A win for The Reds on Friday night will take them top of the league and on to 82 points in April. Thats absolutely mad.
Form Labs are here to bring you their analysis, betting tips & prediction for the Premier League clash with Southampton at St.Marys. You can find a range of enhanced odds for the match in the links below & on our website.
Good Recent Form Over Our ‘Feeder Club’
Three head-to-head clashes with the Saints since the start of last season have yielded an 8-0 aggregate success, with a pair of 3-0 triumphs at Anfield and a 2-0 win at St. Mary’s. Each of them saw W/W doubles, though this won’t be such an easy game this time around with the Saints much improved under Ralph Hasenhuttl.
They’re certainly a lot better at finding the net, managing to do so in all but three of his 18 fixtures at the helm across all competitions as each exception came on the road – at Cardiff in his first game in charge and in tough trips to Stamford Bridge and the Emirates.
Southampton have even won three of their last four games, including a win over Spurs at St. Mary’s, while they were unfortunate to lose to Man Utd at Old Trafford over this spell. However, Spurs have been particularly poor on the road over the past two and a bit months and United still got the job done, while by hook or by crook we’re still churning out results with late goals a common feature.
Like Jurgen Klopp, Hasenhuttl is an avid fan of the high press and the intensity of that approach has earnt him the nickname of the ‘Alpine Klopp’. The tactical changes the Austrian has brought to Southampton have clearly made them more dangerous in the final third, though he’s shown tactical flexibility in clashes with the top sides and set out largely to frustrate Man Utd recently – though there were still five goals in that game.
However, United’s approach to that encounter showed the way forward and could mean a hugely important role for Roberto Firmino. They sought space between the Saints’ defensive and midfield lines to great effect, with the movement of the link-up play crucial to pulling Southampton’s defenders out of position. That’s what Firmino does best, and Mo Salah and Sadio Mane should benefit from any gaps he can force from defenders stepping up to meet him.
The Return Of Gomez?
Virgil van Dijk was hobbling with an ankle problem in the late stages against Spurs but fortunately the Dutch captain has insisted he’ll be fine to face his former club here.
His centre-back partner in the first half of the season, Joe Gomez, is back in training but still short of the required match fitness, so Joel Matip can be expected to continue here. However, with Trent Alexander-Arnold returning to the line-up at the end of February and playing a crucial role alongside fellow full-back Andy Robertson against Spurs, the defence appears to be coming together for the final push.
Those wide men could again have an important role to play, with Southampton (like Spurs) fielding a back-three that saw Mauricio Pochettino’s midfield stretched in trying to cover the ground and cut out supply to our full-backs – with their own wing-backs having to tuck in to deal with the threat posed by Mane and Salah.
Those tactical advantages should play a role here and though it may be a nervy affair, we’re quietly confident of getting the job done in the end – even if it takes another late strike.
However, the Saints aren’t going to just roll over and with both teams scoring in each of our last four as well as the Saints’ improved output in the final third, the win and both teams to score appears the way to go in this fixture.