LFC NEWS

Match Centre: Follow live build-up to Southampton v Liverpool

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 01/04/2021 - 10:00
Visit our Match Centre now to follow interactive build-up, updates and reaction as Liverpool face Southampton in the Premier League.
Categories: LFC NEWS

QUIZ: Name the 18 Liverpool and Southampton double agents in Premier League era

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 01/04/2021 - 09:00

Liverpool and Southampton meet once again in the Premier League, but can you name the 18 players who have played for both in the Premier League era?

The Reds make the trip to the south coast for pivotal game in their Premier League season having drawn their last two games.

The history between the two teams dates back to 1902, where they have since contested 112 games and 35 players have plied their trade for both clubs.

Only 18 have donned the badge for Liverpool and Southampton since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, whether on loan or via a permanent switch.

The only criteria here is that players must have signed for both the Reds and the Saints in the last 29 years – we’ve given you a few clues but you will need to dive into your memory for a few names!

Can you name all 18 in 6 minutes? Want more quizzes? Try these!

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Southampton dealt COVID-19 blow as goalkeeper ruled out vs. Liverpool

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 01/04/2021 - 08:00

Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy will miss Monday’s Premier League game against Liverpool after testing positive for coronavirus, the club have announced.

McCarthy was the only Saints player or staff member to prove positive after the latest round of tests and is now in isolation.

The club posted on Twitter: “Ralph Hasenhuttl has confirmed Alex McCarthy will miss the Liverpool game following a positive Covid-19 test.

“McCarthy is currently self-isolating at home, in line with government guidelines and club protocols.”

Saints head coach Ralph Hasenhuttl is hoping to return to the dugout for the visit of the champions following a period of isolation after he recently tested positive.

Hasenhuttl missed his side’s goalless home draw against West Ham last Tuesday.

McCarthy, in his fifth season at St Mary’s after joining from Crystal Palace, has started in all 16 of their top-flight matches this season and has kept seven clean sheets.

 Southampton's goalkeeper Fraser Forster during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Fraser Forster is likely to take his place on Monday.

The Saints were boosted for the West Ham match by the return to fitness of seven-goal striker Danny Ings, who came through unscathed after missing the previous goalless draw at Fulham due to a hamstring strain.

The striker had sustained an injury before Christmas, but with seven goals to his name already this season, Hasenhuttl believes Ings’ return to fitness is important for the club.

“I think he is OK, he had a good start in the game,” said Hasenhuttl before the news of McCarthy’s positive test.

“And yes it is normal after this injury that he is not 100 per cent (in his usual) rhythm, but it’s important that he stays fit now.

“He has enough time to recover now for the next game against his former club Liverpool.

“I am happy to have him back, and we must definitely have more punch up front to score goals in the future but this will happen, I am sure.”

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Birthday boy Milner & Reds aim for a record-breaking win at St. Mary’s

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 01/04/2021 - 07:00

Liverpool have won precisely half of the 90 games against Southampton to-date; here are all the best stats and facts as we look for our 46th win on Monday night.

Recent successes

The Reds have won the last six league clashes home and away against Saints, scoring 17 times while conceding two – and we are unbeaten in the last eight.

Liverpool have won the last three at Southampton – but never won four in succession.

The Reds have kept four clean sheets in the last seven league visits.

Prior to their 7-0 win at Crystal Palace before Christmas, Liverpool’s biggest ever Premier League win had come against Southampton – 7-1 at Anfield in January 1999.

Midfield men

 Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum during a preseason friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by Propaganda)

James Milner turns 35 years of age on the day of the game.

The last Liverpool player to score on his birthday was Daniel Sturridge against Manchester United in 2013. Should Milner do so, he will be the oldest Liverpool player ever to score on his birthday.

Georginio Wijnaldum’s next game will be his 250th club appearance for an English side.

Wijnaldum’s first goal in England came for Newcastle at home to Southampton in a 2-2 draw in August 2015 on his Premier League debut.

Naby Keita was managed by current Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl at RB Leipzig.

Familiar faces

 Liverpool's Danny Ings during the preseason friendly match between Liverpool FC and Torino FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sadio Mane scored and was sent-off for Southampton at Anfield in October 2015.
He made 75 appearances for the Saints scoring 25 goals, including 21 in 67 league games.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain played 43 games for Southampton, scoring 10 goals. He was once the Saints’ second youngest-ever player after Theo Walcott. His goal at Anfield last season is his only one vs. Southampton in 15 career appearances.

Danny Ings played 25 times for Liverpool, hitting four goals, of which three came in 14 league games.

Goal trail

 Liverpool's Divock Origi celebrates scoring the fourth goal against Southampton during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match at St. Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Mo Salah has scored seven goals in his six Reds appearances against Southampton. Only Robbie Fowler (eight) has scored more for Liverpool against the Saints in the Premier League era.

Divock Origi (League Cup in 2015) is the only hat-trick scored by a Liverpool player at Southampton and only their fourth ever against the Saints – with Robbie Fowler (twice in the league) scoring three at Anfield in 1993 and 1999 and Sam Raybould doing so in the FA Cup in 1906.

Those goals were Origi’s first for Liverpool.

Current run

 Liverpool’s captain Jordan Henderson during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by Propaganda)

The Reds are unbeaten in the last 12 league games – six wins and six draws.

They have drawn the last two league games. Not since October 2015 have three in succession ended in a stalemate.

They have drawn five of their eight away games in the league this season.

The Reds conceded seven goals in the last 11 league matches after conceding 21 in the preceding 11 fixtures.

Last time out at Newcastle the Reds failed to score for the first time in the top flight this season.

Saints view

 Southampton's manager Ralph Hasenhüttl wearing gloves during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Southampton are three goals short of recording 100 against Liverpool in all league games.

Jannik Vestergaard was a team mate of Roberto Firmino‘s at Hoffenheim.

Following their 2-0 home win over Newcastle in November they led the Premier League for the first time ever. They were at the summit for two days.

They have not conceded more than one goal in eight of the last nine games home and away.

Saints have not scored in any of their last three league games – the last time they were goalless in the last four top-flight games was in October 2018 in a sequence of five, one of which was against Liverpool at Anfield.

Saints have kept seven top-flight clean sheets so far this season and could keep a third in succession for the first time in the Premier League since October 2016.

Their last eight goals have been scored by eight different players.

Scorers this season

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) celebrates after scoring the first goal with team-mate Curtis Jones during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool: Salah 16, Jota 9, Mane 7, Firmino 5, Minamino 4, Jones 3, Grujic 1, Henderson 1, Matip 1, Origi 1, Robertson 1, Shaqiri 1, van Dijk 1, Wijnaldum 1, own goals 3.

Southampton: Ings 6, Adams 4, Ward-Prowse 4, Vestergaard 3, Armstrong 2, Walcott 2, Bednarek 1, Djenepo 1, Redmond 1, Romeu 1.

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Robertson: Liverpool need to put teams away

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Mon, 01/04/2021 - 07:00

Liverpool must recapture their ruthless form of last season and pick up more points away from home if they are to stay on course to retain the Premier League title, says Andy Robertson.

Only goal difference separates the league leaders from second-placed Manchester United, who are on a 10-match unbeaten run, winning eight of those to take their total to 33 points after 16 games this season.

Liverpool have won just one of their last seven away matches, with bottom-half teams West Brom, Fulham, Brighton - and most recently Newcastle - all earning draws against the Premier League champions in recent weeks.

"Over the last two years or even three years - and no disrespect to those clubs - but last season we would have won those games," Robertson said ahead of the Monday Night Football trip to Southampton.

"And if you add two points to every one of those games then the league table is looking a lot different and we're sitting pretty happy, but you know, this season is going to be unique. I think there are seven or eight teams - once the games in hand have been played that are within three points of us at the top, and it's going to be a unique season as I said.

Monday 4th January 7:00pm Kick off 8:00pm Sky Sports Premier League HD Sky Sports Premier League HD

"I think I can comfortably say it's not going to be 97 or 98 points that is going to win the league this season, it's probably going to be in the 80s because it is that tight and everyone is taking points off each other. We need to stay in the race, and that's what we have done so far.

"Of course, the last two games have been disappointing, especially Newcastle [which ended 0-0]. We could have probably played all night the amount of chances we had, I think [Newcastle goalkeeper] Karl Darlow would have kept every one of them out the way he has playing. You sometimes get games like that. Thankfully, we haven't had too many like that in the last couple of years, but we had it the other night.

"It's just now we need to kick on in 2021. We need to go on a run of games where we win. We of course need to pick up more away points and keep picking up maximum points at home, and let's see where we end up. But it's a unique season. Hopefully we end up on top."

'I feel a bit guilty - 2020 has been tough for everyone'

Robertson is also keen to see a return to some sort of normality in 2021 after a year of mixed emotions for the full-back.

The Scotsman captained his country to qualification for next summer's European Championships - their first major tournament appearance since the France 1998 World Cup - and also helped Liverpool end their quest for a first Premier League title.

preview image 3:06 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Newcastle's draw against Liverpool in the Premier League

Despite his epic triumphs on the pitch in 2020, Robertson is acutely aware of the misery the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic has brought to so many people's lives.

He said: "One of the main things [when you are looking back on last year] is you feel a bit guilty, because 2020 will always be a year that I look back on with happy memories and a smile on my face, because I ended two very long waits - for a major tournament for my country and with me being captain was unbelievable - and then to end the 30-year title wait for this club was so special for me.

"But also I got to spend time with my family, and I've got two young kids. During lockdown, I made sure that I made the most of that and everything that goes along with it.

"But then when you look at it, a lot of people have lost their lives, a lot of people have maybe lost their jobs and that's where the guilt comes in, because this year has been tough for everyone. It's definitely a year I look back on where I learned a lot, I gained a lot, but it's also a year that our whole lives changed, and that's something I will never forget.

"I just hope in 2021 we can get back to some sort of normality and we can get our normal lives back, because I think if people didn't appreciate their lives before, they certainly do after this pandemic. I think everybody would love to just get back to normal now."

preview image 1:59 A look at some of the key stats surrounding matchweek 17's Premier League fixtures

Robertson is hungry for more silverware after Premier League, Club World Cup and Champions League successes in the last 18 months and says Liverpool can also look forward to welcoming back central defenders Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez this year.

"For 2021 as a whole, I hope it ends in success," he said.

"The last two years we have been lucky enough to get our hands on a trophy, and of course we want to strive for more.

"In the summer, I will have the privilege of leading my country out, the first time [any Scotland captain has done that in 23 years] so, in 2021 there is a lot to look forward to. We know the hard work and everything that needs to go to win any sort of trophy and we are determined to do so.

"Obviously we will get Virg back in 2021 at some point. I'm not sure that will be any time this season, but he will get back and it's been great having him and Joe Gomez around the players and be able to see them and put a smile on their faces as well. Hopefully those boys and all of the injured boys are back on the pitch real soon".

Klopp: Van Dijk still has 'long way to go'

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says Van Dijk is making progress in his recovery from a knee injury but admits the defender still has a "long way to go" in his rehabilitation.

The Netherlands international underwent surgery after sustaining ligament damage in the Merseyside derby in October but posted an update on social media last week showing him stepping up his recovery with a session on an exercise bike.

Klopp, who is also without defenders Joel Matip and Joe Gomez, is happy to see Van Dijk making progress but admitted the nature of the 29-year-old's injury means he still has work to do in his recovery.

"Good, very good. I have no problem with talking about Virgil van Dijk. It's very good but still a long way to go, that's this kind of injury," Klopp said.

"I'm happy when I see these videos, to be honest, because it just shows that he makes good progress. But it will still take a lot of time, that's how it is. I would like to say something else but these are the facts, unfortunately."

When does the January transfer window open?

The January transfer window will opener on Saturday 2 January 2021 and close on Monday 1 February; Follow all the latest in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms as well as Sky Sports News.

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Klopp: We may not sign a centre-back this month

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Mon, 01/04/2021 - 06:00

Jurgen Klopp has warned that Liverpool may not sign a new centre-back in the January transfer window.

Defending champions Liverpool are in the midst of an injury crisis at the back after losing starters Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez for lengthy spells, made worse by deputy Joel Matip's continued struggles to remain fit.

Monday 4th January 7:00pm Kick off 8:00pm Sky Sports Premier League HD Sky Sports Premier League HD

Klopp has switched Fabinho from a holding-midfield role and called on academy products Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips to great effect, with the ever-changing back four conceding just twice in the last four matches.

Liverpool defender Joel Matip Image: Joel Matip was injured in Liverpool's 1-1 draw with West Brom last month

Former Liverpool defender and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher believes it is "paramount" the champions sign a centre-back in January to ensure they are able to retain the title. However, Klopp has told Sky Sports News the financial uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic means the decision is not so straightforward.

"I know but that is not new, that's always the case," Klopp said of speculation, when asked if Matip returning to full fitness would put an end to talk about a new centre-back arriving in January.

"I can't really say anything about that, but you can imagine, six months ago we talked about how much all football clubs struggle and thank God we could keep going, and it helped all the clubs as well.

"But it's still not the time where you really just..." the Liverpool boss appears to signal money being thrown around before continuing, "At least not for us. I don't know exactly how it is at other clubs, but we have to be really cautious and very serious, and so I don't know what we can and what we can't do."

'Hasenhuttl doing incredible job'

Klopp has praised the transformative job Ralph Hasenhuttl has done at Southampton ahead of Liverpool's trip to St Mary's on Monday Night Football, live on Sky Sports Premier League.

The Liverpool boss knows Hasenhuttl as a "pressing manager" and has been impressed by the Austrian's refusal to abandon his philosophies despite the club, at one stage last season, being in a relegation fight. They go into Monday's encounter seven points behind leaders Liverpool.

Hasenhuttl and Klopp 1:11 Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has praised the 'incredible job' Ralph Hasenhuttl has done at Southampton ahead of their Monday Night Football encounter.

"If they weren't wearing the Southampton shirt you would see that it's Southampton - I like that," Klopp said.

"He's doing an incredible job there. You could really see last season, when they were in a difficult situation, how he reorganised all the defensive stuff without forgetting for one second what his philosophy is.

"Che Adams and Danny Ings up front, if one of them can't play then it's Shane Long, and then the wings are incredibly strong.

"They've got a sensationally-tuned midfield with James Ward-Prowse being the set-piece monster of the league and a really organised last line with a goalie who is flying. So it looks really good."

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Jürgen Klopp on Thiago's condition, transfer window and Curtis Jones

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 01/03/2021 - 22:30

Jürgen Klopp discussed Thiago Alcantara's condition, the January transfer window and Curtis Jones' chances of representing England in 2021 during his pre-Southampton press conference.

The Liverpool manager previewed Monday’s Premier League trip to St Mary’s with the media immediately after the goalless draw at Newcastle United in midweek.

Thiago made his return with a 73rd-minute introduction on Tyneside after two-and-a-half months out injured – and Klopp was quizzed on when the midfielder is now likely to start a game.

With Joel Matip confirmed to be sidelined for the next few weeks due to an adductor issue, the boss also assessed the possibility of the club seeking defensive reinforcements in the transfer market this month.

And Klopp reflected on Jones’ progress as he was asked if he believes the Academy graduate could step up to the senior England national team in 2021.

Read a transcript of his chat with the media below…

On whether Thiago will be ready to start a match in the coming week…

Unfortunately, I don’t know him that long. A few months only. So if I would like to answer the question, I don’t know exactly what to say. That he could play 20 [minutes against Newcastle] is pretty special, I would say, because [he had] only two sessions with the team; one of the sessions he was the joker, so I’m not sure you can count that really. But this game [at Newcastle] gave us the opportunity to do it because it was mainly about creating and that’s obviously his best skill. So we will see. There’s a chance. He played 20 [minutes] so there’s a chance. But I don’t even know how he reacts until [Thursday], we will see if he can get out of bed or not! Or if he has kind of muscle soreness or something like that. He enjoyed the few minutes obviously and then we will talk new. But, how I said, I like speaking about Thiago, it’s absolutely no problem, but honestly the boys who did the job so far did exceptionally well, I have to say. It’s not that we could not survive if he cannot start the next game. But it’s very good that he is now fit and is obviously in contention. I like that a lot.

On Matip’s injury and if Liverpool have solutions in the squad or will need to use the January transfer window…

We have solutions in the squad, obviously. Yes, we struggled still. The injuries we had now from a specific moment happened most of the time in the centre-half position. That’s clear, it’s because some players are injured, play pretty quick – like Joel – and then get injured again. I don’t know how to say it but it just can happen like this when it starts at one point and it doesn’t stop. We have solutions in the squad and if we can, or if we will, do something in the window I don’t know, it’s really like that. It’s a very difficult transfer window, how you can imagine; not a lot of clubs have real money, some clubs don’t have money but don’t need money as well. So that’s the situation.

Doing ‘something’ makes no sense. Doing the right thing would make sense. But doing ‘something’ makes no sense. So far, as long as we are in the situation we are, we have to deal with it. And we do. And I liked Nat [Phillips against Newcastle], I really liked what he did. He’s just an absolutely clear, completely clear boy, knows about his abilities and is using it and is just doing the job. He helped us a lot. It was clear he would play [at Newcastle] because we have three centre-halves in the moment, so if Rhys [Williams] would have played again then Nat wouldn’t have played for five or six weeks, which makes no sense because he needs rhythm as well. We have to think a lot, obviously, about these kind of things. He did a really good job.

On Jones’ chances of playing for the senior England team in 2021…

That’s a question for Gareth Southgate, I think. I don’t think he is too long in the U21s. Not my decision but I’m really happy that we have him and he has a chance to play in our team, that’s more important to me. About the midfield options for the national team, I don’t know. A really good player and in the future he will play for England, I’m pretty sure. If it’s this summer, I don’t know.

On what Jones will learn from the West Bromwich Albion game and if he is more mature than his age…

It’s very important, so this situation, that’s the world and the football world: you make a lot of good stuff and in one thing you hit an opponent when you want to play a pass or you pass a little bit too late and everybody is talking about it. So, 100 per cent he learns from things like this, definitely. It’s a very intense period for him as well and how he did so far is absolutely outstanding. I don’t know what it would have been [like] with all the injuries if he wouldn’t have been there. So I’m really happy about everything. And that football players make mistakes or make wrong decisions, I knew before. That can happen, especially when you get tired – that was for sure the case in the [West Brom] game. But again [against Newcastle], a top game, really good player, all good.

On the tight situation at the top of the table and whether this season is tougher than last…

For sure, but last season was very tough for us as well, it’s not that we thought, ‘Oh my God, it’s that easy.’ It was really tough. And this year is tough again. We wish it would not be that close but I’m not surprised that it’s close. We have our situation, all the other clubs have their situation. Our season is so far, so good. Not more, not less. We try to be ready for each game. How I said, I liked the reaction [against Newcastle] from the second half against West Brom. That was good. Now Southampton will ask for different things, we have to be ready again. Then Aston Villa, then Manchester United. Yeah, this season is a tough one for the supporters. If you are neutral then you will love it, I’m pretty sure, because it will go to the wire probably. But it’s just tough for all of us, that’s the reason why it’s so close.

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Jürgen Klopp on Thiago's condition, transfer window and Curtis Jones

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 01/03/2021 - 22:30
Jürgen Klopp discussed Thiago Alcantara's condition, the January transfer window and Curtis Jones' chances of representing England in 2021 during his pre-Southampton press conference.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Southampton vs Liverpool Preview - Reds look to climb out of slump in form at St Mary's Liverpool Stumble To Newcastle Draw Newc...

Anfield Index.com - Sun, 01/03/2021 - 21:28
THE DETAILS

Venue – St Mary’s, Southampton

Referee – Andre Marriner

Date & Time – Monday, January 4th @ 20:00

Current Odds – Southampton 15/4, Draw 7/2, Liverpool 8/13

________________________________________________________

Liverpool are first in the Premier League. Not “joint-top” or level with Manchester United, The Reds are first and that is a fact. Jürgen Klopp’s men have climbed to the summit despite the obstacles laid in front of them at every possible turn.

We’ve seen a slight drop-off in performance levels in recent games but it’s surely understandable considering the load the players carried for the first half of this campaign.

Monday night certainly won’t be easy and we may even go another game without a win. However, this most unpredictable of league seasons will have plenty more twists before May.

FORM

Southampton Form

Southampton have gone four games without a win and only managed to score one goal in that time. They’ve only won twice in their last 8 matches, having won five from six just before that.

There’s no doubt Ralph Hasenhüttl is a top manager and despite Southampton’s recent dip, they are still only three points off third-placed Spurs.

The Saints’ last outing was a 0-0 draw with West Ham at St Mary’s on Tuesday.

Liverpool Form

Liverpool have drawn three of their last five Premier League games. Relative to the last couple of years under Jürgen Klopp, that is considered a slump in form.

Last time out, Liverpool were unfortunate not to grab a winner at Newcastle. Liverpool did manage to create a new club record for their biggest ever top-flight away win when they beat Crystal Palace 7-0 at Selhurst Park in December.

Which Reds side will we see against Southampton?

TEAM NEWS

Southampton Team News

Jannik Vestergaard is a big loss for The Saints. The big Danish centre-half is out for this game as is attacking midfielder Nathan Redmond.

Ralph Hasenhüttl favours a 4-4-2 formation at Southampton and it should be more of the same on Monday night.

Danny Ings and Che Adams are expected to lead the line for the hosts with Ings keen to score against his old club again.

James Ward-Prowse is enjoying a great season and his ability from dead-ball situations will need to be considered by The Reds.

Liverpool Team News

At the moment, Liverpool are without Joël Matip, Naby Keïta, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Diogo Jota and Kostas Tsimikas.

Nat Phillips started in defence for the game against Newcastle but I think Rhys Williams could be back in for this one. Fabinho will partner either Phillips or Williams in central defence with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson at right and left-back respectively.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be about to make his first Premier League start of the season against Southampton. Curtis Jones may be rested with ‘The Ox’ coming into midfield to start with Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum.

Jürgen Klopp is likely to go full strength up top with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané expected to start.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Southampton XI (4-4-2) – McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Stephens, Bertrand; Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Walcott; Ings, Adams

Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Williams R, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Mané

WHEN THEY LAST MET

Liverpool have won their last three visits to St Mary’s and are on a six-game winning streak against Southampton in total.

This fixture last season saw The Reds win 2-1 thanks to goals from Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino. Danny Ings scored Southampton’s late reply but Liverpool held on to take all three points.

PREDICTION

SOUTHAMPTON 2 – 2 LIVERPOOL

With how lethargic The Reds have looked in recent games, I can’t see a win for Liverpool in this one. It should be an interesting game against a Southampton side this is finally moulding into Ralph Hasenhüttl’s vision. There should be goals and don’t be surprised to see the excellent Danny Ings coming back to haunt us.

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RIP Gerry Marsden

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 01/03/2021 - 17:19

Liverpool Football Club is deeply saddened by the passing of Gerry Marsden.

A Scouser and lifelong Liverpool fan, Marsden was the lead singer of 1960s Merseybeat band Gerry and the Pacemakers, whose rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone was adopted by the Kop in 1963.

The group's third number one single - a cover of Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic - became famous throughout the world as Liverpool FC's anthem and is played moments before kick-off of every home game at Anfield.

Sung in times of both celebration and commiseration, Gerry's interpretation of You'll Never Walk Alone will forever be inextricably linked to the club he loved.

RIP Gerry Marsden, 1942-2021

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RIP Gerry Marsden

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 01/03/2021 - 17:19
Liverpool Football Club is deeply saddened by the passing of Gerry Marsden.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Ralph Hasenhuttl banking on Saints’ defensive record for Liverpool visit

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 01/03/2021 - 16:00

Ralph Hasenhuttl boasted about Southampton’s superior defensive record ahead of their first Premier League clash of the new year against table-topping Liverpool.

Saints enjoyed an impressive start to the season, briefly topping the table during a seven-game unbeaten run, but have since slipped out of the European places and into ninth.

They shared the points from a hard-fought 0-0 stalemate with Fulham on Boxing Day and recorded another goalless draw against West Ham on December 29, yet the manager insists further tightening up at the back is essential.

“We have to find a good balance of keeping the ball and still creating chances, and I think this is a good challenge for the next games,” Hasenhuttl said on Wednesday.

“But the most important thing for me is that so far we have conceded 19 goals this season, one less than Liverpool, and this is the biggest step.

“This is what was definitely necessary and this was the fundamental of having a good season.”

 Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum (L) and Southampton's James Ward-Prowse during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Hasenhuttl could return to the dugout on January 4, having spent the West Ham game self-isolating at home after a member of his household tested positive for Covid-19.

The boss said after the game it was “horrible” trying to coach his side from home, and admitted it was a different set-up trying to manage remotely.

“It is definitely different if you are not there on the sideline, but a good team does not need a director all the time – and we have a good team now,” said Hasenhuttl.

“It is definitely a team that knows what they have to do, it is more important to use the time before the game to set them up perfectly and we definitely did a good job in the last 48 hours, and this was the reason why they were well organised.”

Hasenhuttl could be given a further boost ahead of the Liverpool game after Danny Ings returned from injury to play the full 90 minutes against West Ham.

Southampton's Danny Ings during the Premier League match at St Mary's, Southampton (Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/PA Images)

The striker had sustained an injury before Christmas, but with seven goals to his name already this season, the Austrian manager believes Ings’ return to fitness is important for the club.

“I think he is OK, he had a good start in the game,” said Hasenhuttl. “It was a good goal, a pity that it was again a little bit offside.

“And yes it is normal after this injury that he is not 100 per cent (in his usual) rhythm, but it’s important that he stays fit now.

“He has enough time to recover now for the next game against his former club Liverpool.

“I am happy to have him back, and we must definitely have more punch up front to score goals in the future but this will happen, I am sure.”

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Reds must arrest away record with vital win – Southampton vs. Liverpool Preview

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 01/03/2021 - 15:00

Liverpool are back on the road in search of three valuable points, where an ex-Red awaits on the south coast as part of a buoyant Southampton outfit.

Southampton vs. Liverpool

Monday, January 4, 2021 – 8pm (GMT)
St Mary’s
Premier League (17)
Referee: Andre Marriner

It was not the end to 2020 that the Reds would have wished for, with two draws against 15th and 19th in the table ensuring they failed to create a buffer at the summit.

Results elsewhere in that time have seen Man United move level on points with Liverpool, second on only goal difference, and now a new year awaits and a swift chance to put three points on the board.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side will need to rectify their away record to do so, however, having only won two of their eight games on the road this season.

Southampton have already dropped 11 points at St Mary’s which provides an opening, but Liverpool will need to be at the top of their game against a resurgent Saints side.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men have impressed in the Premier League to date, picking up 26 points from their 16 games to sit just seven points behind the leaders.

It makes for an interesting affair but one the Reds need to emerge as victors from after three draws in their last five top-flight matches.

It’s time to start 2021 on the right note, Reds.

Team News

 Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara warms-up at half-time as manager Jürgen Klopp looks on during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Thankfully, no new injury concerns emerged from the trip to Newcastle with the manager confident “we can go with the same squad to Southampton.”

That includes Thiago after his 17-minute cameo at St James’ Park, his first appearance since mid-October after finally overcoming a troublesome knee injury.

The Spaniard instantly showed his class but “he felt the intensity” as he still needs to work his way back to full match fitness.

There is a chance that he could be named in the starting lineup but the Reds will no doubt assess the risk before throwing him back into the XI.

Xherdan Shaqiri also made his return to the pitch late on and will be in the mix, as will the likes of James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Gini Wijnaldum, meanwhile, will likely be straight back in after being rested last time out.

Liverpool remain without Joel Matip, Naby Keita, Kostas Tsimikas, Diogo Jota, Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk.

The hosts, on the other hand, will be without both Jannik Vestergaard and Nathan Redmond while Hasenhuttl will return to the dugout after a period of self-isolation.

Potential Saints XI: McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Stephens, Bertrand; Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Walcott; Adams, Ings

Last 5 Away to Southampton (All Competitions)

 Liverpool's Roberto Firmino (C) celebrates scoring the second goal with team-mates Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (L) and Mohamed Salah (R) during the FA Premier League match between Southampton FC and Liverpool FC at St. Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Won 2-1 – August 2019 (Ings; Mane, Firmino)
Won 3-1 – April 2019 (Long; Keita, Salah, Henderson)
Won 2-0 – February 2018  (Firmino, Salah)
Lost 1-0 – January 2017 (Redmond)
Drew0—0   – November 2016

St Mary’s

 A general view of Southampton's St. Mary's Stadium before the FA Premier League match against Everton. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Capacity: 32,505

*To be played behind-closed-doors

Did You Know?

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) and Southampton's Ryan Bertrand during the FA Premier League match between Southampton FC and Liverpool FC at St. Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Southampton have failed to score in six of their last eight top-flight matches against Liverpool, winning none of those meetings dating back to 2016.

In fact, the Reds have won the last six meetings with an aggregate score of 17-2, where Mo Salah has been the star of the show having netted seven times – where only Robbie Fowler has more against Southampton in the Premier League (8).

And without wanting to tempt fate, the Saints’ three defeats this season have all come against the ‘big six’ clubs in Man City, Man United and Tottenham.

Form

 Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (R) looks dejected after missing a chance during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)

Drew 0-0 vs. Newcastle
Drew 1-1 vs. West Brom
Won 7-0 vs. Crystal Palace
Won 2-1 vs. Tottenham
Drew 1-1 vs. Fulham

Southampton – Last five results (all competitions)

Drew 0-0 vs. West Ham
Drew 0-0 vs. Fulham
Lost 1-0 vs. Man City
Drew 1-1 vs. Arsenal
Won 3-0 vs. Sheffield United

Klopp’s View

[embedded content]

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Klopp touched on how he feels the Premier League bubble is safe and is hopeful that a circuit-breaker is not required:

“I think really we can carry on. I’m not a specialist, we all know that. We all try to do our best to keep the competition going, and I think it works well.

“I think the competition can go on, and I think it’s important as well, because people want to watch it.

“And we are, in this case, not part of the society. We usually live isolated, go to the training ground and stuff like this, so I think really we can carry on.

“But I’m not a specialist and I respect all the decisions made in the next few weeks.”

TV & Liveblog Info

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and Southampton's manager Ralph Hasenhüttl before the FA Premier League match between Southampton FC and Liverpool FC at St. Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Southampton vs. Liverpool kicks off at 8pm (GMT) and will be shown live in the UK on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event, with coverage from 7pm.

Chris Williams will keep you informed with his usual bias commentary throughout all the action on our usual matchday live blog, starting from 7.15pm.

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Southampton v Liverpool: Team news

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 01/03/2021 - 13:30

Jürgen Klopp expects to have an unchanged squad available to choose from for Monday's Premier League clash with Southampton.

Speaking after the midweek draw at Newcastle United, the Liverpool manager reported no fresh injury concerns from the goalless stalemate.

The Reds were, in fact, boosted by the returns to match action of James Milner, Thiago Alcantara and Xherdan Shaqiri at St. James’ Park following their spells on the sidelines.

Milner started against the Magpies before being replaced by Thiago on 73 minutes – the Spain international’s first appearance since October 17 – and Shaqiri was a stoppage-time substitute.

“I think of the 20 minutes, 12 round about were brilliant and then he felt the intensity, but that’s normal,” Klopp said of Thiago’s outing. “He trained exactly twice with the team. There is still some physical work to do, still some rhythm to get.

“Shaq is back and that’s, by the way, the best news – the boys are back and, as far as I know in the moment, nobody got injured, which is a very important thing.

“That means we can probably go with the same squad to Southampton.”

The champions will continue to be without centre-back Joel Matip for the trip to St Mary’s. He has been ruled out for around three weeks with an adductor issue.

For Saints, meanwhile, boss Ralph Hasenhuttl is confident former Liverpool forward Danny Ings will be fit and ready to face his old club.

The striker was involved for the entirety of their 0-0 against West Ham United last time out, having missed the previous match with a hamstring injury.

“Yes, I have not heard anything different so far – I think he is OK,” said Hasenhuttl.

“After his injury it’s normal that he is not in the 100 per cent rhythm, but it’s important that he stays fit now and has enough time now to recover for the next game against his former club Liverpool.

“I’m happy to have him back and we must definitely have more punch up front to score goals in the future. But this will come, I’m sure.”

He added: “For Nathan [Redmond] and Jan Vestergaard I think it takes a little bit longer. We’ll have a look; maybe two or three weeks, I don’t know, but it will take a little bit longer.”

Last match

Southampton 0-0 West Ham (December 29): McCarthy, Walker-Peters, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand, Walcott, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Djenepo, Ings, Adams.

Newcastle 0-0 Liverpool (December 30): Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Fabinho, Robertson, Henderson, Milner, Jones, Mane, Salah, Firmino.

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Southampton v Liverpool: Team news

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 01/03/2021 - 13:30
Jürgen Klopp expects to have an unchanged squad available to choose from for Monday's Premier League clash with Southampton.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Sven Botman to Liverpool rumours dismissed as agent talk

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 01/03/2021 - 13:04

Liverpool have been widely linked with Sven Botman among a number of young defenders around Europe – but the Reds won’t be moving for the Dutchman, according to local reports.

There appeared to be a bit of gamesmanship on the go last week, with social media antics appearing to back up rumours in an overly obvious way.

Initially it was Botman’s agents liking a post which said the defender was Anfield-bound, before Botman’s centre-back partner at Lille Jose Fonte also got involved – before the 20-year-old himself shared a photo from an apparent meeting with his agents.

Now, however, it’s claimed that fans and media outlets alike have put two-and-two together and come up with five, or perhaps £35 million.

James Pearce of the Athletic reports that the Reds are “not considering a move for him” and says it’s likely that interested parties are “trying to drive up the price” in Botman.

Sven Botman of Lille OSC runs with the ball during the UEFA Europa League Group H stage match between LOSC Lille and AC Sparta Praha at Stade Pierre Mauroy on December 3, 2020 in Lille, France. Photo by ABACAPRESS.COM

Put to Pearce by a supporter that there appeared to be little reason for the journalist to be following the Lille defender on social media, in that case, Pearce replied tongue-in-cheek about following other interests outside imminent Liverpool transfer signings.

However, it’s not just one member of the local media gang which is “keeping tabs” on Botman and fans could be forgiven for thinking that there’s no smoke without fire.

And yet all the fellas follow his agent? ? https://t.co/0JvRfPOpya pic.twitter.com/GiHkCVIIh1

— Matty Johnson (@MrMattyjohnson) January 3, 2021

The Echo’s Ian Doyle and Goal.com’s Neil Jones both follow the agency representing Botman, and the overseas media links appear to back up the notion that the Reds are, at the very least, keeping tabs on the several quality young players currently on the books at Lille.

It’s also worth remembering that some deals have come out of the blue – Fabinho, Minamino – and that others have been steadfastly denied by local media up until the point it became apparent they were joining, such as Thiago Alcantara in the summer.

Unquestionably the local journalists have their sources, but it’s important to bear in mind that the messages they receive may well come from other individuals with their own interests in mind.

We’re into the January window now and, as ever, there are options aplenty for the Reds to consider.

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Jota looking to become 'a big influence' at Liverpool

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Sun, 01/03/2021 - 09:42

Liverpool forward Diogo Jota may have made an instant impact following his transfer from Wolves but he believes he has to work harder to become "a big influence".

The Portugal international scored nine goals in 17 appearances - including becoming only the club's third player to score a Champions League hat-trick away from home - before a knee problem curtailed his progress.

Injury in the dead rubber against Midtjylland in early December initially ruled out the 24-year-old for two months but he is making good progress and could possibly return before the end of January.

"Things are going well. Knee injuries are always complicated so we cannot rush things but I am doing well and I will be back on the field as soon as possible," he said.

"When I'm fit, I know that I'll give my best in each training session and then each day to give myself a chance of playing.

"In Portugal, they used to say the hardest thing is not to arrive but to stay there.

Monday 4th January 7:00pm Kick off 8:00pm Sky Sports Premier League HD Sky Sports Premier League HD

"So that of course is my target. Now that I have achieved a move to Liverpool, I want to be a big influence in this club and that's what I try to do every day."

Jota surprised many by hitting the ground running following his £41m move in September.

He became the first Liverpool player to score on his first four appearances at home and even slotted in seamlessly with the established front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, with manager Jurgen Klopp trusting him to play alongside the trio in November's 1-1 draw at Manchester City.

Liverpool v West Ham United - Premier League - Anfield
Liverpool's Diogo Jota with manager Jurgen Klopp during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. 31 October 2020 Image: Jota has quickly become an important attacking option for Jurgen Klopp

The Portuguese believes it is a role he can reprise when he is fit again.

"When I first came, my target was to get into the team and to know what we have to do on the field," he said in an interview with Liverpool's matchday programme.

"After that, the aim is to give your best and take advantage of the opportunities you might have and that's all I always try to do.

preview image 1:00 Klopp says he thinks football can continue at this stage, despite increasing numbers of positive Covid-19 test results

"Can we play as a four more often in the future? You would need to ask the manager as he is the one that decides."

Klopp could certainly do with the forward's versatility to freshen up a forward line which looked a little jaded in the goalless draw at Newcastle.

Instead, he may have to manufacture changes at Southampton on Monday with the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Xherdan Shaqiri if he is to rest his tried-and-trusted trio.

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Pre-Southampton stats: Mo Salah out to extend impressive run vs Saints

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 01/03/2021 - 09:00

Mohamed Salah will be looking to enhance his impressive scoring record versus Southampton when Liverpool head there on Monday night.

The Egyptian has found the back of the net on seven occasions in his six appearances for the Reds against the Saints. 

Robbie Fowler is the only Liverpool player to have put more past Southampton in the Premier League era with eight.

For more pre-match facts and figures, courtesy of LFC statistician Ged Rea, read on…

Jürgen Klopp's side have won their last three fixtures at Southampton – Liverpool have never won four in succession at St Mary's.

There has been just one goalless draw at Southampton in 45 league meetings – back in November 2016.

James Milner will turn 35 years of age on the day of the game. The last Red to score on his birthday was Daniel Sturridge against Manchester United in 2013.

Not since October 2015 have Liverpool drawn three successive Premier League matches. 

Klopp's men have conceded seven goals in the last 11 league matches after conceding 21 in the preceding 11 fixtures.

Divock Origi is the only Liverpool player to have scored a hat-trick away at Southampton, with the forward bagging a treble during a League Cup tie there in 2015. 

This will be Liverpool’s first game to be played on January 4 since 2004 when they faced Yeovil Town in the FA Cup.

Southampton's Danny Ings played 25 times for Liverpool, hitting four goals.

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Pre-Southampton stats: Mo Salah out to extend impressive run vs Saints

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 01/03/2021 - 09:00
Mohamed Salah will be looking to enhance his impressive scoring record versus Southampton when Liverpool head there on Monday night.
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Liverpool to win the title, “legend” Danny Ings, and how Southampton turned it around

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 01/03/2021 - 07:00

Liverpool have won just two away games so far this season and another tricky trip kicks off 2021 with the visit to Southampton on Monday night.

Jurgen Klopp‘s men could only draw away to Newcastle on Wednesday evening, finishing 2020 in rather flat fashion with a fifth draw in nine league games.

It means Liverpool have still only won twice on the road in the Premier League this season, with draws at Brighton, Fulham and Newcastle particularly frustrating.

Next up for the Reds is the trip to St Mary’s after the weekend action, in a fixture that is rarely straightforward.

Ralph Hasenhuttl is doing a superb job as Southampton manager, getting his team playing attractive football, not to mention pushing for a top-six finish.

Ahead of the game, we spoke to Saints supporter and writer Luke Osman (@lukeosman_) to hear all about his side’s season and whether Liverpool will retain their league crown.

How happy are you with Southampton’s start to the campaign?

Southampton got off to a start that none of us could ever have foreseen.

We topped the Premier League table for the first time in the club’s history and went on a seriously impressive run; not just of results, but exhilarating performances, too.

We played some excellent stuff and have improved enormously in possession – we are no longer dependent on our counter-pressing to create chances.

Recently, though, there’s been a slide, and it owes to a few reasons. The injuries to Jannik Vestergaard and Danny Ings have halted our progress at both ends of the pitch.

They are both vital players for Hasenhuttl, and beyond our starting lineup, we don’t have an awful lot in the way of depth.

This issue, coupled with a brutally intense style of play, meant that a drop-off was to be expected.

Fatigue is setting in for most teams by the looks of things, and given the physical exertion that the counter-pressing approach demands, it’s no shock to see us tail off a little as the fixtures pile up.

What has been the secret to their rise in the last 12 months since losing 9-0 to Leicester?

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and Southampton's manager Ralph Hasenhüttl before the FA Premier League match between Southampton FC and Liverpool FC at St. Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It’s hard to put my finger on one key aspect. Plenty of neutrals have praised our board for sticking with Hasenhuttl, but we’ve always been punching above our weight with a coach as good as him; we were never going to attract anyone better.

He’s not without his faults, but Hasenhuttl has turned things around miraculously, and we’ve amassed 56 points – the fifth-best in the Premier League – in the calendar year of 2020.

He’s dragged this club up from its knees, revamped its footballing ethos from the academy to the first team and has drastically improved numerous under-performing players.

In reverting to his favoured 4-2-2-2 system and spending more time with the squad, he’s been able to bring back some of the good times.

Football behind closed doors has probably contributed to the general upturn in form, too. Hasenhuttl is an excellent coach, but clearly an adept motivator as well.

With no fans in stadiums, he’s been able to guide Saints through games and deliver his tactical instructions with even greater clarity from the sidelines, giving us an advantage over the somewhat less savvy managers.

Has former Liverpool man Danny Ings exceeded all expectations at St Mary’s?

 England's Dominic Calvert-Lewin (R) celebrates after scoring the first goal with team-mate Danny Ings during the International Friendly match between England and Wales at Wembley Stadium. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK Government’s social distancing laws prohibiting supporters from attending events inside stadiums as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Absolutely. He is a genuinely marvellous footballer.

I think I speak for each and every Southampton supporter when I say that he is loved very, very dearly here, particularly given that he’s one of our own.

Ings carried a reputation of being a gifted striker with a desperately unlucky track record of injuries. In his first season here, he lived up to this reputation, scoring some important goals but being largely hampered by hamstring issues, particularly in the second half of the campaign.

Last term, though, was the best of his career. He was fit for the duration of the season and scored 25 goals in all competitions – some were instinctive tap-ins, some saw him meddle with defenders and others were from range.

He’s got it all, and particularly in light of his two goals at Portsmouth in our 4-0 win at Fratton Park, it’s safe to say that he’s achieving – if he hasn’t already achieved it – a legendary status here.

This season, he’s been largely very good again, but injuries haven’t helped him. He’s had minor knee surgery and has been nursing a hamstring issue of late.

When he’s fully fit and match ready, though, he’ll once again become our talisman, and hopefully score plenty more goals for us.

Who have been Saints’ three best players so far this season?

 Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum (L) and Southampton's James Ward-Prowse during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jannik Vestergaard, for me, has been the Player of the Season, and he’s also been the biggest surprise.

It’s fair to say that the majority of supporters, myself included, would have gladly seen the back of him in the summer transfer window after two pretty terrible campaigns, but he’s been incredibly good.

His passing has been delightful – Virgil van Dijk-esque – and he’s been rock solid at the back. He deserves a lot of credit for his transformation, and so does Hasenhuttl for developing him.

James Ward-Prowse closely follows in second. He’s our captain, he plays every single minute and he is relentless.

His set-pieces have obviously been most eye-catching this season, but he is an extraordinarily well-rounded midfielder and doesn’t get the acclaim he deserves outside of the Southampton fanbase. He’s been exceptional again this term.

Thirdly, I’d say Kyle Walker-Peters. He was brilliant post-lockdown last season, and since joining permanently, he has been pretty faultless.

Few players at the club are better with the ball at their feet and he’s been consistently strong at the back.

Che Adams, Alex McCarthy and Oriol Romeu deserve honourable mentions, too.

 

Switching our attention to Liverpool, do you still see them as the team to beat?

 Liverpool's Sadio Mané celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Bromwich Albion FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Without a doubt. While some of the bizarre results this season have proven that you’re not impenetrable, Liverpool remain the best team in the world.

With everyone fit, they win the Premier League at a canter; even without everyone fit, it’s hard to see anyone even coming remotely close.

The business in the summer, although a centre-back would probably have helped even before the onslaught of long-term injuries, was impressive.

Thiago is a majestic footballer and it’s a shame we’ve been robbed of the chance to watch him in action more this season.

Diogo Jota, too, has been an inspired signing, and it’s a shame his progress has been halted.

Regardless of the setbacks, you will probably have the league wrapped up relatively early on again.

 

Looking ahead to Monday’s game, who do you fear most for the Reds?

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Liverpool FC and FC Midtjylland at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Mohamed Salah. Liverpool are blessed with numerous attacking talents, but he is a footballing freak of nature.

His goalscoring output is scarcely believable, and even in spite of some regular instances in which his decision-making can go awry, he is a devastatingly good forward.

Ryan Bertrand has been a steady player for Saints in the past couple of seasons, but has hardly convinced with some of his recent displays.

He’s another who looks a little tired, but is going to need to be at his very best to even stand a chance of containing Salah’s movement.

It’s tough to see that happening.

 

Where do you see the key battles taking place?

 Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

I think Salah will give Bertrand a really hard time, but there are lots of areas that Saints will need to control.

The midfield battle will be interesting, as the double pivot of Romeu and Ward-Prowse is extremely strong, but Liverpool have the players to cope.

Thiago looks like he’s back in contention, so limiting his influence will be absolutely necessary.

Ings could cause you a few problems if he can regain his match sharpness, while Adams is excellent at dragging defenders out of space.

Perhaps exploiting the depleted central defence is the best, albeit slim, chance Saints have, particularly if Nat Phillips plays.

That might be the only weak link.

Finally, hit us with your prediction…

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates at the final whistle during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It would be incredibly satisfying to see Southampton finally beat Liverpool again, but I don’t think that time will come on Monday night.

I think it will be a 2-0 away win – with Vestergaard out, it’s tough to see how we contain the attacking threat you pose, even if our defensive displays have been reasonably pleasing of late.

Stranger things have happened, but I just can’t quite see us getting anything here.

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