Southampton vs Liverpool: Match preview and predicted line-ups
There were 12 goals in the two ties that saw Liverpool head to St. Mary’s last season in league and cup action, but the remarkable comeback that saw Southampton come from 2-0 down to win in March was one of last season’s low points for the Reds. Now, the two sides both have very new looks and will come face to face this Saturday.
The Saints excellent run of form through September and much of October came to an abrupt end with defeats to Chelsea and Hull in their last two outings. Throwing away a one goal lead before the break at the KC Stadium was particularly frustrating for Claude Puel, but they have kept things tight at the back, conceding just twice against Chelsea and only once against Manchester City, which will be key with Charlie Austin in fine form and Liverpool’s defence looking leaky.
Liverpool have not been beaten since their August defeat to Burnley at Turf Moor, with their victory over Watford last time out one of the best displays by any sides in recent years and came off the back of impressive wins over Crystal Palace and West Brom. However, the one goal conceded represents a worrying fact that the Reds have kept just one clean sheet all season.
Southampton predicted starting XI Liverpool predicted starting XI
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Claude Puel is expected to field an unchanged line-up from the team that lost to Hull City in a diamond shape provided Fraser Forster is fit enough to start with Alex McCarthy also unavailable for the Saints.
Liverpool are expected to make just one change with Adam Lallana unlikely to be fit enough to play, meaning that Georgino Wijnaldum will return to the starting line-up after scoring his first goal for the club against Watford last time out.
Suspensions and Injuries
Southampton continue to be in the middle of an injury crisis, which could be set to get worse with Fraser Forster doubtful and Alex McCarthy out in goal with a hamstring injury. In defence, Matt Targett and Cedric Soares are still too far away from action to be considered, whilst Dusan Tadic and Pierre Hojbjerg are doubtful after suffering injuries on the international break. Shane Long is also set to miss out.
Adam Lallana has suffered a repeat of the groin injury which saw him unavailable for 12 days during the last international break which saw him taken off in England’s friendly against Spain. Jor Gomez and Sheyi Ojo are unlikely to make a return but could soon be competing for a place on the bench, but Danny Ings remains in rehabilitation.
This tie is a real potential banana skin for Liverpool up against a strong Southampton side. However, with such a number of injuries and key players set to miss out for the Saints, Liverpool would be expected to continue their fine form up against a side who were beaten by Hull last time out. Liverpool win.
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