Now that the November international break is over, Liverpool have a trip to St Mary’s to face Southampton. The Saints are capable of upsetting a Liverpool side that sits at the top of the Premier League. Without any break in club football until March, this is a fine opportunity to pick up another big win and maintain the club’s excellent form.
Although Liverpool thrashed Southampton 6-1 away in the League Cup last season to underline the thrilling football Jürgen Klopp can inspire, Merseyside’s finest are yet to win a league game against the South Coast side in the Klopp era. Sadio Mané scored four goals in three appearances against the Reds last season, but like a few former Southampton players, he now plays for Liverpool.
Liverpool’s last game against Southampton wasn’t one to remember for Klopp or his players. A two-goal lead at the interval was obliterated in the second half as the home side won 3-2 to leave Liverpool fans stunned. Liverpool also conceded a late goal to draw at Anfield in the first game against Southampton in the Klopp era. Thankfully, Liverpool don’t have to contend with Mané as an opponent and should enter the game with confidence after thrashing Watford FC 6-1 before the international break.
A few things have changed since both sides met, though. Ronald Koeman is no longer head coach after he joined Everton with the promise of a more ambitious project, but Claude Puel looks to be a fine replacement.
For Liverpool (4-3-3):
Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner
Wijnaldum, Henderson, Can
Mané, Sturridge, Firmino
Silly questions about the international break have received robust answers in the form of injuries to Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho. Both aren't expected to be injured for too long but should miss the trip to St Mary's. Georginio Wijnaldum and Daniel Sturridge are expected to step up from the bench with perhaps Ovie Ejaria making another appearance in the matchday squad.
Southampton are set to welcome back Cédric Soares after a few weeks on the sidelines. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Dušan Tadić, Fraser Forster, and Ryan Bertrand all experienced injury problems heading into or during the international break but should be fit to start against Liverpool.
This game will present an opportunity for others to step up and help Liverpool continue what has been a strong campaign so far.
Kickoff is set for 3PM GMT/10AM EST tomorrow on NBC Sports Live in the US. Elsewhere, Optus Sport in Australia, Sportsnet in Canada, Star Sports Select HD1 in India, SuperSport 3 Africa in Kenya, and mio Stadium 108 in Singapore are carrying the match. Online radio coverage is provided by BBC Radio 5 Live. You can find full listings at LivesoccerTV.
We'll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it's released, our live matchday thread and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on all the action as it happens.