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Preview: Liverpool vs. Southampton - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Liverpool and Southampton, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Liverpool will be looking to make up some lost ground and boost their chances of qualifying for the top four when they host Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday evening.

The Reds have won just one of their last five games in all competitions, drawing the last three in succession, and they face a Saints side who are looking to complete the league double against them for just the third time in their history, previously doing so in 1960-61 and 2003-04.


Match preview

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp pictured on April 10, 2021© Reuters

Liverpool's hopes of winning their first game at Old Trafford since March 2014 were put on hold, as their Premier League clash against rivals Manchester United was postponed last weekend.

Hundreds of United supporters managed to break into the stadium to protest against the ownership of the Glazer family, just hours before the match was due to kickoff at 4:30pm on Sunday.

The demonstrators both in and outside Old Trafford delayed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players from leaving the Lowry Hotel where they were staying, and due to "safety" concerns, the game was eventually called off.

A free weekend for Liverpool has seen them slip seven points behind the top four, with Chelsea, West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur all claiming three points. Their game against the Red Devils has now been rearranged to take place on May 13, five days after Saturday's encounter with Southampton.

Diogo Jota celebrates scoring for Liverpool against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on March 15, 2021© Reuters

Jurgen Klopp's side have improved slightly in recent weeks as the Reds are currently on a six-game unbeaten run, their best spell of form in 2021. However, disappointing draws in their last two league matches against Leeds United and Newcastle United – games in which they created a plethora of chances to win – has made their task of qualifying for the Champions League a much greater challenge.

Anfield will be the venue for Saturday's game against the Saints, a home once considered a fortress in years gone by. However, Liverpool have claimed just six points from their last 30 available in the Premier League; this comes after they had only dropped 22 points from their previous 66 home games.

Nevertheless, the Reds are unbeaten in their last six home league matches against Southampton, winning the last three by an aggregate score of 10-0, which includes a 4-0 thrashing last season.

Liverpool have struggled against teams lower down in the table this campaign – winning just two of their 11 matches against sides currently in the bottom seven – but a victory this weekend and a strong finish to the season could be enough for Klopp's men to squeeze their way into the top four, to salvage something from what has been a frustrating title defence.

Southampton's James Ward-Prowse scores their first goal against Leicester City in the Premier League on April 30, 2021© Reuters

It would be fair to say that 2021 has also been a frustrating period for Southampton, who have lost 13 of their 18 Premier League matches since the turn of the year and have accumulated just 11 points, the fewest of any side in the division.

They have also conceded a league-high 40 goals since New Year's day, including a header from Leicester City's Jonny Evans who rescued a point for the Foxes in the 1-1 draw at St Mary's last Friday, after James Ward-Prowse scored the opener from the penalty spot.

The miserable form of Ralph Hasenhuttl's side is one that you would expect from a team battling to avoid relegation, however the Saints are 10 points clear of the bottom three, with a game in hand on Fulham, who they face on home soil next weekend.

One positive Southampton have taken from this year has been the performance and result against Liverpool, when former Red Danny Ings scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory at St Mary's.

Since leaving Anfield in 2019, Ings has scored on two separate occasions against Liverpool, although the 28-year-old may not be able to add to this tally, as the striker – who has had another campaign marred by injury – could miss the rest of the season with a hamstring problem.

The Saints are not expected to be dragged into a late relegation scrap but one more victory would ensure their Premier League status for the 10th successive season.

Liverpool Premier League form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D

Liverpool form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D

Southampton Premier League form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D

Southampton form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D


Team News

Danny Ings celebrates scoring for Southampton against Liverpool in the Premier League on January 4, 2021© Reuters

Klopp has no new injury concerns heading into this weekend's game and will be able to welcome Nat Phillips back to the starting lineup.

The 24-year-old, who has missed the last two matches with a hamstring problem, was named in the starting lineup for the postponed fixture at Old Trafford last weekend so should be in contention to start alongside Ozan Kabak.

A start in defence for Phillips will likely see Fabinho return to the midfield, and he could be joined by Georginio Wijnaldum and Thiago Alcantara, who both started against the Saints earlier this year.

Defenders Virgil van Dijk (knee), Joe Gomez (knee) and Joel Matip (ankle) remain on the treatment table, while captain Jordan Henderson (groin) and Divock Origi (muscle) are still a few weeks away from a full recovery.

Klopp will have to decide as to whether he starts all four of his main attacking options – Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota – as he did against Newcastle, although the latter is the most likely to begin on the bench.

As for Southampton, they also have a lengthy list of absentees including Ings (hamstring), Oriol Romeu (ankle), Ryan Bertrand (calf) and William Smallbone (knee), while Takumi Minamino is ineligible to face his parent club.

Centre-back Jannik Vestergaard was show a straight red card for a challenge on Jamie Vardy last Friday, however his one-match ban has been rescinded following a successful appeal, and he is in contention to start at Anfield alongside Jan Bednarek.

Defender Jack Stephens started the game against Leicester at left-back in Bertrand's absence, and he could keep his place in the side, although Mohammed Salisu could be a better option to cope with Salah as the Ghanaian is not only left-footed but also possesses more pace than his teammate.

Hasenhuttl may also decide to start Nathan Redmond up front alongside Che Adams, while Theo Walcott could return to the first XI at the expense of Nathan Tella.

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Kabak, Robertson; Thiago, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane

Southampton possible starting lineup:
McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Salisu; Walcott, Diallo, Ward-Prowse, Armstrong; Redmond, Adams


SM words green background

We say: Liverpool 2-1 Southampton

Liverpool have conceded at least once in each of their last eight Premier League home games, while only the division's bottom two clubs – Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion – have conceded more goals this campaign than Southampton.

Both defences have looked vulnerable since the turn of the year, but if Klopp's backline is to be breached this weekend, the likes of Adams and Redmond, in Ings's absence, will need to step up for the Saints to provide a much-needed threat going forward.

The Reds cannot afford to drop any more points if they are to qualify for the Champions League, and we can see the hosts securing a hard-fought victory at Anfield on Saturday.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data


Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


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How you voted: Liverpool vs Southampton

Liverpool
79.9%
Draw
13.6%
Southampton
6.5%
169
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Southampton's James Ward-Prowse scores their first goal against Leicester City in the Premier League on April 30, 2021
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