Southampton vs Liverpool Preview, Team News, Likely Line-Ups, Key Man + Prediction
Liverpool are on the South Coast this weekend as they take on Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium. Here’s a preview with team news, likely line-ups and prediction.
The Reds head into the weekend action sitting six points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham so they can now be confident of securing Champions League football and begin to set their sights on those above them.
With leaders Chelsea just four points adrift, Liverpool can now consider themselves as serious title contenders and they can move above third-placed Manchester City with a win as the Citizens won’t be in league action this weekend due to the Capital One Cup final commitments.
Brendan Rodgers side kept pace with the leading pack with a hard fought 4-3 win over Swansea City last weekend to maintain their excellent recent form, with the Merseysiders winning six and drawing two of their last eight games.
Southampton on the other hand will be looking to bounce back following last Saturday’s disappointing 3-1 defeat to West Ham, which left them sitting ninth in the table.
However, that was the Saints first defeat in seven matches and the hosts have a decent home record against Liverpool, winning four of their last five games, while they also ran out 1-0 victors in the reverse fixture at Anfield back in September, so should be full of confidence heading into this game.
Mauricio Pochettino is sweating on the fitness of midfielder Victor Wanyama ahead of the game. The Kenyan missed last weeks loss at Upton Park through injury and is in a race against time to be passed fit for tomorrow’s clash.
Defender Jos Hooiveld is struggling with an eye injury and will also be given a late fitness test before his involvement is decided, but he’s unlikely to start the match regardless.
Dejan Lovren could be recalled after being named among the subs last weekend while Gaston Ramirez could also come back in if Pochettino wants to mix things up after the Hammers defeat.
Liverpool are able to welcome back defender Mamadou Sakho after he returned to full training this week, although the Frenchman is unlikely to start after missing the last two months with a hamstring strain.
Rodgers has already confirmed that Daniel Agger will retain his place in defence despite be hauled off on the hour mark last weekend, and the Dane should start alongside Martin Skrtel at the back.
Midfielder Lucas Leiva is also back in training but this game will come too for the Brazilian as he continues to work his way back to full fitness following a knee injury. Jose Enrique remains on the sidelines.
Daniel Sturridge: The England striker continued his sensational goal-scoring form with a brace last weekend to see him move into second position in the race for the Golden Boot. He’ll certainly be one Southampton will have to keep a close eye on tomorrow.
Southampton 1-2 Liverpool: The hosts will put up a good fight but we can see Liverpool’s deadly strike-force being too much for them to handle.
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