@ZAPunter takes a look at the English Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool which takes place on Saturday 17th August
SOUTHAMPTON VS LIVERPOOL, SATURDAY @ 16:00
Southampton welcome Liverpool to St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon for the 2nd round of Premier League fixtures. Liverpool once again tasted European glory in Istanbul when they beat Chelsea in the Super Cup final. They played 120 minutes of football and eventually the tie was settled by stand in goalkeeper Adrian. Southampton will try and bounce back after their 3-0 away defeat against Burnley on the opening weekend. Saints may feel unlucky as they were the better team for most of the game, but Burnley scored 3 unanswered goals in 12 minutes.
A strong end of last season with new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl and the arrival of attacking player Adams and Djenepo would have given Saints fan optimism going into the new campaign. During the 2018/2019 season they were the lowest scoring team outside of the relegated teams. Hasenhuttl transformed the team in a very short period of time and in the end they comfortable survived relegation. When you decide not to look at the score line against Burnley last weekend, Southampton was the better team based on expected goals and chances created. They will try and bounce back this weekend against the mighty Reds.
Liverpool opened their campaign with a comfortable 4-1 home win vs Norwich and were especially impressive in the first half. Fatigue will be Klopp’s only worry going into this weekend’s match, because of the gruelling travelling schedule this week and that this game in not on Sunday or Monday. Liverpool have started their competitive season by conceding 3 goals in 2 games, which was very rare last season.
PROBABLE LINE-UPS AND TEAM NEWS:
Bednarek, Vestergaard, Danso,
Valery, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Hojbjerg, Bertrand,
*Southampton should make a few changes after their defeat against Burnley, changing their attacking options and bringing in midfield enforcer Hojbjerg.
Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson,
Wijnaldum, Lallana, Henderson,
Salah, Firmino, Mane.
*Liverpool will most likely rotate out Fabinho (looked very tired), Milner (medical treatment after the game) and Keita who pulled out before kick-off on Wednesday evening.
Southampton will be hoping the Burnley defeat isn’t going to have an impact on their start of the season and may feel this is the best time to play Liverpool. The Reds will want to improve on their early season defending, as newly promoted Norwich and Chelsea caused them problems at the back. Liverpool has been victories in the last 4 Premier League meetings between these two teams and beat Southampton 3-1 at St Mary’s in April. Hasenhutl and his players will want to kick start their campaign this weekend and we can expect a solid performance, especially in attack. Fatigue will definitely be a factor for Liverpool, but their quality in attack should show. I expect both teams getting on the score sheet and Southampton makes it difficult for Liverpool.
Note, odds quoted are available at the time of writing but are subject to change