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Liverpool were unlucky to concede a late controversial spot-kick against Tottenham Hotspur and Harry Kane’s equaliser took away 3 very important points from them. The Reds, however, will be determined to win against a struggling Southampton on Sunday evening when they visit the Saints at St. Mary’s.
Southampton, under Mauricio Pellegrino, are building up a late resurgence, as they are unbeaten in the past six outings across all competitions. They won their last game against West Bromwich Albion in the league and that has taken them out of the drop zone for the time being. Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool gaffer, hasn’t enjoyed his trip to Southampton so far since his Premier League arrival and the return of Virgil Van Dijk to St. Mary’s would create a hostile ambience this weekend.
Southampton do not have any significant injury absentees except their star forward Charlie Austin who is still a month away following a thigh strain. Liverpool, on the other hand, will continue to miss ex-Saints right-back Nathaniel Clyne (back injury). However, Adam Lallana, Ragnar Klavan and Joe Gomez are expected to be fit for the weekend encounter.
Klopp has been pretty direct and straightforward with his formation and should field his side in a usual 4-3-3 set-up against the Hampshire outfit.
The German custodian is now Klopp’s ‘No. 1’ choice between the sticks and his performance against Spurs last week earned him praise, particularly for denying Harry Kane from the spot.
Although local boy Trent Alexander-Arnold had a comprehensive outing against Spurs at Anfield, Gomez’s return from injury might see the teenager make way for the ex-Charlton defender who has used Clyne’s injury absence well.
Dejan Lovren holds a bitter experience at St. Mary’s and the Croatian’s inconsistency might see him lose his place to Joel Matip in the heart of Liverpool defence.
The Dutchman finally completed his long-pending move earlier this winter and will now face his former suitors on Sunday evening. He was solid against Spurs but conceded a controversial spot-kick in the closing seconds that denied them a crucial win. Van Dijk will have a major challenge ahead and is expected to live up to the expectation of the supporters.
Robertson has cemented his position in Moreno’s injury absence and is tipped to retain his first-team slot against the Saints.
The skipper had a decent outing against Spurs where he blocked and denied many counter-attacking movements in the middle of the park. He is much-needed now in a depleted Liverpool midfield and is expected to lead his side against the Saints.
The German panzer was instrumental in their away win over Huddersfield Town but lacked the composure against the North London giants last Sunday. He, however, has influenced the Reds to dominate the midfield game and is likely to start in a box-to-box role against Pellegrino’s men.
The Englishman might be handed a start against his boyhood club despite having had a couple of unimpressive outings. He now has to prove his worth during the remainder of the campaign and register himself as a first-team regular under the German gaffer.
Salah is now hailed as ‘the Egyptian King’ by the Reds due to sheer dominance in front of goal in his maiden campaign for the Merseysiders. He scored a brace against Spurs and the second one has to be a ‘goal of the season’ contender due to his exhilarating footwork, dribbling skills and finishing traits where he danced past the entire Spurs defence to put it into the back of the net.
Salah is now only one behind hitman Harry Kane and is in the race to win the Premier League Golden Boot award despite. He will be looking to add more to his tally when they visit Southampton this weekend.
Firmino has added a new dimension to ‘No.9’ role with his great work ethic, calmness and goal-poaching traits. He is termed as the ‘system’ in Klopp’s pressing game and the Brazilian will be looking to create and convert even more during the course of the season.
Mane, another ex-Saints star, is struggling to find his form. Yet, his presence will be a massive influence in their attacking third and the Senegalese wingman will be hoping to regain his lost form sooner than later.