By Lewis Thompson – @LewisThomps0n
Liverpool travel to St Mary’s to take on Southampton on Friday night as they look to bounce back on top of the Premier League table after Manchester City gained another three points as they beat Cardiff 2-0 on Wednesday. The Reds will be filled with confidence after their massive 2-1 victory over Spurs on Sunday and they will be looking to take the same form into the game on Friday. As Manchester City are playing in a FA Cup semi-final, Liverpool have to take advantage of this and keep the pressure on them in the league.
Southampton have only won one game out of their last ten in the Premier League against Liverpool, drawing three and losing six. However, The Saints have had recent success against Liverpool in the EFL Cup. Back in January 2017, Southampton beat them in both semi-final legs of the EFL Cup to knock them out of the competition. Southampton have lost their last three Premier League meetings against Liverpool by an overall aggregate score line of 8-0, therefore Klopp’s men will be hungry for goals when it comes to Friday night. One of Southampton’s danger men, James Ward-Prowse will be looking to make a heavy impact on this big game, the English attacking midfielder has scored in four of their five Premier League home games in 2019.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has said Shane Long is available to be selected for the starting line-up after the attacker missed their last game with a groin injury. However, Jannick Vestergaard is not likely to be in the squad for the game as he is still suffering from a groin issue. Michael Obafemi and Mario Lemina remain sidelined as Lemina has an abdominal issue and Obafemi is out with a hamstring injury. Danny Ings is ineligible for this fixture as he is not allowed to play against his parent club.
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Now onto my predicted line-up for the game.
I feel Hasenhuttl will make a few changes from The Saints last game against Brighton, I think he will start with a 5-2-2-1 formation. I think Angus Gunn will start in nets, in-front of him a five-man defence will consist of Yan Valery, Jan Bednarek, Jack Stephens, Maya Yoshida and Ryan Bertrand with Valery and Bertrand acting as wing backs. I then feel Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oriel Romeu will start as a two-man midfield, then in the attack, I think Josh Sims will start on the left, James Ward-Prowse out on the right, then this leaves Nathan Redmond to start as The Saints main striker.
With Manchester City not playing a league game this weekend, Liverpool has to get three points against Southampton to add a little pressure on the shoulders of Guardiola and his men. I’m going to go with a comfortable 2-0 for Liverpool with Van Dijk scoring and Mane grabbing a goal. Tell me what you think the score will be, COME ON YOU REDS!!
By Lewis Thompson
Chris was joined by Freddie from Southampton Fan Channel ‘The Ugly Inside’ to preview Friday night’s Premier League game.