Southampton At Liverpool The Preview
Friday, 26th Nov 2021 07:45
Saints travel to Anfield to take on a Liverpool side who have lost only once this season, however Brighton & Brentford have shown that getting a point is possible, every top team has one shocker a season could we make this Liverpool's.
When we returned to the Premier League in 2012 initially we had a decent record up at Anfield, after a 1-0 defeat in December 2012, we then lost only once in 4 seasons , a run of 5 games including a League cup semi final win that saw us win 2, draw 2 and lose just that one game a narrow 2-1 in Ronald Koeman's first game in charge in August 2014.
But since then our fortunes have waned and we have fallen to 4 straight defeats, all without scoring a goal and conceding 12 goals in the process.
But it has to be said for much of that time we were a struggling side and met the Reds just at the wrong point in each of those seasons, now the hope is that we can be more up for the challenge this time out.
For their part Liverpool have lost just once in all competitions this season, that coming in a 3-2 defeat at West Ham a few weeks ago, two of the four draws have been at home to Chelsea & Manchester City, but they have shown some weakness, allowing Brentford to come back twice in a 3-3 draw in London and also letting Brighton off the hook when 2-0 up to draw 2-2.
So there is hope, but slim hope at that.
The biggest question for Ralph Hasenhuttl, at least for most supporters is who plays in goal, Alex McCarthy has a trait for letting soft goals in and after two at Norwich last time out, his place must surely be in question.
But does the manager make the change now or give him this game to redeem himself, my feeling is Ralph will stay loyal.
But does the Austrian look to press Liverpool or does he look to soak up the pressure and perhaps catch them on the break, this will be the main thought in his head, will he stick with his preferred 4-4-2 or tweak the formation.
The key to getting a result will be about our ability to take the pressure off ourselves by being able to hold the ball and pass it and cut out sloppy play, lapses in concentration have cost us dearly this season and it is frustrating when we have conceded a needless foul, throw in or corner that has lead to a goal because of poor control and concentration, against teams like Liverpool you just cannot afford to do that, you have to be 100% from the first to the last whistle of the game.
But it might just suit us, at Manchester City we were able to get a draw through digging in and keeping it tight and could have won it but for some poor finishing and a dodgy VAR call.
City though more clinical than Liverpool are not direct, City will pass and pass and pass and you have to chase and chase and chase, but you can keep them out, Liverpool are more direct and just as you think you have settled in nicely up pops Mo Salah from nowhere on the break.
But when this game is over we will have played all of the top three away from home, that's our toughest fixtures out of the way and we can then have a run of winnable games.
Perhaps I am a bit negative in this preview, but the Premier League is now very polarised and at the top you have three clubs including Liverpool who are miles better than the rest, even Manchester United who are enjoying a torrid time are still 8th, although it should be noted if we had beaten Norwich we would be level on points with them, thats all if & buts I hear you say, yes but it shows that we are not far off having a good side and a decent season.
At Anfield on Saturday it needs all our players to bring their A game, the goalkeeper to be man of the match and no lapses in concentration, the strikers finding the net would also be a bonus, do that and it might just be one of those days we all go to football for.
Photo: Action Images
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