Having managed to find some form since the turn of the year, Mauricio Pellegrino’s men are finally out of the drop zone, thanks to their 3-2 victory over West Brom last weekend. They will look to build on this result but face a tough task when they welcome Liverpool to St Mary’s on Sunday.
The Reds are fresh from a draw against Tottenham Hotspur and have won just one of their last five games against the Saints in all competitions. Southampton are still just a point above the drop zone and will look to take atleast a point from this tie. Here is the predicted lineup Pellegrino might field for this game:
The Saints will miss the services of Charlie Austin, who remains the only injury issue for the manager ahead of this game.
Expected lineup (4-2-3-1):
Alex McCarthy has pushed Fraser Forster to the bench this season and should keep his place under the bar against Liverpool. Pellegrino has stuck to a settled backline with Wesley Hoedt and Jack Stephens doing a decent job at the heart of the defence. They will have their work cut out against a fluid Liverpool attack.
Ryan Bertrand will have to be at his best against the likes of Mohamed Salah on the left flank while Cedric Soares, will be up against Sadio Mane on the right flank. These battles may well decide the outcome of this game.
Spanish ace Oriol Romeu is one of the first names on the team sheet for the Saints this season. He should start at the heart of the midfield, alongside Mario Lemina, who scored a goal in the win against the Baggies.
The Saints have struggled to stick with a first choice attack and have made a number of changes to their front line in recent games. While Dusan Tadic has been a regular presence in the attack in the no.10 role, James Ward-Prowse, who also scored against West Brom, should also keep his place on the right wing in the attack.
Nathan Redmond has not been able to show enough promise on the left flank. Sofiane Boufal has done well in his place and might start this game against the Reds. Shane Long will give an aerial advantage to the hosts but Guido Carrillo, who showed decent promise last weekend, could retain his place, leading the attack for his side.
Here is how they might line up:
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