In what has turned into one of the most awaited fixtures in the league calendar for Southampton fans, Liverpool will travel to St Mary’s this weekend, in what is expected to be an exciting clash. The Saints finally moved out of the drop zone, and are now in the 15th place, having picked up six points in their last four outings. They are fresh from a 3-2 victory against West Brom last weekend and will believe that they can get something from this game against Liverpool.
The Reds failed to beat the Saints in four tries last season but put them to the sword in a 3-0 victory at Anfield. But the Saints have been hard to beat at St Mary’s and they will pose a tricky test. Here is the predicted lineup Mauricio Pellegrino might field for this tie:
Southampton have a clean bill of health ahead of this tie, with Charlie Austin the only player unavailable for this game. Manolo Gabbiadini made the bench against West Brom and could play a role in this game.
Expected lineup (4-2-3-1):
Pellegrino has stuck with 28-year old Alex McCarthy in goal for over a month now and he should keep his place under the bar this weekend. Jack Stephens is one of the first names on the team sheet for the Saints and he should be partnered with Wesley Hoedt, who is still learning the English game, in his first season at the club.
Ryan Bertrand has not been as effective in recent games but is expected to keep his place on the left flank at the back while Cedric Soares, who will be up against Sadio Mane, will start at right-back.
Pellegrino has some exciting midfielders at his disposal but Oriol Romeu remains his first choice midfielder, who will have his work cut out, against a formidable Liverpool side. Mario Lemina is slowly establishing himself in the first team after the injury and is expected to partner Romeu, to add some balance to Southampton’s midfield.
January signing Guido Carrillo failed to impress against the Baggies in the last round but could start this game, to try and take advantage of a shaky Liverpool defence. He should be supported by Dusan Tadic, who is expected to start in the no.10 role.
Sofiane Boufal played on the left flank against West Brom and had a decent game. He could keep his place in the side with James Ward-Prowse, who scored, what turned out to be the winner in the previous weekend, starting on the right flank.
Here is how they might line up: