Southampton v Liverpool – Match Preview

What a week it’s been for Liverpool FC! We’ve started this season with an absolute bang after thrashing Norwich in our first Premier League match and then following it up with a tough win against Chelsea in the Super Cup. We now got to Southampton on Saturday 17 August kicking off at 3pm BST.

When I say a “tough win” against Chelsea I really mean, I haven’t seen Liverpool play that bad in a match since Napoli away in the Champions League last season. We were a shambles in the first half and lucky to only be down by one goal in the first half. With that said though there’s absolutely nothing to worry about going forward. This all came down to a poor choice in rotation.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a brilliant player, but he’s not a winger. With the Ox stepping in for Firmino which saw Mane move to a more central role and Ox playing off the left, we witnessed a meltdown in midfield. Without Firmino’s constant dropping back and defending from the front we were left short and torn apart by Kante.

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Like I said though, this is not a problem. Our shortfalls were instantly fixed after halftime when Ox was removed for Firmino who made an immediate impact with an outstanding assist for our first goal. As mentioned, Ox is brilliant in the midfield but playing off the wing on Wednesday night just wasn’t working.

With that in the past now, we look forward to travelling to Southampton to play our first away game of the season against a side who have major question marks against their quality and position in the Premier League. After playing a prominent role in the mid-table battle over the years, the Saints are now being tipped by pundits to face the drop this season. This comes as a shock as the Saints have always given the big teams, especially Liverpool, a tough game and never easy points.

On a side note, imagine where they’d be had we not signed all of their top players as soon as they found a bit of form?

Liverpool go into the game with a strong XI with the only expected absentee being Alisson. A lot of Liverpool fans, including myself, would have been sweating the moment they saw Alisson hit the deck holding his calf. Definitely a sight we didn’t want to see in our first Premier League game. But how good was Adrian against Chelsea? He was incredible. His saves kept us in the game and ultimately won us the game. He did concede a penalty though which was a point of controversy but that’s another argument and not one that we should focus on.

Fitness will of course be something for Jurgen Klopp to ponder over before picking his side for this match. After all the team did play 120 minutes of football midweek in Turkey and have now had to travel to the South Coast. I can’t imagine any of our front three will be rotated given their importance and their rare need for rest in the past. I do however predict a change in midfield.

I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw Lallana make a start against his former club. Lallana was brilliant in all of pre-season in his new holding role and Southampton will be the perfect match for Klopp to really put him to the test.

Let us know in the comments who you think should be in the team should Klopp decide to rotate. Let’s go Reds!

Thomas Schembri