AmaZulu may hope that veteran Siyabonga Nomvethe can add to his goal against Siwelele earlier in the week. Kickoff is 15:30.
New Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has an unenviable task on his hands as he looks to turn the club's fortunes around against Arsenal on Sunday.
The Saints are fighting for their lives once more after recording just one win in 16 Premier League outings this season to sit second from bottom in the standings.
That poor start to the campaign cost Mark Hughes his job, and Hasenhuttl has been brought in to steady the ship, although his tenure started with a 2-1 defeat at Cardiff on Saturday.
The south coast club's solitary win came on September 1 when they ran out 2-0 victors against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, with their winless run now standing at 12 matches.
The signs are ominous for Hasenhuttl, however, as the Gunners have gone 22 games undefeated in all competitions under Unai Emery.
The north Londoners cruised into the Europa League knockout stages after registering five wins and a draw in the group stages, and they are knocking on the door for a UEFA Champions League spot.
Emery's side have hardly looked back since suffering successive losses to Manchester City and Chelsea at the start of the campaign, but they will be disappointed at dropping points against Palace and Wolves.
In team news, Danny Ings and Shane Long are back in contention for the hosts.
Striker Ings has recovered from a hamstring injury, while forward Long is available after shaking off an ankle problem.
The visitors must do without three of their main defenders, with Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi serving one-match suspensions, while Rob Holding underwent surgery on a cruciate ligament injury this week.
Laurent Koscielny made his long-awaited return to action against Qarabag in the Europa League on Thursday, but Emery may not want to risk his skipper at St Mary's.
SuperSport United will hope to return to winning ways when they face struggling Maritzburg United in Saturday's Premiership clash at Mbombela Stadium.
SuperSport have lost two games in a row in the league and have not won since a 1-0 victory over Free State Stars on 10 November.
United come into the encounter having lost back-to-back matches against Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs.
Meanwhile, Maritzburg are undefeated in their last four PSL matches which includes a creditable away draw to Orlando Pirates.
Nonetheless, SSU coach Kaitano Tembo has lamented the loss of key players like Bradley Grobler and Dean Furman due to injury.
Speaking after the defeat to Chiefs last Wednesday, he said: "Those are two big players [Grobler and Furman]. I think you can see the difference when they are not playing.
It's been a big setback for us because when they are available we are a different team.
"But we have to soldier on until they come back. The guys who are available have done well, we need to give them credit as well.
"Our pressing was not good (against Chiefs). We did not have quality possession while they played into effective areas. We played in phases but really did not threaten them. We lacked that cutting edge going forward and [our] decision-making was not that good."
In team news, Furman and Grobler miss out with injury while the away outfit report virtually no new major injury concerns. Kickoff is 18:00 in Pretoria.
Liverpool will be looking to continue their unbeaten start to the season when they lock horns with fierce rivals Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday.
The Reds are the only team in the Premier League to remain undefeated after 16 games and they lead Manchester City by one point at the top of the table.
Jurgen Klopp's side have won their last five league games since playing out to a 1-1 draw with Arsenal on November 3, while they beat Napoli 1-0 on Tuesday to qualify for the UEFA Champions League knockout stages.
They have the meanest defence in the league with just six goals conceded and Mohamed Salah has led the charge at the other end - his 10 goals tying him with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in pole position for the Golden Boot.
Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have combined for 20 goals this term, and the trio will be licking their lips at the prospect of more against United defence that has already shipped 26.
The Red Devils arrested a worrying four-match winless streak with the 4-1 thrashing of Fulham on Saturday, although it still left them eight points off the top four in sixth place, and a massive 16 adrift of the table-topping Merseysiders.
However, Jose Mourinho's charges head into this weekend's encounter on the back of a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Valencia, which saw them miss out on top spot in Group H.
Mourinho hasn't lost to Klopp in the last two seasons and he will be hoping to keep that unbeaten run going on Merseyside.
In team news, David De Gea and Nemanja Matic are expected to be restored to the starting line-up after the duo were rested for the trip to the Mestalla in midweek.
That's about as good as it gets for Mourinho, who is likely to be without Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw, Victor Lindelof, Matteo Darmian, Diogo Dalot, Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez once more.
Klopp has injury concerns of his own, with Joel Matip joining Joe Gomez on the sidelines after suffering a fractured collarbone against the Azzurri. Trent Alexander-Arnold is also expected to miss out after taking a knock to his ankle in that match.