On the 7th of May, Liverpool welcome Southampton to Anfield as the Reds continue to fight for their Champions League place.
Liverpool got back to their winning ways with a 1-0 win against Watford on Monday thanks to a spectacular overhead kick from Emre Can. Liverpool need to continue with their winning way or they could lose out on their Champions League place, thanks to their loss two weeks ago against Crystal Palace. Liverpool have a three point lead on Manchester City and a four point lead on Manchester United, but both teams have a game in hand. Jurgen Klopp’s men are under serious pressure to win to win every match, or else they could be left out of the Champions League next season.
Southampton are in no threat of relegation, but also cannot get into the European places. They are solidly midtable. Yet, news outlets reported this week that the future of manager Claude Puel is far from safe. The Telegraph reported that the club would review his position at the end of the season and that it is “not yet certain that the Frenchman will remain in charge for next season.” With this in mind, Southampton need wins to help them climb up to eighth and secure as good a league finish as possible.
Liverpool already know they’ll be without Sadio Mane, Jordan Henderson and Danny Ings. Along with those three, they could be without Philippe Coutinho. Klopp believes the Brazilian is likely to play, but there is still the possibility he could miss out, according to Physioroom.com
Southampton will continue to deal with the injury issues they have been dealing with for the majority of the second half of the season. They will be without Virgil Van Dijk, Charlie Austin, Matt Target, and Alex McCarthy.
Liverpool: Roberto Firmino
Liverpool are still without Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana is just coming back from an injury. With the absence of those two Roberto Firmino has had to take a bigger share of the creative load for Liverpool and will have to ontinue to do so. While Firmino has struggled in the last two matches, contributing to zero goals and taking only two shots, he scored the match winning goal in the two previous matches. Firmino is one of the first names on Klopp’s team sheet due to his creativity, his goal scoring, and his work off the ball. Liverpool will need all three of those aspects if they are to beat a tough Southampton team.
Southampton: Dusan Tadic
Southampton have struggled to score goals this season, their 39 goals scored leaves them tied with West Bromwich Albion for 13th in the league. Dusan Tadic has been one of their bright spots going forward, tied for the team lead with eight goal contributions and leading the team in chances created with 2.71 per 90 minutes. The Serbian is the Saints most dangerous creator and will need to be on form to help break through the Liverpool press and attack their vulnerable back line.
Liverpool will find this match difficult, but they should still come out with a win. They still have the ability to purely outscore teams and they could do that against the Saints.