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EPL: Southampton vs Liverpool Preview

Liverpool will look to continue their title push when they travel to Southampton this Saturday. 

Southampton will no doubt be going into this fixture with a fair degree of warranted trepidation. Liverpool’s 6-1 demolition of Watford was just the latest in a series of immense displays by the Anfield giants. Southampton were on a decent run prior to the Chelsea game, having picked up 11 points out of an available 15, but losses to Chelsea and Hull have slightly deflated Claude Puel’s balloon.

This game has added significance giving the way that Liverpool have summarily decimated the Southampton squad in recent seasons. No fewer than four Liverpool likely starts are Saints ex-pats, a fact that will no doubt go unmissed by Southampton supporters.

Southampton vs Liverpool | Saturday 19 November | St. Mary’s | 17:00

To Win Match
Southampton 49/20 | Draw 51/20 | Liverpool 21/20

Southampton actually play a very similar 4-3-3 system to the one adopted by Klopp. The difference is in the personnel. With Clasie, Romeu and Davies, Southampton clearly have a far more cautionary tone in midfield to Liverpool. Romeu and Clasie are destroyers who will be overworked in breaking down Liverpool’s incessant movement. Van Djik and Fonte perhaps represent Southampton greatest hope of pinching a result here. They have been extremely solid this season and will pose a huge threat in Liverpool’s occasionally vulnerable box.

Redmond and Tadic are going to have to double back and get through a bucket-load of work on Saturday. This will likely prevent from launching the type of incisive attacks they will need to support in-form Austin. Southampton are going to pose the greatest threat from set-pieces. Southampton miraculously came from 2-0 down to beat Liverpool here last season, but that was a rarity in recent form. Liverpool had won their three previous visits to St Mary’s and Southamtpon have only won that one game in their previous six encounters against the Reds, losing four. Additionally, the chief architect of Liverpool’s destruction that day- Saido Mane- is now in their ranks.

Where to start with Liverpool. They are currently playing some of the best football you are likely to see anywhere, with Daniel Sturridge rightfully relegated to a fringe role in the side. There are still vulnerabilities in defense, with aerial balls a cause for concern. But the way that the front three is dovetailing and interchanging is almost Barcelona-esque.

Speaking of, Liverpool will do well to hold onto the immaculate Coutinho as rumors of a foul swoop from Barcelona are rife. James Milner has been exceptional in a makeshift full-back position, casting serious doubts over the future of one Alberto Moreno.

In previous seasons, I would have earmarked this as a slippery fixture for Liverpool, especially giving the combative nature of Clasie and Romeu. But their sheer mobility almost renders the midfield battle somewhat frivolous. In any case, Henderson and Can are not shy of a tackle and the side welcomes Lovren back into the starting line-up. Liverpool’s biggest test is going to be during the Afcon when both Mane and Matip leave, but this looks to be a bankable victory.

Verdict: Liverpool to win at 21/20
I can’t see any other choice here. There’s no value in backing Southampton in any way. Perhaps an interesting side-bet could be on Mane scoring. Mane knows exactly where all the weaknesses are in this team and has a frightening burst of pace. 

Written by Damien Kayat  @Hollywoodbets

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