Liverpool vs Southampton Match Preview (English Premier League)
Nineteen seems to be the magic number for Liverpool this season. The Reds are 19 points clear of second-placed Manchester City in the quest to win their 19th league title.
With Manchester City due to play Sunday, Liverpool have the opportunity to extend the lead to 22 points to add more pressure on the Citizens. It will be a meeting between the two best teams on current form with Southampton having faced defeat just once in their last nine games.
Liverpool seem unstoppable, having amassed 70 points out of 72 in their opening 24 games. This incredible start could see them clinch the title if they can pick up 8 wins out of the final 14 games.
Nothing less than a win will be expected at Anfield on Saturday. Southampton have won just 3 of their last 30 visits with the last victory coming in 2013. Dejan Lovren was the hero that day as it was his header that condemned the Reds to their first defeat of the season.
Southampton have won against the likes of Leicester City, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur and will give reasons to worry if we aren’t on our game. A win will also play on the minds of Manchester City who face a tougher test against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
Liverpool have been unbeatable at home and have not lost at Anfield in their last 52 premier league matches.
This is Liverpool’s last game in the league before the winter break kicks in. The Reds go into the tie as heavy favourites and will look to keep their unbeaten streak intact.
Sadio Mane, James Milner, and Nathaniel Clyne are out injured for Liverpool while former Southampton skipper Adam Lallana remains a doubt due to illness.
Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri is also a doubt for the fixture while Klopp is unlikely to risk Divock Origi who limped off with cramps in the win over Southampton.
Jurgen Klopp has Fabinho and Keita both in need of match fitness. Fabinho could start in midfield if Liverpool decides to go with Oxlade-Chamberlain out wide instead of Minamino.
Southampton will be without Jan Bednarek and Stuart Armstrong while Shane Long and Yan Valery are in the reckoning. Cedric Soares looks to be on his way to Arsenal on loan and is another player who will not make the match.
Defender Jannik Vestergaard looks likely to be fit after suffering a concussion. Kyle Walker-Peters could make his debut for the Saints following his loan from Tottenham Hotspur.
Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Alex McCarthy, Kyle Walker-Peters, Jack Stephens, Jan Bednarek, Ryan Bertrand, Oriol Romeu, Moussa Djenepo, James Ward-Prowse, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Nathan Redmond, Danny Ings.
Players to Watch
The Egyptian superstar continues to keep scoring for the Reds with his 16th of the season against West Ham United. Salah grabbed a goal and an assist in the match taking his goal contributions to 24 in 30 appearances this season. (h/t Whoscored)
Salah has five goals and one assist in five appearances against Southampton and will look to add to his tally this weekend. He scored in the corresponding fixture lasts season which Liverpool won 3-0.
The Egyptian has draw flak this season due to his reluctance to pass and his profligacy in front of goal at times. This will be a chance for the player to remind his detractors what he has to offer.
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Southampton’s biggest threat will come from former Liverpool striker Danny Ings who also scored in the reverse fixture. Southampton could have snatched a draw had the striker taken a golden chance presented to him at the end.
The 27-year-old has scored 16 goals and one assist in 27 appearances since joining the Saints on a permanent basis in the summer. Ings spent four seasons at Liverpool; However, injuries prevented him from making an impact as he made just 25 appearances for the Reds scoring four goals.
A mobile striker who is adept at running into space, he now has a chance to prove his undoubted quality against the best center-back in the world at the home of the club world champions.