Venue – Anfield, Liverpool
Referee – Mike Jones
Date & Time – Saturday, November 18th @ 15:00 BST
Current Odds – Liverpool 4/11, Draw 19/5, Southampton 7/1
Liverpool, thankfully, seem to be getting over their September and early-October nightmare and, Spurs result aside, have been returning to winning ways. The Reds have an 80% win record in their last five games a very impressive xG/xA record over that period, also (see table below). Much of this season has been played without Coutinho, Mané and Lallana. All three of those players are very close to returning and if Liverpool can avoid a similar lengthy injury-list for the rest of the season then things will really be looking up for Klopp and co.
Southampton have been struggling lately. One win in their last six games tells its own story. Pellegrino seems to be focused on getting the defensive side of things sorted first of all. They have conceded 11 in 11, but only managed to score 9. They currently lie in 13th position but will be hoping that they can continue to cause problems for Klopp as they have since 2016.
Liverpool Team News
Liverpool have not had it their way with regards to injuries so far this season. Mané returned from international duty early to have treatment on an ‘old injury’ as was reported. However, if rumours are to be believed, he is expected to make the starting eleven again on Saturday. Jordan Henderson is still a slight doubt but should return to his place in midfield after missing the win at West Ham.
Lallana is almost ready to return to the first-team squad but it will surely take him a month or six weeks to get back to full match fitness then.
There was also an update this week on Nathaniel Clyne’s back injury. He underwent surgery and is now out until February at least.
Lovren may return to the starting line-up after his mini-break following the disaster at Spurs. Gomez and Moreno have been impressive on either side while Emre Can and Wijnaldum, along with Henderson, has become the regular midfield trio for this campaign, so far. Coutinho should be available again but I expect him to take a place on the bench, ready to replace Mané after around 60 minutes.
No players are suspended for Liverpool.
Liverpool’s Top 3 Rated Players this season (WhoScored.com)
- M. Salah (FW) 7.43
- R. Firmino (FW) 7.20
- J. Gomez (DF) 7.11
Southampton Team News
The Saints’ only real injury worry is Mario Lemina and they will be hoping he can make a return after a two-game absence. He may well have to settle for a place on the bench, though. Virgil van Dijk will get to play at Anfield this season, unfortunately, it will be for Pellegrino’s side.
Pellegrino himself is sure to get a warm welcome after his short spell with the Reds during Rafa’s tenure.
No players are suspended for Southampton.
Southampton’s Top 3 Rated Players this season (WhoScored.com)
- M. Yoshida (DF) 7.11
- O. Romeu (MF) 7.02
- S. Davis (MF) 6.93
Liverpool XI (4-1-2-3) – Mignolet; Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Moreno; Henderson(c), Can, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Southampton XI (4-2-3-1) – Forster; Soares, van Dijk, Hoedt, Bertrand; Davis(c), Romeu; Tadic, Boufal, Redmond; Gabbiadini
When they last met
Southampton have had a hex over Liverpool in recent times. Not since the impressive 6-1 League Cup victory on the south coast in December 2015 have Klopp’s men managed to get a win over The Saints. In fact, the teams met four times last season and Liverpool failed to register a single goal in any of those games.
The last meeting was a dour 0-0 draw at Anfield in May as Liverpool were looking to secure Champions League qualification.
Liverpool 2 – 0 Southampton
I think Liverpool will continue on their upward curve on Saturday. The team’s impressive Anfield defensive record looks set to continue, as well, considering Southampton have only managed 9 goals in their 11 league games so far this season. It should be another three points for the Reds in their quest to close the gap on the top four.