Liverpool travel to Southampton for an early morning kick-off (1:30 AM IST) on the 5th of January. Due to repeated draws against Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United, Manchester United have drawn level on points with Liverpool and only goal difference separates both teams. If Liverpool don’t get back to winning ways against Southampton, Manchester United could pile pressure on them with a win against Burnley. Liverpool will be forced to play catch-up if they don’t arrest their slide and win against Southampton, which is a task easier said than done.
Danny Ings, Che Adams, James Ward-Prowse and Jan Bednarek all possess danger to Liverpool’s defence as they are vulnerable in the air without Virgil van Dijk. Liverpool will depend on Rhys Williams to counter them in the air like he did with Tottenham. Barring one instance, Rhys Williams kept Harry Kane quiet throughout the match in the air and in the ground.
This match is a must-win for Liverpool in order to put distance between themselves and Manchester United. In the previous two seasons it was Liverpool that set the pace and asked the rest of the team to keep up with them but circumstances here would see Liverpool work hard for such a thing. As a result Jurgen Klopp must motivate his men to do the job and actually see the team over the line. They’ve drawn with West Bromwich Albion who were defeated 5-0 and 3-0 by Leeds United and Arsenal respectively. They cannot allow teams to draw anymore with them or else they risk losing the title.
Southampton: Jaanik Vestergaard, Nathan Redmond (doubtful), Alex McCarthy (COVID-19)
Liverpool: Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Diogo Jota, Konstantinos Tsimikas, Naby Keita, Joel Matip, James Milner (doubtful)
Southampton: Forster, Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Stephens, Bertrand, Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Walcott, Ings, Adams
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, R Williams, Fabinho, Robertson, Henderson, Thiago, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Mane
Liverpool hasn’t had the best away record this season and have just two wins this whole season. Southampton isn’t the best team to face whether home or away and Liverpool will have to be at their best to outclass them. One of their most dominating wins against Southampton away came in the 2018/19 season when Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah shredded Southampton.
We predict a 1-2 win for Liverpool as they will be desperate to win and get back first place comfortably and hold on to it. They need every advantage they can get before the crunch clash against challengers Manchester United on 17th January.