EPL: Southampton vs Liverpool Preview – St. Mary's Stadium – 19 November, 2016
Post their historic win over Inter Milan in the UEFA Europa League, Southampton could not keep their momentum going at the KCOM Stadium last week where they capitulated 1-2 to a lowly Hull City. While Southampton have been creating more chances to score thanks to coach Claude Puel‘s style of play, the goals have overwhelmingly come from one man – Charlie Austin (8 goals so far this season). Their biggest wins have been against Burnley and West United with scores of 3-1 and 3-0 respectively.
Coming to Saturday's clash at home against Liverpool, it will be goals that Southampton will need if they are harboring any hopes of matching the Reds on that score. Virgil Van Dijk will have a critical role to play at the back along with Maya Yoshida and Jose Fonte in dealing with a side where just everyone is into goals. The Saints will sorely miss the playmaking skills of Sadio Mane in the middle who they sold to Liverpool last season. The Saints defence have done a commendable task this season and despite their 10th place they have conceded lesser goals than teams like Liverpool, Manchester United,Everton, Watford and Burnley all of whom are above them on the EPL Table.
With a frontal surge led by the likes of Coutinho, Firmino, Sadio Mane, Emre Can and Adam Lallana, League leaders, Liverpool, have already pumped in 30 goals from their 11 games so far, which is 4 more than 2nd placed Chelsea. Post their shock defeat to Burnley and a tame 1-1 draw against Tottenham at the beginning of the season, the Reds haven't looked back, winning 7 of their 8 outings since then. Jurgen Klopp's men will expect to add one more to their unbeaten run of eight games at the Saint Mary's stadium. The last time Liverpool visited the ground in the 2015/16 season, the Reds had lost 2-3. That could very well reverse on November 19. Southampton's last encounter with a top-flight team at home was against Chelsea which lost 2-0.