LIVERPOOL VS. SOUTHAMPTON
| Saturday, November 28th |
Premier League | Anfield
3PM GMT/10AM EST
While Liverpool have been scoring loads of goals this season (at 35 goals the Reds have the most in the league — and have also scored in all 12 games), Southampton are having the opposite problem: bar Norwich (7 goals), Southampton have the lowest goal tally in the league thus far with only 11 league goals. With both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané in form for Liverpool, Southampton will have some concerns.
Southampton are well-organized, however, and will be a challenge to break down. Their main threat will be on the counter attack — a system the Reds are largely used to facing, though that doesn’t necessary make it easy going.
They will also be a threat in set pieces, with James Ward-Prowse looking to make his 200th league start for the Saints. Southampton comes into this match close to full fitness, withJack Stephens having returned to training after a semi-lengthy knee injury. Stuart Armstrong will not be in contention, and Nathan Redmond and Moussa Djenepo are likely to see some minutes.
Mohammed Salisu will be a key player for the Saints, as he directs the team’s passing while also leading the team in interceptions and aerial duels. If Liverpool keep him quiet it would go a long ways toward securing three points.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Jota, Mané
The midfield injury situation has stabilized, and Jürgen Klopp effectively sighed in relief in the pre-match press conference: whereas recently he had “2.5 midfielders available,” the Porto match allowed for senior players to get some minutes toward fitness, and the match tomorrow means he will “have to make decisions again” for the first time in a while — a good problem to have.
There were no issues after Porto, and the players available for that match are thus available for Saturday. This is great news as a basis for the attack: when we look to break down well-organized teams, having a strong base in the midfield is helpful for our own organization.
Roberto Firmino, Joe Gomez, Curtis Jones, and, of course, Harvey Elliott remain sidelined for the Reds.
Apart from the loss in the horror January away last season, Liverpool have won seven of the last eight matches against Southampton, who are without a win away from home since 2013 (having drawn two games at Anfield and lost the other five).
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “But actually I think we have to play even better on Saturday against Southampton because they are a proper pressing machine and they go really for it.”
Ralph Hassenhuttl: ““When you see Liverpool in the moment, they are coming back to their best shape. It seems to me that they’re playing again like in the season they became champions. They were still at a high level last season, but hadn’t been that hungry and not that quick in their transitions. I don’t know what they changed in the summer, but it seems that they found their identity back and it makes it difficult to get something against such a side.”
Referee: Andre Marriner Assistants: Simon Long, Scott Ledger Fourth Official: Kevin Friend VAR: Lee Mason Assistant VAR: Simon Beck
Kickoff is set for 7PM GMT/10AM EST tomorrow. In the meantime, The Liverpool Offside team will keep you updated with all of the team news and match buildup as it becomes available, along with providing a matchday liveblog and post-match recaps and reaction. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account and have your say on the action as it happens.