Venue – St Mary’s, Southampton
Referee – Andre Marriner
Date & Time – Monday, January 4th @ 20:00
Current Odds – Southampton 15/4, Draw 7/2, Liverpool 8/13
Liverpool are first in the Premier League. Not “joint-top” or level with Manchester United, The Reds are first and that is a fact. Jürgen Klopp’s men have climbed to the summit despite the obstacles laid in front of them at every possible turn.
We’ve seen a slight drop-off in performance levels in recent games but it’s surely understandable considering the load the players carried for the first half of this campaign.
Monday night certainly won’t be easy and we may even go another game without a win. However, this most unpredictable of league seasons will have plenty more twists before May.
Southampton have gone four games without a win and only managed to score one goal in that time. They’ve only won twice in their last 8 matches, having won five from six just before that.
There’s no doubt Ralph Hasenhüttl is a top manager and despite Southampton’s recent dip, they are still only three points off third-placed Spurs.
The Saints’ last outing was a 0-0 draw with West Ham at St Mary’s on Tuesday.
Liverpool have drawn three of their last five Premier League games. Relative to the last couple of years under Jürgen Klopp, that is considered a slump in form.
Last time out, Liverpool were unfortunate not to grab a winner at Newcastle. Liverpool did manage to create a new club record for their biggest ever top-flight away win when they beat Crystal Palace 7-0 at Selhurst Park in December.
Which Reds side will we see against Southampton?
Southampton Team News
Jannik Vestergaard is a big loss for The Saints. The big Danish centre-half is out for this game as is attacking midfielder Nathan Redmond.
Ralph Hasenhüttl favours a 4-4-2 formation at Southampton and it should be more of the same on Monday night.
Danny Ings and Che Adams are expected to lead the line for the hosts with Ings keen to score against his old club again.
James Ward-Prowse is enjoying a great season and his ability from dead-ball situations will need to be considered by The Reds.
Liverpool Team News
At the moment, Liverpool are without Joël Matip, Naby Keïta, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Diogo Jota and Kostas Tsimikas.
Nat Phillips started in defence for the game against Newcastle but I think Rhys Williams could be back in for this one. Fabinho will partner either Phillips or Williams in central defence with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson at right and left-back respectively.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be about to make his first Premier League start of the season against Southampton. Curtis Jones may be rested with ‘The Ox’ coming into midfield to start with Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum.
Jürgen Klopp is likely to go full strength up top with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané expected to start.
Southampton XI (4-4-2) – McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Stephens, Bertrand; Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Walcott; Ings, Adams
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Williams R, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Mané
WHEN THEY LAST MET
Liverpool have won their last three visits to St Mary’s and are on a six-game winning streak against Southampton in total.
This fixture last season saw The Reds win 2-1 thanks to goals from Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino. Danny Ings scored Southampton’s late reply but Liverpool held on to take all three points.
SOUTHAMPTON 2 – 2 LIVERPOOL
With how lethargic The Reds have looked in recent games, I can’t see a win for Liverpool in this one. It should be an interesting game against a Southampton side this is finally moulding into Ralph Hasenhüttl’s vision. There should be goals and don’t be surprised to see the excellent Danny Ings coming back to haunt us.