Liverpool take on Southampton in a crucial top 4 encounter on Sunday. The Reds will want to win this game to stay in touch with the top 4 places which is the Merseyside club’s aim for the season. Liverpool can close in the gap on the top 4 and get within two points of the fourth spot following Swansea’s win over Manchester United on Saturday so it’s an absolutely huge game.
Brendan Rodgers’s side has been in good touch recently but the amount of matches coming at them will definitely be affecting the fitness and freshness of the team. Commitments in the FA Cup and the Europa League means that this will be Liverpool’s third match in nine days, whereas their fifth placed opponents will be playing this match after a gap of 11 days – a significant difference.
However, Brendan Rodgers hinted that Liverpool’s team for the game is unlikely to change much from Thursdaya s win over Besiktas. Injuries to some players means that the crux of the team will be the same and there can’t be many changes. Asked for a squad fitness update, Rodgers said: a Steven [Gerrard] will still be out. Brad Jones, Lucas Leiva and Jon Flanagan are still working towards fitness. Jose Enrique is still out as well.a
Philippe Coutinho has started eighteen straight games and understandably looks jaded now so Adam Lallana or Lazar Markovic could come in for the Brazilian. Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson seem certain to play leaving Jordon Ibe on the right and Alberto Moreno on the left.
Lucas Leiva, after being reinstated in the starting lineup, had done exceedingly well and his injury came as a big disappointment for the club and the fans. However, Welshman Joe Allen has said he wants to do well in the Brazilian’s absence and prove his worth to the Liverpool fans.
a Have Liverpool fans seen the best of me? I dona t think they have, no,a he said
a Thata s a big disappointment of mine, and something Ia m really looking to put right. I want to prove myself.a
Predicted Line-up (3-4-2-1): Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Sakho, Allen, Henderson, Ibe, Moreno, Lallana, Sterling, Sturridge