Mauricio Pellegrino’s Southampton host high flying Liverpool in the late kick-off on Sunday, in the Premier League. The Saints are unbeaten in the last six games in all competitions, having won three games in the process. Meanwhile, Liverpool have won five of their previous seven games in the league, losing just one game in the run.
Southampton won 2-3 against West Brom last Saturday, in their previous league game. Pellegrino’s side were a goal down in the fourth minute of the game as Ahmed Hegazy got at the end of a Chris Brunt’s cross and fired a header past McCarthy.
However, the game turned on its head, when the Saints scored three goals in 10 minutes either side of the halftime.
The win against the Baggies ended a 12 match winless streak for the Southampton side. This win was the first win for Mauricio Pellegrino’s team since the start of December.
However, in all competitions, this was their second win the last three games, and they have not lost a league game this year. Things are looking up for the Southampton side, who are still pretty much in the mix for the relegation battle.
Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp’s men played a 2-2 thriller at Anfield last Sunday, against Spurs, in their previous league game. Mohamed Salah scored very early in the first half and very late in the second half to hand Liverpool the lead in the game on two occasions.
However, Spurs came back twice to level the match, first through a thunderous strike from Victor Wanyama and Harry Kane’s penalty in the last minute of stoppage time.
A point against the North London side meant, Klopp’s men have managed 20 points from the last possible 27 points in the league, a 4-3 win against the leaders City and a 1-0 loss against Swansea, the most notable ones in the run.
The saints are currently 15th in the Premier League table having managed 26 points from as many games. Pellegrino’s side have won five, drawn 11 and lost ten games in the league so far. Their tally of 11 stalemates is the most by any team in the division. Only West Brom with three, have won fewer league games than Southampton this season in the English top flight.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have exploited the recent shortcomings of Antonio Conte’s Chelsea and climbed to the third position in the table. They have managed 51 points, and they are a place and a point above Chelsea in the league table. The Merseyside reds are five points behind rivals Manchester United who are in the second position.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have scored 59 goals in the league so far, only leaders City have scored more. At the other end, they have conceded 31 goals. Among the ‘big six’ of English football, only Arsenal have let in more goals than Liverpool in the league this season.
The reds have not conceded in any of their last three Premier League games against Southampton, winning one and drawing two games. The previous Southampton player to score against Liverpool in the league, is current Liverpool forward, Sadio Mane, who scored for Southampton against Liverpool in March 2016.
The Saints are unbeaten in their six previous Premier League games played on Sunday this campaign, though five of them have been draws. Meanwhile, Liverpool have lost just one out of their last 17 Premier League games, winning 11 and drawing five games in the process.
Jurgen Klopp has won 49 Premier League games in charge having drawn 28 and lost 17. A win against the Saints on Sunday will make him the 45th different manager to record 50 Premier League wins.
The German, if victorious on Sunday, will have completed the feat in 95 games. He will be the ninth fastest regarding games, to reach the landmark. Klopp has faced Southampton eight times in the Premier League. However, they have won just two times having lost three and drawn three games.
If Southampton were to be successful in this game, they need to keep Mohamed Salah quiet. The Egyptian has scored 21 goals in the league so far, and he became the fifth Liverpool player ever, to score 20+ goals in a Premier League campaign. Regarding games played to reach the 20 goal mark, Salah is the fastest.
Virgil Van Dijk will be under no shortage of spotlight as he faces his former club for the first time after moving to Liverpool in a deal, which saw him become the most expensive defender ever, in January window. Van Dijk has played in two of four league games for Liverpool when he has been eligible to play since signing from Southampton.
The Reds have won both the games without Van Dijk, and in contrary, they have drawn one and lost one when the Dutchman has started.
Striker Charlie Austin has been the top scorer for the saints in the league this season. He is out with a hamstring injury.
Long-term absentee Nathaniel Clyne is expected to be back in a month time. Ragnar Klavan is out for a few weeks with a thigh injury.
Southampton vs Liverpool Lineups (Predicted XI)
Southampton Lineup (4-2-3-1)
Defense: Cedric (RB), Bertrand (LB), Stephens (RCB), Hoedt (LCB)
Midfield: Lemina (CDM), Romeu (CDM), Ward-Prowse (RAM), Tadic (CAM), Boufal (LAM)
Attack: Long (ST)
Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Defense: Gomez (RB), Lovren (RCB), Van Dijk (LCB), Robertson (LB)
Midfield: Henderson (CDM), Can (RCM), Milner (LCM)
Southampton vs Liverpool Prediction
There has been just one goal scored between the two sides at St. Mary’s in the last two meetings in all competitions. Southampton will sit back and hit Liverpool on the counter. Saints are showing signs of a fightback after an awful run in the league and could prove to be a tough test for Liverpool.
Our prediction for this game is a 1-1 draw.