After a week full of frustration resulting from the 2-2 draw at Anfield against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, Liverpool are finally back in action today, as they take on Southampton, in one of the most awaited games of the season, for both sets of fans. The Reds failed to score a single goal in two visits to St Mary’s last season but beat Southampton in the reverse fixture, earlier this season at Anfield.
The Saints are fresh from a 3-2 victory over West Brom and have been in decent form since the start of the year. They are still pretty close to the drop zone and are not expected to let Liverpool take anything from this game easily. The Reds have their UCL Round of 16 clash against FC Porto coming up on Wednesday but are unlikely to rest any of their key players. Here is the predicted lineup Klopp might field for this tie:
The Reds are still without the services of Nathaniel Clyne, who is the only long-term absentee. Adam Lallana and Alberto Moreno are back in training and should make the bench while defender Ragnar Klavan will undergo a late fitness test, to prove his availability for this game. Young Joe Gomez is also expected to be fit but might not be risked for this game, with the match against Porto in mind.
Expected lineup (4-3-3):
Jurgen Klopp has stuck with Loris Karius in goal since the turn of the year and the German was excellent against Spurs and will hope for a similar outing, with a better result. All eyes will be on Dutch international Virgil van Dijk, who will return to St Mary’s for the first time, since his £75m move to Anfield. He could be partnered by Joel Matip, who only came off the bench last weekend.
Though Moreno is fit, Andrew Robertson has been exceptional at left-back for Liverpool this season and should retain his place in the side while young Trent Alexandre-Arnold should get his second consecutive start, keeping Gomez fresh for the mid-week.
The Reds have chopped and changed their midfield in recent games. Emre Can has been a constant presence, but could be rested, with Jordan Henderson playing as the deepest of the midfielders today. He should be supported by Georginio Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, both of who were on the bench against Tottenham Hotspur.
Roberto Firmino remains Liverpool’s best option to lead the attack. He will be the danger man for the Saints along with Mohamed Salah, who will look to continue his goal scoring form and Sadio Mane, who will face his former side.
Here is how they might line up