Liverpool will look to pick up their second victory of the 2019-20 Premier League season, when they take on Southampton at St. Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.
Following their success in the UEFA Super Cup earlier in the week, Liverpool will look to keep up the momentum and continue on their winning ways when they lock horns against Ralph Hassenhuttl’s Southampton on Matchday 2 of the 2019-20 Premier League.
Liverpool began their Premier League campaign in style, as they thrashed newly-promoted Norwich City 4-1 at Anfield last Friday. Jurgen Klopp’s men followed it up with a penalty shootout victory against rivals Chelsea on their way to winning the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday night in Turkey. And, manager Jurgen Klopp will be hoping to keep the winning run going this weekend.
With Manchester City and Manchester United, who occupy the top two spots in the table respectively, scheduled to play after Liverpool, they have a good chance of usurping the pole position and putting pressure on their rivals early in the season.
In contrast, Southampton kicked off the new campaign in the worst possible way, as they were hammered 3-0 by Burnley last Saturday. The Saints had had a strong pre-season, having picked up victories against the likes of Feyenoord and FC Koln.
And, Southampton manager Ralph Hassenhuttl will be hoping that the defeat to Burnley was a one-off and that his side find a way to channel the pre-season form into Saturday’s game. The Saints must look to make the most of Liverpool’s weariness, after the Reds played for 120 minutes in the midweek fixture.
Team News & Tactics
Southampton have no injury concerns heading into the weekend’s clash against Liverpool. However, manager Hassenhuttl might make some changes to the side that was beaten by Burnley last time out. No changes are expected in goal though, with former Manchester City starlet Angus Gunn set to feature from the kick-off.
There could be an alteration in the three-man backline though, with Jack Stephens likely to be dropped after an erroneous performance last time out. In his place, 20-year-old Kevin Danso, who joined the club on loan from Augsburg on deadline day, is likely to make his debut.
Jan Bednarek and Jannik Vestergaard should keep their places in defence. Yan Valery and Ryan Bertrand should continue as the wing-backs on the right and left sides, respectively.
Hassenhuttl could decide to go with an additional body in midfield against the European champions. That would see Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg start alongside Oriol Romeu and James Ward-Prowse in the middle of the park.
Danny Ings is likely to be sacrificed for the added security in midfield, meaning the Southampton attack should comprise of new signing Che Adams alongside Nathan Redmond.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Gunn; Bednarek, Vestergaard, Danso; Valery, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Hojbjerg, Bertrand; Adams, Bertrand
Liverpool are facing somewhat of an injury crisis in the goalkeeping department. Having lost first-choice custodian Alisson in the game against Norwich, the Reds are now sweating over the fitness of summer signing Adrian, who picked up an ankle injury in a bizarre post-match incident on Wednesday as he collided with a pitch invader.
The goalkeeper is hopeful of making it to the starting lineup on Saturday, but should he not be passed fit, fellow new signing, 35-year-old Andy Lonergan, could be set for his Premier League debut. In defence, Trent Alexander-Arnold should return at right-back, with Andrew Robertson on the left-side, while Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk are likely to continue at the heart of the defence.
James Milner is likely to make way for Georginio Wijnaldum, who did not start in the Chelsea game. Captain Jordan Henderson is expected to hold on to his spot in the middle of the park but Fabinho could be in line for a rest after struggling to get through the 120 minutes on Wednesday. With Naby Keita also an injury doubt, Adam Lallana could feature on Saturday.
Roberto Firmino changed the course of the match against Chelsea after coming on as a half-time substitute. The Brazilian should get the nod in the attacking trident for Liverpool this weekend. Mohamed Salah played all of 120 minutes in the midweek, but the Egyptian and Sadio Mane, who is still making his way back to full fitness, are expected to feature from the kick-off again.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Lallana; Salah, Firmino, Mane
1. Both Teams to Score – YES @ 1.80
2. Over 2.5 Match Goals @ 1.66
1. Che Adams to score anytime @ 4.00
- Southampton have lost their last four Premier League encounters against Liverpool. They have scored just once in these four games, while shipping in as many as 11 goals.
- Liverpool have only lost one of their last 11 Premier League meetings with Southampton (W7 D3) – a 2-3 defeat back in March 2016.
- Southampton last won their first home game of a Premier League season way back in 2004-05 – a 3-2 triumph against Blackburn Rovers.
- Liverpool ended the 2018-19 season with a run of four consecutive away Premier League wins – they haven’t won five in a row on the road since a run of six between February and April 2014.
- This is the third meeting between Ralph Hasenhuttl and Jurgen Klopp in all competitions. The latter has won the previous two, with Borussia Dortmund against VfR Aalen in the DFB Pokal in October 2012 and a 3-1 win for Liverpool against Southampton last season.
Player to Watch
The Liverpool attacker was one of the three Golden Boot winners in the 2018-19 campaign, bagging 22 goals in 36 matches. After a busy summer, where he was part of the Senegal national team that made it to the finals of the Africa Cup of Nations, there had been some concerns surrounding his fitness and physical condition.
However, Mane dispelled all those concerns on Wednesday night as he scored both the goals for Liverpool, with the second goal particularly standing out owing to the quality of the finish. Set to make his first Premier League start of the new season on Saturday, against his former club, Mane will be raring to open his goal-scoring account in the league.
Southampton 1-3 Liverpool
Southampton come into the game on the back of a poor result in their Premier League opener. Liverpool have racked up back-to-back victories after their Community Shield defeat to Manchester City, but having played 120 minutes of football on Wednesday, fatigue could become a factor on Saturday afternoon.
However, given that their attack has looked on top form and with the Saints’ defence struggling last time out, Liverpool should have little problem taking three points from the St. Mary’s. A clean sheet might elude them once again though, as their defence hasn’t looked up to scratch early so far this term.