|Southampton 0 v 2 Liverpool|
Barclays Premier League
Sunday, 11th February 2018 Kick-off 16:30
Saints V Liverpool The Preview
Sunday, 11th Feb 2018 08:43
This game has more riding on for Saints supporters than most with so many departing St Mary's for Anfield over the past few years, but this year even more so.
All the headlines are about Virgil Van Dijk, but the fact is since his departure Saints have slowly and quietly started to get their act together culminating in the win at West Brom, it will be tough to keep that run going against a Liverpool side who of late seem to blow hot or cold, but you feel that Saints are a lot better equipped to do it than a few weeks ago.
After last week's win you feel that the confidence has started to return and that at West Brom it was the first time in a long time that we had played as a team.
If Saints can do that again then they can get a result against Liverpool, but doing so means defending a lot better, this season has seen so many points thrown away by poor marking and that has to change, if we cut that out, then we can have a storming finish, if we don't then we are going to have to work hard to pull clear.
All eyes are on Mauricio Pellegrino, he has the squad to win games, the issue though is that he just can't seem to give a good squad that extra bit of leadership to get them over the line and win games, that has been the case in a list of games, he seems to show naivety not only in his team selections but his substitutions, that at times have even seen him in blind panic and fear making changes far too early, or the exact opposite where he has left it far too late and failed to spot glaring issues and aken the appropriate action.
At West Brom he seemed to get it right in both areas and he needs to do so this weekend and keep doing so for the rest of the season, he needs to realise that subtle changes are needed rather than seemingly change for change sake.
Indeed that is probably Pellegrino's problem he tends to over elaborate some times, he can't seem to get the balance right between when a team needs it's manager to do something and when the manager just needs to keep it going and only give it fresh legs at the end.
Hopefully there will not be too many changes from the game up at the Hawthorns, the starting XI up there did the business and earned the right to start this one, that might be hard on Pierre Emile Hojbjerg who only played a small role after a man of the match performance in the previous game, but he is probably the only player who didn't start who perhaps should, although it is hard to suggest who he would come in for, certainly not Mario Lemina who often seems to be one that Pellegrino overlooks.
Liverpool have it in them to challenge for the title, although not this season, the loss of Phillip Coutinho is a blow, but they have plenty of other options in attacking areas.
Their wek spot however is at the back, the arrival of Van Dijk has not solved their problems, in fact it appears to have created more Dejan Lovren is throwing his toys out of the pram and there appears to be no love lost between him and his new back four partner, Lovren declaring ahead of this game that he is number one at the back and Van Dijk has to take that off him with performances, this was a challenge more akin to a World Title Boxing match than what should be two team mates working together.
Add the fact that whoever Klopp plays in goal seems error prone and Saints can beat Liverpool, if they keep it tight at the back, don't give Liverpool anyting they haven't earned and take our own chances.
We have to use the Van Dijk issue to be the catalyst to Saints supporters getting behind their manager, their team, their club and make today another special occasion at St Mary's.
The club is bigger than any individual, we want Saints to pull clear and start to show what they are capable of, if you want us to be relegated then abuse the manager if we go a goal down, if you want this club to be a Premier League team next season and every season afterwards then offer only words of encouragement !
Get two free £10 bets on West Ham United v Southampton (or other matches) by opening a new account at William Hill. Place an initial bet of a minimum of £10 and William Hill will give you two £10 bets. You must enter the promotional code ''F20'' when signing up as a new customer.
Photo: Action Images
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 28 bloggers
Gylfi Not Irreplaceable- But Not Trying To Directly Replace Him Is Smart by BarneyLW
So the dust has finally settled. In what seemed like the most painstaking saga in living memory, Gylfi Sigurdsson is an Everton player. A man the club were silently resigned to eventually losing has moved on and like so often in the past, the club must plan for life without their star player.
Too many things for a title, but stop with the xenophobia accusations! by waynekerr55
I had planned to write this in a different fashion, but Bob Bradley's departure from the club changes a section of this blog. The conclusion was as expected. A seemingly good man and a tryer who simply wasn't up to the job. In short he should never have been given the job.
A New Hope At the Liberty? by BarneyLW
A feeling of dĂ©jĂ vu rose with the sun over Swansea this morning. Another manager out the door, another few days of links, speculation, supposed sightings of candidates spotted outside Rossiâ€™s sampling the scampi. But for the first time in recent memory, there is hope in the air.
Swans Fans Were Angry- In A Totally Positive Way How a Common Enemy Helped Guidolinâ€™s side pull of by BarneyLW
A return from the international break, which in truth was needed to clear the air around the club. A frustrating transfer market compounded and exacerbated back-to-back defeats against Hull City and the champions, Leicester. Boardroom shake-ups and a tough run of games has given the Jack Army little to be optimistic about.
Guidolin and Conte- An Italian Managerial Head to Head by BarneyLW
A different league in a different country for two familiar foes; on Sunday Francesco Guidolin's Swansea host Antonio Conte's Chelsea side. So how does the head to head record look from their previous encounters in Italy?
[ Vote here ]