Let’s look at the Liverpool defence this season. New signing Alisson represents a significant upgrade on Lorus Karius, while Joe Gomez has joined the majestic Virgil van Dijk in central defence, leaving Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson to play in the full-back positions.
This rearguard kept consecutive clean sheets against West Ham, Crystal Palace and Brighton, while it could have been four on the bounce if Alisson hadn’t made the howler against Leicester.
At Wembley last weekend, the Liverpool defence was close to another shut-out against a team who had scored four against them in the previous season, with Naby Keita, James Milner and Gini Wijnaldum keeping captain Jordan Henderson out of the team right now.
Keita’s arrival has been a long time coming, with the Guinea midfielder the epitome of a box-to-box midfielder who seems to be just as likely to be joining the front three in attack as the back four in defence.
Liverpool Looking Good
The balance of the Liverpool team, EVS to win this game at BetVictor, looks very good, with the even money about another win to nil in favour of the Reds making lots of appeal considering that the home win is trading five times shorter.
This is especially when you consider that Danny Ings will be ineligible to play against his parent club due to the terms of his loan agreement despite the fact that the move will become a permanent one next summer.
Ings’ absence means that Charlie Austin and Shane Long carry the attacking responsibility for a Southampton team who did enjoy a victory in their last away match when serving it up to Crystal Palace and winning the game 2-0.
Previously to this, they drew a blank against Burnley before losing consecutive home games against Leicester and Everton, with Mark Hughes still yet to convince as a Premier League manager.
High Scoring Affair?
When Hughes’ Stoke came up against Liverpool last season, the outcome was a straightforward 3-0 win and it’s easy to see a similar scoreline occurring again, even if Jurgen Klopp decides to give some of his star names a rest.
Mohamed Salah will be keen to plunder some Premier League goals and it could be said that the Egyptian and Sadio Mane were both greedy against Tottenham considering they could have chosen better options at different stages.
However, Xherdan Shaqiri, Henderson and Fabinho could all be involved and Daniel Sturridge is also looking sharp and staying fit.
Southampton will aim to use the Brighton blueprint which saw the Seagulls keep Liverpool at bay for long periods of the game by being defensively compact and it’s a situation that the Merseyside team are going to have to familiarise themselves with.
Breaking down opposition defences is part and parcel of being one of the best teams in the division and the strength of their own defence means that opposition teams are even more likely to retreat into their own shell.