|Southampton 1 v 2 Liverpool|
Barclays Premier League
Saturday, 17th August 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Saints V Liverpool The Preview
Saturday, 17th Aug 2019 08:52
On the face of it Saints best chance of beating Liverpool is the power of prayer and I daresay many have been doing this in the last few days, but could this be one of those days when Saints raise their game and cause a shock.
Last season saw Saints fight back against the Big Six beating both Spurs & Arsenal at St Mary's and drawing with Manchester United, however Liverpool beat us comprehensively both home and away, although they left it late at St Mary's.
Our shortcomings over the last couple of years or so have all been down to our centre of defence and many Saints fans are dismayed that we did not deal with the problem in the summer transfer window.
We did however sign Kevin Danso on the final day, but is the 20 year old truly the answer to shore up a defence that lacks not only quality in the centre, but also leadership and organisation and this is what is truly needed.
That deficiency was on show at Burnely last week when with the game under our control we fell apart in the centre of our defence with no one steadying the ship.
So the last team we want to be playing are the free scoring Liverpool who Saints fans have to grudgingly admit are a superb attacking side.
Ralph Hasenhuttl therefore has to rally his troops and try to pull a victory out of the hat against a team who have lost only once in the League in the past year.
If he is to do that then he has to sort out the centre of defence and accept that the solution is definitely not at the club at the moment, unless of course Kevin Danso turns out to be an extraordinary talent.
Sadly our hopes this afternoon rest on Danso bringing some athleticism, pace and strength to the centre, at Burnely we failed to mark and tackle and hopefully Danso will bring that to the team.
Other than Danso I don't expect too many changes from the side against Burnley, Pierre Emile Hojbjerg will return after illness but apart from that the shape of the side was good at Turf Moor, it was just let down by three occasions of shoddy defending that would not have been acceptable in parks football let alone the Premier League.
Who will be dropped for Hojbjerg though is a problem, both Romeu and JWP had decent games at Burnley and it would be harsh to drop them, so does Ralph do that or perhaps drop one of the front two to the bench to keep a solid centre of defence.
From the visitors point of view they won't have been helped by a tough super cup game in Istanbul which meant they did not get back to Liverpool till Thursday afternoon, leaving them little time to prepare for this game and there is also the question of who will play in goal for them.
We will take any advantage we will get, but ultimately we have to be on top of our own game and cutting out the errors if we are to have any hope of a result.
Certainly Liverpool are due a defeat against someone who aren't Manchester City, no team is unbeatable, so hope is not lost.
But I feel that the best we can hope for this afternoon is a stirring performance that shows us last week was a blip and not the pattern for the rest of the season, a point would be great, a win even better, but sometimes you have to put a game in perspective and the performance is the first thing to get right and then the rest will follow although perhaps not in this game.
So let's go to St Mary's this afternoon, enjoy the game and get behind the team, Saints have always had a knack of pulling out a memorable result after a shocking one, we have done that over the decades and we did so last season, so finally its down to the power of prayer, don't forget to say some before kick off.
Photo: Action Images
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