Southampton v Liverpool: 5 Factors that can influence the outcome of the match
After a grueling 120 minutes of midweek European football, Liverpool will now turn their attention back to the Premier League. The recently crowned Super Cup champions will be headed to the St. Mary’s Stadium to face one of their tough opponents, Southampton.
With Manchester City and Manchester United off to a flying start, Liverpool will need a win to keep the pace with the other members of the top six.
Southampton, on the other hand, having suffered a demoralizing defeat at the hands of Burnley in the last match, will like to get back to winning ways. With matchday two around the corner, we take a look at the five talking points ahead of the Southampton vs Liverpool fixture.
#1 Winning Mentality
In the past 2 months, Liverpool have won two finals out of three. After the Champions League Cup, the Reds added the Super Cup to their trophy cabinet on Wednesday. Liverpool, who had seen the 2016 Europa League final and the 2018 Champions League finals slip from their hands, have seemingly learned from their defeats.
Having narrowly missed out on the Community Shield on penalties, Liverpool came back with a vengeance and the spirit of winning everything, starting with the Super Cup. This year, their target will most probably be the Premier League, and with the winning mentality they have recently developed, it'll be interesting to see how they'll perform against the Saints.
#2 Fatigue Factor
Wednesday night had it all for the Reds. 90 minutes of a 1-1 draw at full-time in humid conditions followed by 30 minutes of extra time where both teams added a goal each to the scoreline, and a grueling penalty shootout ended in European glory for Liverpool.
The joy of winning the Super Cup might have now been overshadowed by the fatigue factor after a four-hour flight and a big match awaiting them on Saturday.
Mohamed Salah, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson, Mohamed Salah and Fabinho, all played the whole 120 minutes against Chelsea, and Jurgen Klopp now has an even bigger problem on hand with less time to prepare his team.
Southampton could very well take advantage of the fatigue factor that would come in play after such an intense game.
#3 Goalkeeping Issues
Liverpool found themselves in a tight fix at the Norwich game when the triple Golden Glove-winning goalkeeper, Alisson Becker, had to be substituted even before half-time with a calf injury.
Ahead of the Super Cup fixture, manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed that Alisson will be out for a few weeks, most probably from 4 to 8 weeks.
Adrian stepped up to fill the void left by Alisson and proved to be a hero by saving Tammy Abraham’s decisive penalty. Adrian, though, was involved in a freak incident as he was tackled by a pitch invader who slipped and landed on his ankle during the Super Cup celebrations.
Klopp will have to make a late call on Adrian’s fitness ahead of tomorrow’s trip. If Adrian fails to recover in time, Klopp will have to choose between either the 35-year-old Andy Lonergan, who recently earned a contract as one of the backup goalkeepers or the 20-year- old Caoimhin Kelleher who is yet to fully recover from a wrist injury.
#4 Contrasting start to the season
While Liverpool struggled during their pre-season tour, Southampton were having a much better time. Liverpool’s pre-season ended with 3 wins, 3 defeats, and a draw, whilst Southampton had a draw and 4 wins in their last 4 pre-season matches.
However, with the Premier League kicking off last weekend, the tables turned. Liverpool started on a better note with a 4-1 victory over Norwich City, while Southampton lost 3-0 away to Burnley.
This weekend Southampton have a chance to kick-start their campaign and redeem themselves against one of the toughest opponents in the league.
#5 Previous meetings
The Saints have a total of 30 wins while Klopp's Reds have come out victorious on 55 occasions, along with 25 draws to complete the record.
The last time these two met was in April, where Liverpool had to overturn an early deficit after Shane Long had given Southampton the lead. Naby Keita equalized later in what turned out to be an intense first-half.
A counter-attack spearheaded by Salah gave the Reds the lead before captain Jordan Henderson sealed the game for them with a third.
Despite Liverpool having the upper hand over Southampton in the recent heads to heads, it has never been an easy game for them, and they'll have to put in a solid shift if they are to come away from the south coast with all three points.