A clash of huge importance in The Premier League as Southampton could take a big step towards guaranteeing their survival. Liverpool have to keep up the pressure at the top as they chase down that elusive title.
Saint Mary’s far from a safe haven
It’s been a poor season all round for Southampton. For a club that had really established itself in the top flight and been home to some wonderful talent; this season has been a huge step backwards. The sides down the bottom end this season have been stranded there largely as a result of appalling away form, Fulham are the prime example. Southampton have failed to take advantage of their home matches and have won just four games in front of their own fans all season, the same tally as they’ve managed on the road.
The Saints have taken marginally more points at home, but 18 points from 15 home fixtures will have alarm bells ringing all round the club. Couple this with Liverpool’s exceptional away record and you can see why Southampton are the outsiders for this game at a price of 7.5.
Liverpool have endured just one defeat all season. It did come away from home but their record on their travels is nothing to be scoffed at; no side has taken more points in away games this season than The Reds. They’ve taken 35 points from the 48 on offer, combined with their terrific win rate at home they’ve continued a consistent charge for the title all season long.
In addition, the Merseyside club have conceded just nine goals on their travels; the joint lowest number in the league. Which could be a real issue for a Southampton side who’ve been far from prolific this season.
Can Saints continue their recent upturn?
The tide may be turning on the south coast with Southampton picking up three wins from their last four games, their only defeat was away at Manchester United and they’ll feel hard done by to have come away from that game with nothing having led early on and then drawn level on 75 minutes after a quickfire United double but they were sank by an 88th minute goal from Romelu Lukaku and left Old Trafford empty handed. However a huge win against Fulham the week prior and their excellent performance against United was a sign of things to come. Friday’s hosts were superb against Tottenham as they ran out 2-1 winners before securing a crucial 1-0 away win at Brighton which could be their defining result this season.
Since their drubbing of Watford it’s been far from plain sailing for Liverpool. Burnley put up a real fight at Anfield, they stole a late win at Tottenham thanks to Toby Alderweireld’s own goal and then were tested by now relegated Fulham last time out.
There’s two ways to look at those recent results for Liverpool; it shows their character and how far they’ve come from previous campaigns. Many of Liverpool’s wins this season have had the air of what would’ve been a draw last year. They’ve managed to find that extra gear and grind out results just as Champions do but there is still a long road ahead with a plethora of potential speed bumps. Southampton will view Liverpool’s recent exploits as a sign that they can be troubled. They were dominant early on against Fulham but the hosts crept back in to the game and had some really good spells throughout that they failed to capitalise on, Southampton will be aiming to take advantage of any such spells. You can back Saints to get on the scoresheet at a price of 1.67.
Liverpool should be too strong
The reality of this contest is that Southampton will need to score at least twice to have any chance of winning the game. Which is a tough ask against a side who have shipped just 19 goals in 32 matches especially given the host’s relatively low goal output.
Saints will be fired up and have nothing to lose in this game, it’s one they’re not expected to win and they’ll have other games earmarked as potential points earners. I can see them getting at Liverpool and causing some problems, which could lead to both teams to score being a solid selection at 1.85. If you add Liverpool to win to that you’re looking at 3.0.
Southampton will be competitive and battle hard in search of a result but they lack the true quality to stop Liverpool’s title charge.
Over 2.5 goals @ 1.65
Both teams to score @ 1.85
Sadio Mane to score anytime @ 2.25
Liverpool to win @ 1.4