Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side will be aiming to finish their pre-World Cup Premier League campaign on a high with victory against Southampton at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.
In the final game before the World Cup break, make sure to stay updated with all the latest Liverpool statistics, match reports and live scores via the Flashscore app and website.
For Premier League clubs in this World Cup campaign, it has always been about positioning yourself in the best possible place to ensure success when the competition returns after Christmas.
That hasn’t been the case for Liverpool, who have endured a difficult first period in the Premier League, picking up a total of 19 points from their opening 13 games.
Sunday’s victory over Tottenham Hotspur ended a run of two straight defeats in the Premier League for Liverpool, who had previously stumbled against relegation candidates Leeds United and Nottingham Forest.
Despite the Reds’ poor start, they do remain in touching distance with the Champions League positions, with a victory on Saturday likely to inch Liverpool even closer to the top four.
Saturday’s clash against Southampton will also be the first since Fenway Sports Group announced their intentions to sell the club, as uncertainty grows around the future of Liverpool’s ownership.
On the pitch, this fixture has traditionally yielded positive returns for Liverpool, who have lost just one of the previous 11 meetings against Southampton.
That defeat came at Saint Mary’s Stadium, with Liverpool’s record at Anfield against the South Coast side making for even better reading.
In the Premier League, Southampton last won at Anfield in September 2013, when a Dejan Lovren goal, assisted by fellow future Red Adam Lallana, gave Saints a famous victory in Merseyside.
A repeat of that result remains unlikely, not least because Southampton this week parted company with their manager Ralph Hasenhuttl after a run of negative results.
Defeat to Newcastle United last weekend was the final straw for Hasenhuttl, who had presided over a run of one victory from nine Premier League outings.
Luton Town boss Nathan Jones is tipped with taking over at Saint Mary’s, with Saturday’s meeting likely to be the Welsh-born manager’s first game in charge.
Looking for a dose of new manager bounce, Southampton may well be up for the task at Anfield, yet it’s unlikely they’ll possess the power to get past a rejuvenated Liverpool.