Liverpool vs Southampton preview, betting tips and prediction: Reds to edge narrow Anfield affair

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Liverpool to win and BTTS

Liverpool to win and over 2.5 goals

Liverpool to win 2-1

It has been a tough campaign for Liverpool so far, with issues in defence playing havoc with their Premier League and Champions League ambitions. Jurgen Klopp’s side were hardly among the title favourites, but they will undoubtedly be disappointed when they look at the table and see they are 12 points behind pacesetters Manchester City. But a victory over their perceived feeder club Southampton on Saturday could take them level on points with fourth placed Chelsea if West Brom can do them a favour at the Hawthorns.

They hit their stride at the London Stadium against West Ham in the last game, which ended Slaven Bilic’s reign. Mohamed Salah strengthened his case for the unofficial title of signing of the season with two goals in the 4-1 victory. Given Southampton’s continued goalscoring issues, should they find anything close to that level on Saturday, they should get the three points. That said, Burnley defended well and took a chance when they got a draw at Liverpool earlier in the season so there is no reason the Saints can’t do the same on Mauricio Pellegrino’s return to his former club.


Form

The humiliation against Tottenham at Wembley aside, the last six games have read a lot better for Liverpool. The goals have been flying in, with 19 in just five games across the Premier League and Champions League. As mentioned above, a win could take them level on points with the top four as they are still in touching distance, but it is very tight in the top seven with Burnley and Arsenal both level on points with the Reds.

Southampton were once one of the most exciting teams in the Premier League, but they are solid if not unspectacular these days. Goals remain a problem for them under Pellegrino, with his side scoring more than once in a game on one occasion in the last six. They are also without a win in two having lost at home to Sean Dyche’s impressive Burnley side. Defeat could see them slip from their relatively comfortable position of 13th and further towards the sharp end of trouble. Only four points separate them from the relegation zone.

Team News

Former Southampton trio Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane will all be absent for Liverpool with respective injuries, so Joe Gomez, fresh from his maiden England call up, Gini Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino should deputise. Otherwise there aren’t many other issues for Klopp to contend with. Daniel Sturridge could lead the line, while Dejan Lovren should feature against the club who brought him to the Premier League.

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Manuel Pellegrino could be without Dutch defender Wesley Hoedt for the trip to Anfield, but record signing Mario Lemina should return in midfield. Charlie Austin is pushing for a start, while the Saints will be hoping for big performance from homegrown star James Ward-Prowse.

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