Breathing relief after fleeing from the relegation zone, Southampton hosts this Sunday, February 11, Liverpool in St. Mary’s. The match is part of the schedule of the twenty-sixth round of the English Championship in its 2017/2018 season. It begins at 14:30 (Brasília time).
Southampton’s recent performance
After spending a period between the last three places and see the rumors grow about a possible dismissal of Argentine coach Mauricio Pellegrino, Southampton was able to react. It established a series of six matches (three wins and three draws without losing).
The most impressive results were achieved in the FA Cup, where they secured a place in the Round of 16 by beating Fulham (1-0 away) and Watford (1-0 at home). Now go get West Bromwich.
However, the six points out of the 12 won in the English Championship were enough to take the team from the sticking region. With 26 points (five wins, 11 draws and ten losses), Southampton moved into 15th place.
It was not enough to keep the ghost from relegation. By the end of the twenty-sixth round, his advantage in comparison with Stoke, eighteenth placed and first in the sticking region, was only two points.
To face Liverpool, Pellegrino has only one doubt. Attacker Charlie Austin (16 matches in the 2017/2018 English Championship, six goals) is in the process of injury recovery.
The current form of Liverpool
Eliminated early in both the League Cup and the Cup of England and no real chances of a Premier League title, Liverpool are close to resuming their participation in the Champions League, the only tournament in which there is possibility of holding the cup. Will face next Tuesday the Porto, in Portugal, for the round of 16.
This will certainly influence coach Jurgen Klopp in the lineup for Sunday’s match. As it requires of its players a great dedication and physical effort to promote marking pressure on the ball out of the opponent, this often means that there is not enough time for players to recover. Thinking about the next match may cause the trainer to preserve one or two athletes considered fundamental.
That means that from the trio Sadio Mane (18 matches in English Premier League 2017/2018, six goals), Mohamed Salah (25 games, 21 goals) and Roberto Firmino (25 games, 11 goals), at least one should be left out.
Klopp has reason to use this tactic. Their pretensions in the English Championship are small. With 51 points (14 wins, nine draws and three losses), the team is in third place. He closed the twenty-sixth round 18 points behind Manchester City and with five of disadvantage in comparison with Manchester United.
Klopp has two other medical doubts. They are in treatment of injury defenders Joe Gomez (20 games, no goal) and Ragnar Klavan (15 games, one goal). They must undergo further examinations that will determine the possibility that they are available. If both are released, Gomez is the most likely to be listed as a starter.
History of the bouts between Southampton and Liverpool
The teams have met four times in the previous season and Liverpool have not won a single victory. In the English League, there were scoreless draws at both St. Mary’s and Anfield Road.
The other two games were for the League Cup of England. Southampton won 1-0 at home and eliminated the rival. The series was closed in the current season. In the first round, Liverpool scored 3-0.
After a poor start, coach Pochettino managed to give a tactical standard to Southampton. It’s still far from ideal, but at least it’s a breakthrough. Needing more of the victory than the rival, working at home, the team emerges as a good option to guess before a Liverpool that surely will be thinking more in the next game than in this Sunday’s commitment. Has a price of 4.20 on Bet365. Draw draws 3.80 and Liverpool’s success multiplies capital by 1.80. Quotes were in effect at 15:54 on 8/2/2018.