On November 19th, Southampton welcome Liverpool to St Mary’s as the Premier League resumes after the final international break of the year. Southampton welcomed the international break with open arms after consecutive losses to Chelsea and relegation favorites Hull City. After a five game unbeaten run, the Saints started to fall off and will hope the break can help them refocus and get their form back.
Liverpool on the other hand didn’t want the games to stop with three wins in a row and a 6-1 win over Watford before the break. 11 matches into the season and Liverpool find themselves top of the league with 26 points, one more than second place Chelsea.
Southampton would also have wanted the international break to come to help them heal from all their injuries. Jeremey Pied is still out until the end of the season with his torn ACL, while Shane Long and Matt Targett are out until the end of the month. Duscan Tadic, Ryan Bertrand, Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg, Cedric Soares, Fraser Forester, and Alex McCarthy are all varying degrees of doubtd for the match and will have their statuses determined closer to kick off.
Liverpool will have a mostly full squad going to St Mary’s, but there are doubts over the fitness of Adam Lallana. The former Southampton man picked up a groin injury on England duty and now looks set to miss out against his former club. They’ll also be without the services of Danny Ings, who is out after picking up another long term knee injury.
While Liverpool have been leaking goals so far this season, they’ve been able to counter that with an unbelievable attack. They have conceded 14 goals, more than seven, but their 30 goals are four more than any other team has scored this season. Away from home, Liverpool have conceded 10 goals, only Crystal Palace, Watford, West Ham United, Hull City, and Leicester have conceded more goals away from home this season.
After a run of six straight clean sheets in all competitions earlier in the season, Southampton have only been able to keep one clean sheet in their last seven matches. Couple those inconsistent performances at the back with Liverpool’s lethal attack and we could be in for some goals.
Southampton: Charlie Austin
Southampton have struggled for goals so far this season, with only 12 in 11 matches. Their main source of goals has been English striker Charlie Austin. Austin has bagged five Premier League goals in only seven Premier League starts. Southampton have struggled to score this season, but there’s always a goal to be had against Liverpool’s back four and goalkeeper and of anyone’s likely to get it it’s Charlie Austin.
Liverpool: Sadio Mane
After leaving Southampton for Liverpool this summer for a fee of £34m, Sadio Mane has found form at his new home. Mane has thrived under Jurgen Klopp, scoring six goals and assisting two in only 10 Premier League matches. Liverpool’s uptempo style and fluent attack has given Mane the freedom and the space to thrive. He’ll hope he can prove how much he’s grown at his old home ground on Saturday.
Southampton are one of the tougher tests that Liverpool will face this season, with their stout defense and talent to counter attack. That said, Liverpool have been on a role and there’s no reason to think they’ll be stopped now. Jurgen Klopp’s side has been scoring goals for fun and that should continue on Saturday