Match Preview: Fifth-placed Southampton host Liverpool at St. Mary's Stadium
Liverpool travel down south on Sunday as they aim to pick up another win in the Premier League away at Southampton. The Reds are currently on a brilliant run of form and have also picked up wins in the Europa League and the FA Cup recently. Can Brendan Rodgers get the better of Ronald Koeman though?
Injury news for Liverpool mean they are still unable to call upon captain Steven Gerrard who will be out for a while longer. Raheem Sterling though is expected to start after getting some game time against Besiktas.
For Southampton, they are looking relatively strong as Ronald Koeman expects to see the return of Shane Long, Morgan Schneiderlin and Matt Targett.
Form wise Southampton are also in pretty good shape. They have only lost one in their last nine and that came against Swansea. Their last fixture in the league saw them draw 0-0 with West Ham. They have scored four goals in their last five league games.
For Liverpool, they are unbeaten in their last nine. Their last league fixture saw a late win over Spurs and the Reds have scored eight in their last five league games.
The last time the two sides met was in August last year. The gamed ended in a 2-1 win for Liverpool with goals from Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge. The Reds' last trip to St Mary's also ended well after Liverpool put three goals in the Southampton net with no return. Suarez, Sterling and Gerrard were on the score sheet that day.
In the three trips to St Mary's prior to the 3-0 win though, the Reds have notched up a hat-trick of losses. Losing 3-1, 2-0 and 2-0 respectively.
- Jordan Henderson has 10 assists in all comps so far this season for Liverpool.
- Southampton have conceded the least amount of goals so far in the league this season; 17.
- Daniel Sturridge has appeared in away games five times in 11 months but has not netted in that period.
I think this could be a good time for Liverpool to face Southampton really, whilst they have slipped slightly of late Liverpool appear to be on the ascendancy. We're working well as a team it just seems to be an issue to be clinical in front of goal and make our pressure truly count.
Playing a team like Southampton with a high tempo and loads of fluidity is fine as long as you score early on to cement your presence. The longer we face the Saints without finding the back of the net, the sooner they will be presented with a chance that they will ensure they convert.
Mario Balotelli may have caused an uproar this week which in my opinion has been blown out of all proportions, but you can guarantee despite his heavy presence in the last three matches, he won't get a start.
Brendan Rodgers has already suggested he needs to continue to up his work rate but for me it just sounds like excuses. Mario has earnt a start, but he won't get it.
Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!