Southampton vs Liverpool
| Monday, January 4th |
Premier League | St Mary’s
8PM BST /3PM EST
After a couple of lackluster draws allowing the chasing pack to catch up, Liverpool finish up their holiday programme with a trip to St Mary’s and a Southampton side that has also struggled to win games in recent weeks.
After a tremendous start to the season that saw them in the Champions League spots on 23 point after 12 games, things have begun to slow down for the Saints, who have only managed three points from the last four, drawing with Arsenal, Fulham and West Ham, while losing to Manchester City.
That won’t affect Ralph Hassenhüttl’s approach, though, and Liverpool must be prepared for a fearless, aggressive counterpressing side that will no doubt be looking to pounce on what has recently looked a lethargic Liverpool that can be got at by a sufficiently relentless opponent.
Defensive lynchpin Jannik Vestergaard missed out through injury, while Nathan Redmond is doubtful. Former Red and top scorer Danny Ings should be back in the lineup alongside Che Adams.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Thiago, Wijnaldum; Mané, Firmino, Salah
With Joël Matip still sidelined, Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips are on contention to start next to Fabinho in the centre of defence, while Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson should both be in the XI, given that the next match requiring serious intent is a full two weeks away.
For the first time all year, Jürgen Klopp can call on almost his entire midfield, as only Naby Keïta misses out through injury, and all of Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Curtis Jones and Thiago are available. Given the likely nature of the game, ball security is likely to be favoured in place of creativity.
Up top, the trio of Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah will look to rediscover their form from the Crystal Palace match two weeks ago, banishing the finishing slump that has plagued their most recent outings.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “”
Ralph Hassenhüttl: “”
Referee: Andre Marriner
Assistant referees: Scott Ledger, Simon Long
Fourth official: Stuart Attwell
VAR: Andy Madley, Stephen Child
Kickoff is set for 8PM GMT/3PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
In the meantime, and as always, 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 the action as it happens.