Liverpool will travel to Southampton on Sunday with the hope of recording a first league double over their opponents since 2014-15. Jurgen Klopp is expected to name a strong XI, irrespective of the Champions League round of 16 clash against Porto next week as the Reds aim to cement their place in the top four.
As far as the team news is concerned, defender Virgil van Dijk is expected to start on his first return to Southampton since his January move to Anfield.
Former Saints midfielder Adam Lallana is back in the Liverpool squad despite his dismissal for the Under-23 team in midweek, Klopp said on Friday.
The midfielder has endured an injury-hit season and our gaffer admits that a part of his reaction was probably due to frustration.
“It’s not nice. I spoke to him, it’s not how it should be. He wasn’t happy about the reaction and I wasn’t either. He’s an option for the squad (on Sunday), maybe not the first XI,” Klopp told in his pre-match press conference.
“He is for sure an option for the squad, but an option for the first XI? I would think not in the moment, but maybe I can sleep twice before we play Southampton so maybe I will change my mind on this. We will see.
“How it always is with Adam, he is in good shape, really quick, he looks fresh and looks good and you think ‘what can we do with him?’ but we did it twice now.”
Ragnar Klavan and Alberto Moreno have recovered from muscle injuries to take their places in the squad.
“Raggy trained the last two days,” Klopp gave an update on Klavan.
Speaking about Moreno, he added:
“Alberto needed only two days again and looked good yesterday. That’s it – nothing else at the moment.”
Defender Joe Gomez, however, is unlikely to feature against the Saints because of a minor knee problem but could be in contention for the mouthwatering game against Porto, the boss confirmed.
“He was running outside but not with the team but that means he’s close.
“I don’t think he has a chance for Sunday if they don’t come in and say the running was that good! We can have him this afternoon as well but then Porto, there’s a chance. We will see.”
Meanwhile, Nathaniel Clyne is closing in on rejoining the first-team training following a back operation.
It won’t be that easy for us at St.Mary’s despite Southampton’s underperformance this season. Mauricio Pellegrino has been under a lot of pressure lately but he would be buoyant following the 3-2 win at West Brom. Let’s hope that our flamboyant attack rips the Saints apart.