Liverpool secured their first trophy of the season, winning the UEFA Super Cup after defeating last season’s Europa League winners Chelsea on penalties.
Southampton had a poor start to their league campaign as they were trounced 3-0 by Burnley in the opening round of the Premier League.
Let’s take a look at the 3 important battles in the game between Southampton and Liverpool:
Southampton vs Liverpool – 3 Key Battles
Sadio Mane vs Yan Valery
The dangerous attacking trio of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, and Roberto Firmino could start in the game against Saints after Mane played against Chelsea in the Super Cup.
The Senegalese attacker scored both of Liverpool’s goals against Chelsea, which could prompt manager Jurgen Klopp to play the trio from the start against Southampton.
If Mane starts, he will play on the left side of attack, and will come up against 20-year-old full-back Yan Valery, which could be an exciting contest.
Valery is a promising defender who likes to attack, but moving too far ahead could leave a few open spaces for Mane to run into.
Nathan Redmond/Ryan Bertrand vs Trent Alexander-Arnold
One of Southampton’s biggest threats in attack is winger Nathan Redmond, who can create something out of nothing. He, along with full-back Ryan Bertrand, have a good partnership on the left side of attack, and the duo could cause some problems to Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Alexander-Arnold is very good going forward, but is not the best in defence, which is an area that Redmond and Bertrand could exploit.
James Ward-Prowse vs Georginio Wijnaldum
The Southampton midfield duo of James Ward-Prowse and Oriol Romeu are good on the ball with their passing and movement, but aren’t combative midfielders who can dispossess the opposition of the ball with their strength.
Against Liverpool, they will be up against it as they will face a trio of central midfielders who press and retrieve the ball with a vengeance whenever they lose it.
The midfield battle between Ward-Prowse and Georginio Wijnaldum will be an interesting one as both are hard-working players who can go from box to the other, while also being good passers of the ball.