Liverpool vs Southampton Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
September 18, 2018
Anfield - Premier League
Virgil Van Dijk will face off against his former teammates this weekend, as Liverpool host Southampton on Saturday afternoon. After a slow start to the season, the Saints' form has picked up recently, with Mark Hughes' side winning their last two games.
Liverpool overcame their Southampton jinx last season as they beat the Saints for the first time in five matches. Jurgen Klopp's side won both the home and away legs, with Mohamed Salah scoring three across the two fixtures.
Jurgen Klopp is facing a minor injury crisis, with Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Dejan Lovren all out, and Dominic Solanke and Divok Origi both doubts. This means that the manager has just Daniel Sturridge at his disposal if Roberto Firmino is unable to play due to his eye injury, whilst Xherdan Shaqiri may deputes for Salah.
Both Shane Long and Charlie Austin will be available on Saturday, with the two strikers recovering from injury to return for Southampton's game against Brighton. With Danny Ings ineligible to play against his parent club, Mark Hughes may have to play both Long and Austin together on Saturday, although may experiment with Mohamed Elyounoussi as a striker.
Liverpool v Southampton Preview and Predictions
With five games gone, Liverpool are one of only two teams to have won every match in the league so far. However, the real test for Jurgen Klopp's side begins this week, with the Reds host PSG in the Champions League mid-week before the visit of Southampton on Saturday. After their journey to the final last season, it remains to be seen whether they can go one step further, whilst maintaining their domestic challenge.
Mark Hughes has less to worry about, although Southampton have enjoyed hardly the best start to the season, with just four points accrued out of a possible 15. The former Stoke boss was brought in by the south-coast club, and it looks like he may have a similar goal again this season, meaning that the Saints' current 13th place would be more than enough come next summer.
On a brighter note for Saints fans, it appears that one of their biggest problems last term, goalscoring, appears to have been solved by bringing in Danny Ings. The Liverpool loanee has already notched two goals for his new club, more than a quarter of last season's top scorer's final tally! Unfortunately for Hughes, Ings is unable to play this weekend, he will hopefully increase the competition, brining Charlie Austin back to his best.
Liverpool may have no trouble scoring goals, but are far from able to boast of squad depth. Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah missed just one and two Premier League games respectively last season, and it remains to be seen how potent the Reds are without their two main men. Of course, this applies for the majority of teams, yet, with Daniel Sturridge Klopp's only current replacement up front, the situation is more precarious for Liverpool.
Regardless, it would come as a major surprise if Liverpool struggle to find the target against Southampton this weekend, despite the Saints impressively stringent back line this season. Whether Hughes' side is able to keep a clean sheet while pushing forward on Saturday is a very different matter, and if they do leave space, Liverpool have shown they are willing and able to punish them for it.
Sadio Mane to score first at 4/1
With replacements at the ready for Salah and Firmino, there will be a lot of impetus on the third man of the trident to score.
Under 2.5 goals at 8/5
Southampton have conceded just four times this season, and may attempt to shut up shop and play for the draw.