Preview: Liverpool vs. Southampton

Preview: Liverpool vs. Southampton

After seeing off Porto with professionalism in the Champions League, Liverpool return to Anfield for Saturday’s Premier League visit of Southampton.

The Reds’ most recent top-flight game saw them teach Arsenal a footballing lesson in a 4-0 success, while the Saints went down 2-1 to Norwich City.

Liverpool quickly found out how hard it would be to breach an Aaron Ramsdale-inspired Arsenal defence last weekend, but when the floodgates opened following Sadio Mane’s header, Jurgen Klopp’s men showed no mercy.

A second-half flurry of strikes saw Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah and Takumi Minamino strike for a ruthless Liverpool as Mikel Arteta’s young guns were humbled, and the Reds continued kept the momentum going by not letting their heads drop in the Champions League.

Despite assuring themselves of a first-placed finish before the visit of Porto, Liverpool kept up their remarkable rate of scoring at least twice with a 2-0 win over the Portuguese giants, with Thiago Alcantara scoring a peach of a strike before Salah doubled his side’s tally.

Having recovered from a two-game winless run in the Premier League, Klopp’s side occupy third spot in the table – one point adrift of second-placed Manchester City – but leaders Chelsea are currently out of sight with 12 fixtures played.

Liverpool have now scored at least two goals in each of their last 16 games across all competitions and are yet to suffer defeat domestically or continentally at home this term, so Southampton sure do have their work cut out for them.

Southampton fans could have been forgiven for harbouring hopes of a routine success against a struggling Norwich City side in gameweek 12, with Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side entering the encounter on the back of three wins and a draw in the top flight.

However, the Saints became only Norwich’s second victims of the new season, as Che Adams’s fourth-minute effort was quickly cancelled out by a Teemu Pukki header before Grant Hanley won it for the Canaries in the 79th minute.

Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy did not cover himself in glory on the day as Southampton’s four-game unbeaten run came to an abrupt end, with that 2-1 defeat leaving them 13th in the rankings with 14 points to their name – five clear of the drop zone.

Southampton may have taken a point from their clash at the Etihad Stadium with Manchester City this season, but with 13 defeats from 17 away games in the top flight since the turn of the year, the Saints boast the worst Premier League away record in 2021 – hardly a reassuring statistic before a trip to Anfield.

Hasenhuttl let emotion take over when his side overcame Liverpool 1-0 at St Mary’s last term, but Southampton have lost seven of their last eight league battles with the Reds and are without a goal on the Anfield turf since January 2017 in the EFL Cup.

Liverpool Premier League form:
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Liverpool form (all competitions):
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Southampton Premier League form:
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Southampton form (all competitions):
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We say: Liverpool 3-0 Southampton
Southampton will boast the fresher legs this week, but Klopp had the luxury of resting many of his big-hitters in midweek, and we can only envisage one outcome here.

The Reds were scintillating in their second-half display against the Gunners and should have no trouble replicating such a goal-laden display at their fortress, so a comfortable home win is surely on the cards.

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