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Southampton At Liverpool The Preview
Wednesday, 28th Feb 2024 07:45

Has Russell Martin already give this game up for dead and will concentrate on the League when he considers his selections for this game, or will he go for it, we will have the answers an hour before kick off on Wednesday evening.

You would normally think that Jurgen Klopp would be playing his youngsters in this game, but after using an awful lot of them in Liverpool's Carabao Cup win at Wembley on Sunday, it could be that he will be calling in some of his big guns to start against Saints.

For his part Russell Martin has decisions to make after Ryan Fraser joined Flynn Downes on the injury list, can he risk anymore of his first choice side playing in this game and picking up a knock that would reduce him down to the bare bones for the trip to Birmingham City on Saturday, a must win game if we are to harbour any hope of automatic promotion.

One player who will definitely be missing though is David Brooks who is cup tied after playing for Bournemouth in the 3rd & 4th rounds of the competition.

I think the manager will go for a hybrid of a side, I think Joe Lumley will again deputise for Gavin Bazunu in goal as he has done in previous rounds, the back line will feature Jack Stephens, but who he will partner is open for debate, at right back I think KWP will be rested and James Bree will come in to give him match sharpness and at left back Meghoma could also feature.

Joe Rothwell will join Will Smallbone and Shea Charles in the midfield and up front Che Adams will have Sekou Mara and one of Sam Edozie, Sam Amo-Ameyaw or Tyler Dibling alongside him.

That would appear to be the sensible selection for a manager who should surely be prioritising Saturday at St Andrews before Liverpool at Anfield.

Martin has to try and balance not putting too many of his first choice players at risk alongside not seeing his side overrun and slaughtered.

Saints will take their largest away following of the season up to Merseyside, why we have sold so many tickets I am not sure, personally I go with no real expectations, only the hope we will not disgrace ourselves.

What sort of side Klopp will put out is anyone's guess, his priority will also be the League, Liverpool travel to Nottingham Forest on Saturday, whilst on Sunday Manchester City host Manchester United, the Jurgen the German will see this as a weekend when City could well drop points, he will not want to see his own side give impetus to City by dropping points himself on Saturday.

So I think he too will be prioritising Saturday and this could help us a little, I think the Liverpool side could well see fringe players and youngsters in the main with perhaps the odd one or two first choices.

This will offer us some hope, if we can keep it tight and stay in shape then we could if not quite get a result, but certainly give a good account of ourselves.

Some will say I am being negative here, but I'm sorry such is the nature of the Premier league now and the difference between Liverpool, Manchester City & Arsenal and even the other so called big 7, let alone the rest of the clubs is massive, change is needed in English football and that means the departure of the Big 7 for a European Super League, but without staying in the Premier League.

In my time as a Southampton supporter we have only met Liverpool on equal terms, Ok to be pedantic we did meet them at Wembley in the Charity Shield as a second division club, but in truly competitive football I have only seen us play them when we have both been in the top flight, there have been some great games between the two clubs and we have held our own, but it was hard enough back then to compete and with us now in the Championship we have never been so far apart from them as a club since before the 2nd World War.

I will go to Anfield with hope in my heart, but common sense in my head and hope that by the end of Wednesday nights storm that we haven't got well and truly drenched

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Centurion added 09:00 - Feb 28
Agree Nick.
All was going well in the Cup when we were 1-0 down to Watford until Armstrong scored the equaliser.

Kingsland34 added 09:09 - Feb 28
We should play our previous Cup team and give the younger players experience and reward.
They are probably equally as good as Klopp's Kids and have as much chance as the seniors.
Hopefully we can put paid to the Liverpool histrionics one way or another.

halftimeorange added 09:37 - Feb 28
I agree entirely about the gap in ability between the big six or seven and the rest of the EPL but, the EPL has become a 23-team division with several clubs - Norwich, WBA for example (and Saints might join them) battling regularly for promotion or against relegation. That the big clubs can field junior players and still expect to progress has robbed the FA cup of its real glamour. Whatever team RM puts out tonight will astonish me if we get anything other than soundly beaten. The priority has to be the league and I just hope our confidence doesn't take a further hammering.

JoeEgg added 09:46 - Feb 28
"that would reduce him down to the bare bones for the trip to Birmingham City on Saturday"

I have been reading all season here that we have the strongest squad, with real depth, in the Championship! this 'strong' squad failed the test against Hull and also Millwall; Maybe, just maybe, we can agree that OUR squad isn't quite so full of quality as we would like to think. Take one or two stars OUT and we are talking about 'bare bones'!
We might as well use our bare bones to win the FA Cup and then get promotion through impressive wins in the play-offs!

IanRC added 10:01 - Feb 28
Hope Sulemana starts against Birmingham, however playing him against Liverpool may be Martin’s excuse for not doing so.Even if he does play tonight I hope he at least plays for the whole of the second half on Saturday to bring some much needed penetration.

What exactly is the situation with Flynn Downes and for that matter Ryan Fraser, haven’t heard much recently.

SAINTSNIL added 11:03 - Feb 28
Couldn't agree more with Joe egg... Bare Bones!!!!
2 long term 2 injured and 1 cup tied. from club supposed to have one of the strongest in the division...come on pull the other one....

DellBoyWally added 11:20 - Feb 28
I remember playing Bill Shankly's Liverpool in the second tier, the only time Liverpool had ever been relegated. Shankly was very impolite about Saints: "we shouldn't be expected to play teams like this" as reported in the Southampton Daily Echo (no instant tv reports those days!)
We beat them 4 - 2!!
They got promoted, we had 6 more years of lower tier football until promotion alongside Man City (2 teams go up on merit, no play-offs)
Looking at previous comments above I wonder if people actually watch games. Or for that matter read reports!
Flynn Downes gets ill regularly. Ryan Frazer was injured in a bad tackle, out for a month.
Unfortunately Jack Stephens is fit! Guess he'll partner TBH with Joe L in goal.
I'd have Bree and Meghoma as FBs, Shea Charles as DM with Aribo and Rothwell making up the midfield. Up front I'd have Adama on the right, Sulemana (Edozie?) on the left and Adams as striker.
As my family are predominantly Liverpool fans/season ticket holders (I'm the only family member not born in Liverpool) I will be staying with them and be sat in the main stand!!!

Jesus_02 added 13:27 - Feb 28
I predict that Jack Stephens will play up front. I think its the only position he hasn't had a go at so far.. But he must play ... he is the club captain after all

SaintPaulVW added 13:34 - Feb 28
Hopefully Sulemana will play and switch it on again like he did against Leeds. I imagine a lot of our team will be mentally putting themselves in the 'shop window' so you just never know.


saintmark1976 added 17:07 - Feb 28
I don’t care what team the manager puts out. What I do care about is has he yet worked out another system other than tippy tappy for the last twelve games of the Championship season?

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