Get set for Southampton's Premier League clash with Liverpool at Anfield by checking out our in-depth Match Pack, in association with SportPesa...
Liverpool vs Southampton
Saturday 22nd September
Referee: Paul Tierney
Assistants: Darren Cann, Mick McDonough
Fourth official: Lee Mason
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino extended Liverpool’s perfect start to the season at Wembley against Tottenham last week.
The Reds have won their first five league matches for the first time since 1990 for a share of top spot with Chelsea.
Jürgen Klopp’s side excelled in their biggest test of campaign so far at Spurs, with a victory that was more convincing than the 2-1 scoreline might have suggested.
The same was true of their 3-2 success over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday night, although a late Firmino strike was required to make the points safe after they had let a two-goal lead slip.
For Southampton, the game is a chance to bounce back from the disappointment of Monday’s 2-2 draw with Brighton.
While defeated in both fixtures last season, Saints have more than had the measure of Liverpool in recent years and will hope to match their hosts once more and hope for a degree of European hangover.
Mark Hughes’s men prevailed over Crystal Palace in their last Premier League away game, while they beat Brighton in the Carabao Cup before that, meaning they are three unbeaten.
Liverpool: Roberto Firmino is fit to start for Liverpool, following the eye injury he sustained against Tottenham last weekend. Former Southampton players Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana both remain sidelined, though.
Southampton: Manolo Gabbiadini is the only fresh injury concern.The Italian will undergo a fitness test to inspect his lower hamstring after picking up a problem in training. One guaranteed absentee from the trip to Anfield will be in-form striker Danny Ings, who is ineligible as part of the initial loan agreement which brought him to the club on deadline day.
PSG (h) W 3-2 (Sturridge, Milner, Firmino) (UEFA Champions League)
Tottenham (a) W 2-1 (Wijnaldum, Firmino)
Leicester (a) W 2-1 (Mané, Firmino)
Brighton (h) W 1-0 (Salah)
Crystal Palace (a) W 2-0 (Milner, Mané)
Brighton (h) D 2-2 (Højbjerg, Ings)
Crystal Palace (a) W 2-0 (Ings, Højbjerg)
Brighton (a) W 1-0 (Austin) (Carabao Cup)
Leicester (h) L 1-2 (Bertrand)
Everton (a) L 1-2 (Ings)
Jürgen Klopp: “The mood in the team is good. If I see somebody who has lost focus I would be really angry about that. Thankfully so far nobody has given me the chance to do so. Our job is to show Southampton how difficult it is to come to Anfield."
Mark Hughes: “The importance from our point of view is that, in my view, we’re playing ok. We’re on the back of three games unbeaten so if you’re going to go to Anfield you need to go with confidence in what you’re trying to do.
“That’s what we’ll try and show on the day. It’s important that we continue to progress and keep building our own performances – if we do that then we’ll be fine.”
An eye injury sustained during victory over Tottenham threatened to sideline Roberto Firmino for his team’s European bow against PSG. Instead, the effervescent Brazilian emerged from the bench to score the winner, his third goal in as many games.
The Reds are yet to hit the thrilling attacking heights of last season so far this term, but Firmino’s clinical intervention on Tuesday night demonstrated that his nose for goal remains as strong as ever.
Saints’ Pierre-Emile Højbjerg meanwhile is in the midst of a scoring streak of his own.
The Dane’s stunning drive against Brighton on Monday was his second goal in successive games and will surely feature in a host of September goal of the month competitions.
It was an effort that rewarded two improved all-round performances from the midfielder, whose physical presence and energy alongside Mario Lemina will be needed more than ever at Anfield this weekend.
This will be the 86th competitive contest between the clubs, and, while Liverpool have historically dominated the fixture, Saints fans will head to Anfield with Shane Long’s EFL Cup semi-final winner firmly in their memories…
Previous five meetings:
February 2018: Southampton 0-2 Liverpool
November 2017: Liverpool 3-0 Southampton
May 2017: Liverpool 0-0 Southampton
January 2017: Liverpool 0-1 Southampton (Long)
January 2017: Southampton 1-0 Liverpool (Redmond)
NOT AT THE GAME?
Can’t make it to the game on Saturday? Don’t worry, as we’ve got you covered!
Our interactive match centre at southamptonfc.com will have all the build-up, in-game updates and live commentary, while we’ll also be keeping you bang up-to-date and bringing you behind-the-scenes access on our various social channels, so make sure you’re following us…