Karl Matchett 5 May 2017
Liverpool host Southampton in their penultimate home game of 2016/17; here’s everything you need to know about the Saints.
Premier League form: D – W – W – L – L – D
League position: Ninth
Last win: 1-0 at West Brom, April 8
Away: Won five, drawn three, lost nine. Have won and lost three each of the last six on the road, including defeats at Spurs and Chelsea of late.
Claude Puel has changed formation a few times across the season, but the overall style and manner of play has largely remained the same.
Initially, Saints fielded a diamond midfield and two up top, but the flexibility of the forwards meant moving to 4-3-3 was an easy option, particularly with Nathan Redmond pushing wide from centre.
More recently, a true double pivot in midfield has meant a 4-2-3-1 setup.
They play neat football, have good technical midfielders and quickly play the ball forward into the channels, but they can also be very direct and aggressive once in the final third. They play the most crosses per game in the top flight, 25 on average.
Against Liverpool, though, it has been a different matter at times.
Saints have sat deep, in one collective block, and asked the Reds to break them down. That’s at home; at Anfield it’s unlikely to be any other way.