Liverpool v Southampton – Saints won’t preach at Anfield

Liverpool v Southampton - Saints won't preach at Anfield

The Details

Venue – Anfield, Liverpool

Referee – Mike Jones

Date & Time – Saturday, November 18th @ 15:00 BST

Current Odds – Liverpool 4/11, Draw 19/5, Southampton 7/1


Liverpool Form

Liverpool, thankfully, seem to be getting over their September and early-October nightmare and, Spurs result aside, have been returning to winning ways. The Reds have an 80% win record in their last five games a very impressive xG/xA record over that period, also (see table below). Much of this season has been played without Coutinho, Mané and Lallana. All three of those players are very close to returning and if Liverpool can avoid a similar lengthy injury-list for the rest of the season then things will really be looking up for Klopp and co.

Southampton Form

Southampton have been struggling lately. One win in their last six games tells its own story. Pellegrino seems to be focused on getting the defensive side of things sorted first of all. They have conceded 11 in 11, but only managed to score 9. They currently lie in 13th position but will be hoping that they can continue to cause problems for Klopp as they have since 2016.

Team News

Liverpool Team News

Liverpool have not had it their way with regards to injuries so far this season. Mané returned from international duty early to have treatment on an ‘old injury’ as was reported. However, if rumours are to be believed, he is expected to make the starting eleven again on Saturday. Jordan Henderson is still a slight doubt but should return to his place in midfield after missing the win at West Ham.

Lallana is almost ready to return to the first-team squad but it will surely take him a month or six weeks to get back to full match fitness then.

There was also an update this week on Nathaniel Clyne’s back injury. He underwent surgery and is now out until February at least.

Lovren may return to the starting line-up after his mini-break following the disaster at Spurs. Gomez and Moreno have been impressive on either side while Emre Can and Wijnaldum, along with Henderson, has become the regular midfield trio for this campaign, so far. Coutinho should be available again but I expect him to take a place on the bench, ready to replace Mané after around 60 minutes.

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Liverpool’s Business With Southampton: A Success?

Liverpool’s Business With Southampton: A Success?

This weekend see a surprise rivalry take place at Anfield – one that has only really caught fire in the last three years.

Liverpool and Southampton do battle, in what has become commonly known as the “We’re Sick Of You Taking Our Players Derby”.

Saints have, perhaps understandably, been irked by the Reds consistently snatching their star men away from them in recent times, and there seems to an added effort on their part whenever the two sides meet. You can almost taste the bitterness.

If, as an example, Man City were signing Liverpool’s best players every summer, I suppose it would lead to plenty of resentment, in fairness.

In total, the Reds have acquired five new faces from Southampton since the summer of 2014, and with Virgil van Dijk still a major target, who’s to say it won’t become six soon?

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Liverpool Vs Southampton Preview | Stats, Key Men & Team News

Liverpool Vs Southampton Preview | Stats, Key Men & Team News

With all the World Cup 2018 pots decided and international friendly scores settled, international football takes a hiatus for four months and club football makes a return this weekend. It’s been more than three months into the season, but the Premier League season is not even one-third over yet. In the twelfth game-week of the season, Liverpool will host Southampton at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.

Jurgen Klopp’s team are sitting fifth on 19 points, within touching distance of Chelsea (22 points) in fourth. Before the November international break commenced, Liverpool had run into a bit of form winning the last three games and scoring 15 goals in the last five. Liverpool need that form to continue if they are to get back in to the top-four over the next few game weeks. They will also need that sort of a form to ensure that they can overcome Southampton, as under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool have only managed one win against the Saints. With some key players (Salah, Sturridge, Oxlade-Chamberlain) rested during the international break and a few others having come back from injuries (Coutinho, Lallana, and Henderson), Liverpool will be hopeful of ending their winless run against Southampton.

Mauricio Pellegrino, who appeared for Liverpool 13 times between January and May 2005, now heads to Anfield as a rival manager. His side are currently 13th in the league with 13 points and while they are defensively good, the Saints have struggled to score goals this season. The Saints are in underwhelming form this season and on top of that, their top defender – Virgil van Dijk – is going to play against the club that chased him fervently during the summer and that still hope to sign him in January. They have scored only nine times in their eleven games thus far, while conceding eleven. Based on xG estimates, they should have about 15 points, which would have put them at least two places above their actual position.

Interesting Stats

  • Liverpool and Southampton have played 84 top flight league matches and the Reds have won 39, drawn 21, and lost 24. Liverpool have scored 124 goals (72 at home) against the Saints, while conceding 95 times (31 at Anfield).
  • While Liverpool’s record seems better in the last four years – 7 played, 3 won, 3 drawn and 1 game lost – with 10 goals from the Reds and 5 from the Saints, Liverpool have not beaten Southampton in the last five attempts in all competitions, not even scoring in the last four matches against Southampton.
  • Going by the Club Elo Ratings, Southampton have won the most Elo points – 198.3 – against Liverpool. This means that although the Saints have been traditionally a weaker team than Liverpool, they have upset the Reds the most.
  • Southampton are also one of Jurgen Klopp’s bogey teams. The German has managed seven games against the Saints but has only won once, losing thrice and drawing thrice. Klopp has managed against a Pellegrino side before though.

Key Men

Mohammed Salah

Mohamed Salah alone has scored more goals in all competitions than the entire Southampton side. His 12 goals in the first three months of the season (in all comp) is a better start than every Liverpool forward other than Robbie Fowler. An xG per 90 of 0.70 and an expected assist per 90 minutes of 0.19 mean that in current form, Salah has 89% chance of being involved in a goal. The pacy winger has shown a few times already this season that he can be key in unlocking a stubborn defense and Liverpool are likely to meet one on Saturday.

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“Everybody has got a price” – Mauricio Pellegrino admits uncertainty over Virgil van Dijk

 17 November 2017

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino has admitted he can’t rule out the departure of Virgil van Dijk, as Liverpool consider an approach.

The Netherlands international was one of Jurgen Klopp‘s priority targets last summer, but the Reds’ efforts to secure a deal served to undermine them.

Forced to publicly end their interest in Van Dijk, Liverpool oversaw an embarrassing end to one of the most hopeful transfer sagas in recent seasons.

But it has been revealed that Fenway Sports Group president Mike Gordon has worked behind the scenes to repair the club’s relationship with Southampton in order to negotiate in the future.

And speaking ahead of the Saints’ trip to Anfield on Saturday, Pellegrino was reluctant to rule out a departure for Van Dijk or any of his players.

“You never know because the market when we talk about money everybody has got a price,” he told reporters.

“The budget to sign players, the biggest teams have got money to try to sign players.

“I can’t decide about that. This is a question for our owners. I can’t control the market.

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Liverpool v Southampton Preview – Key Battles

Liverpool v Southampton Preview - Key Battles

Let’s rejoice! There is no international football for four months. And Virgil van Dijk is coming to Anfield! Just not the kind of Anfield visit we’d have hoped for.

The Reds host Southampton on Saturday and will look to pile the pressure on former assistant manager Mauricio Pellegrino, as Jurgen Klopp looks for momentum heading into the busiest period of the season. The next two weeks are a defining part of the season, with the Premier League game against Chelsea coming up soon, and the Reds’ fate still to be decided in the UEFA Champions League.

Sadio Mane is back fit, so is Philippe Coutinho. Adam Lallana is also back in first-team training, but the visit of his former club might just be a bit too soon for him to push for a starting spot.

Mo Salah, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Daniel Sturridge had no international duty in the break, which meant that they have had enough time to recharge their batteries ahead of this gruelling period that awaits them.

Here are the key individual battles that will define the outcome of the game.


It is a Liverpool game at Anfield, but somehow the cynosure of all eyes is going to be a player from the opposition. What happened with Liverpool and van Dijk over the summer can only be described as a farce, and he will no doubt want to put in a good performance to kickstart what has been a rocky season for the Saints so far.

Firmino has had his fair share of detractors for the lack of goals he scores, but as he showed against West Ham, even when he is not scoring, he does so much positive work, on and off the ball, that it is hard to see a more important player in this system for Klopp.

If the system employed at West Ham continues, it is likely that Firmino will be employed as the slightly more withdrawn of two central attackers, and that will help his cause. If he is dropping deeper to gain possession, it means he will have the runs of Salah and Mane to keep feeding, and with Chamberlain showing at West Ham that he is blending in with the squad, there is no dearth of options.

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The International Break Proves To Be Just That For Liverpool

The International Break Proves To Be Just That For Liverpool

A lot has been made of Liverpool over the international break. A lot has been made of the potential use of a new formation, a lot has been made of the return to fitness of our full squad and what that means, something that this article will address quite heavily, and a lot has been made of where Liverpool’s season is at after a good run of results following a disastrous defeat to Spurs.

But this article is more focused on the international break itself, and how it’s come at the absolutely perfect time for Liverpool. Yes in terms of form it’s always nice to go into the break in good nick and with a bit of momentum, if that term can be applied. And it’s definitely nice to see the Reds test out a new formation that we can pour over for two weeks. But most importantly, the international break has been able to ensure Liverpool can ease off their injury worries.

By the time that the international break came along, Liverpool had injury concerns linked to Lovren, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Mane, Lallana, Coutinho and Clyne. Whilst not all of these players were totally unfit by the end of the West Ham, all of them were at various stages of recovery.

And most of them have benefitted from a more limited schedule over the last two weeks. Dejan Lovren played the full 90 minutes in both of Croatia’s play-off legs against Greece, but none of the other players featured more than once in the last two weeks.

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Liverpool’s attack vs. Southampton’s defence will be fascinating – The view from Southampton

 16 November 2017

How Southampton‘s defence deals with Liverpool’s blistering attack is likely to be key this weekend, according to Saints writer Richard Brereton.

Southampton head to Anfield on a good run of form against the Reds, with victory avoided and no goals conceded in four separate games against us last season.

Former Liverpool defender Mauricio Pellegrino has not made a great start to life at St Mary’s, though, and goals have been hard to come by. It’s just nine in 11 Premier League games for them.

It should be an interesting game, but one that Jurgen Klopp will feel is a must-win in his side’s quest for a top-four finish.

Ahead of the match, we had a chat with Southampton fan and writer Richard (@RichardBrer) to get his thoughts on Saints, Liverpool, Virgil van Dijk and Saturday’s clash.

Southampton sit 13th in the Premier League – how happy are you with your start to the season?

It can only be described as a disappointing start so far. We have had an easy fixture list yet sit in the bottom-half of the table.

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