Match Preview: Liverpool v Southampton

Liverpool v Southampton (Premier League)

15:00 GMT

Saturday, 22nd September 2018

Team News:

Liverpool

Divock Origi and Dominic Solanke are doubts for the game, whilst Dejan Lovren is also expected to miss out, despite returning to training this week. Solanke’s fellow Englishmen, Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remain unavailable.

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Southampton

The Saints will have a weakened strike force due to Manolo Gabbiadini picking up a hamstring injury in training. Danny Ings will also be unavailable, as a result of technically being on loan from Liverpool, for his first year on the south coast.

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Preview:

A whirlwind week for Liverpool ends on a more traditional note, as 3 pm kick-offs return to Anfield. Following a sixth successive win, against the stars of Paris Saint Germain, Liverpool will be going into the match confident of being able to extend their perfect start to the season.

In recent years, this fixture has become a bit of a grudge match. Liverpool have signed six players from Southampton, most recently, Virgil Van Dijk for £75 million. The signings of Southampton’s best, haven’t come without criticism from their supporters, much like Barcelona’s dealings have annoyed Liverpool’s.

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As well as the two clubs’ transfer dealings, the Saints have been somewhat of a bogey side for Jurgen Klopp’s men. Having won only two of the last seven games between the teams, including losing a league cup semi-final, there shouldn’t be any problems getting the players up for the match after the big clashes of the last week. Jurgen will be hoping for a repeat of his side’s 3-0 win over the opposition at home last year.

Southampton go into the game on the back of a hard-fought win against Crystal Palace and with Klopp rotation likely, Mark Hughes will see an opportunity to shock the reds. Unfortunately, for the Saints’ manager, he will be missing his in-form frontman; none other than Danny Ings. Ings can’t play as a result of his loan and Italian forward, Manolo Gabbiadini, is sidelined with a hamstring injury. This leaves Charlie Austin and Shane Long to lead the line. This fixture is the third in Liverpool’s seven-match ‘nightmare’ run.

With two games against Chelsea to come, it’s likely that Klopp will rotate his team which beat PSG 3-2 in midweek. Naby Keita will probably start on Saturday, having not played midweek, and Fabinho could also make his full debut. After his long bedding in period, the Brazilian finally made his debut, coming on for the last few seconds against PSG.

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The contest will likely follow the pattern of most Liverpool home games. Southampton are expected to sit in and wait for their chance on the counter-attack. Liverpool will need all the creativity they can muster to break down the Saints’ defence, which includes new signing form Borussia Mönchengladbach, Jannik Vestergaard, who towers at the grand height of 6ft 5.

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