Jurgen Klopp marshals his men, as Liverpool travels all the way to Hampshire to face a Southampton side who will be looking to win their last home game of the season- in the clash between the two teams in the Premier League, at Saint Mary’s Stadium, on Tuesday.
Liverpool and Southampton lock horns in the Premier League for the second time this season. The last time the two sides faced each other, Klopp’s side eased past the struggling visitors, 4-0 at Anfield. Going into the match on Tuesday, Klopp and co. will be favoured to repeat the heroics again as they did at home back in November. But they know, it is easier said than done.
As far as Southampton are concerned, one can say that Ralph Hasenhuttl has done a remarkable job in building the squad’s stability. But it has been more than 3 years now and the fans expect more than a mid-table finish, and rightly so! The team, supposedly, have not been consistent with their performances. With 1 win in the last 6 league games, the Saints are just not keeping up to their paces, and have been often found throwing away the matches from a winnable position.
Meanwhile, Klopp and Co. will be wary of the threat that Hasenhuttl’s side possesses on the counter. They have troubled the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal with the same, this season around. And the thousand of home fans will be expecting a 2016 recap when the rejuvenated Saints beat the Reds 3-2 in an emphatic comeback victory display.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) May 15, 2022
But it has to be said, that it’s highly unlikely that Klopp’s side are going to give away 3 goals for fun. The worst-case scenario for the visitors could be a draw, while the home fans would love to see an unexpected win- something to cheer for coming to the end of the season. The mighty Reds chasing the quadruple got a major boost after City drew against the hammers in their last game, no wonder the Kopites would want their side to deliver at least a winning performance away from home.
WHEN & WHERE?
Venue- Saint Mary’s Stadium.
Day & Date- Tuesday, 17th May 2022.
Time- 6:45 PM GMT
THE LAST TIME THEY FACED EACH OTHER
Back in November, when these two sides came face-to-face against each other at Anfield, it was Liverpool who stood the tallest as the clear winners. Though the match ended 4-0 on the score sheet, truth be told the scoreline could have gotten much worse for the Saints on that day.
With just 30 minutes up, the Reds had already fashioned a 3 goal advantage over their visitors. It was one of the most dominant displays from the Reds, and as for Hasenhutl- he was surely thanking the God for the result not ending as another 9 goal howler for the Saints. On the day Jota got a brace and even, Thiago and Van Dijk got themselves on the scoresheet.
While the Reds will be expecting a similar kind of result, the home fans will be hoping for a spirited performance from their side given it is the last home game for the players this season. If anything, a draw would be an amazing result to get something out of this dry season.
SNEAK PEEK: PLAYERS TO LOOK OUT FOR
James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
Southampton’s go-to man in the big games just cannot be kept out of the limelight in a match of this intensity. Ward-Prowse has been one of the finest servants for the Saints and this season as well, the Englishman leads the goal contributions chart for the Saints. In 34 league games, so far, Ward-Prowse has a staggering 14 goal contribution for the Saints- 9 goals and 4 assists.
This game for Ward-Prowse becomes much more important as not only does he have the experience to go against an opposition of the calibre, but the visitors have looked shaky in the recent games owing to fatigue and the busy match schedules. Thus, Ward-Prowse could be the key for Hasenhuttl’s squad as the Saints look to upset Liverpool.
Luis Diaz (Liverpool)
Often referred to as Delightful Diaz by the Kopites, Luis Diaz is already turning tables at Anfield. And it does not come as a surprise to anyone, seeing how well he was performing at Porto prior to his move to Anfield. Already, winning games by his sole brilliance on the field. From helping the Reds reach the final of the Champions League to keeping them in the hunt for the quadruple, Diaz has been beyond sensational.
His stay, so far, at the Merseyside has been far more beyond than the numbers to show for. It has been outrageous, if not crazy. It is already giving us the chills to just imagine what he’ll do next season, having been fully trained under Klopp.
Meanwhile, the Columbian International has already scored 4 goals and has provided another 3 assists for the Reds in just 12 Premier League games. Going into the matchday on Tuesday he will be poised for another man of the match performance, likewise, he did against Chelsea in the FA Cup Final on the Weekend.
While Jurgen Klopp will be hoping for more of the same from his star signing, the Saints will be hoping to stop him from getting forward.
There are no injury concerns for Ralph Hasenhuttl and Co., apart from Livramento- who will be absent for quite a long time. Changes will be seen on Tuesday, for the final home game of the season. While Che Adam remains poised to start the game in place of Adam Armstrong.
Diallo was a weak link in the midfield in the last game, which was a defeat at the hands of Brentford. So it will be no surprise to see Oriel Romeu taking the guards against Liverpool, alongside the Player of the season nominee & his in-form teammate James Ward-Prowse.
Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp now needs to pay attention to his fatigued squad. Having already played in the League Cup final & the FA Cup final, and now they will be soon playing in the Champions League final- the Reds will play the maximum amount of games in a single season.
No surprise that in doing so they will have some tiring legs out there, and we saw the same in the final of the FA Cup on the weekend. Both Salah and Van Dijk were subbed off in the victory over Chelsea, to lift the FA Cup and be in the race for a quadruple. They both join Fabinho in the players to be absent for the upcoming game.
Although, both Salah and VVD have been ruled by Klopp himself out of fear of a prolonged injury, he might give the duo a much-needed rest considering the Champions League final is on the cards.
A rotated Liverpool squad will be seen, but with Bobby back Klopp will be much relieved that the veteran Brazilian could lead the charge from upfront. Other than that, the travelling Reds will be hopeful for a victorious performance.
Southampton predicted XI vs Liverpool: Forster; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Salisu, Perraud; Redmond, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, S. Armstrong; Adams, Broja.
Liverpool predicted XI vs Southampton: Alisson; Gomez, Matip, Konate, Tsimikas; Jones, Henderson, Keita; Jota, Firmino, Diaz.