Premier League Preview: Southampton v. Liverpool
Whoever is in goal for Liverpool, Southampton has a mighty task ahead of itself at St. Mary’s on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
Liverpool was already without Alisson Becker when Adrian was injured in a freak accident after the UEFA Super Cup Final, though the Spaniard may be set to play. If he cannot go, it’ll be a Premier League debut for 35-year-old Danny Lonergan.
Let’s face it: It’s more rational for Southampton to hope the Reds are just a little weary after a busy week.
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Kevin “Futty” Danso looks set to debut at center back against Liverpool, the youngster arriving from Augsburg at the end of the transfer window.
That’s quite a challenge against a front three while may well be Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Mohamed Salah.
Thing is, the score line may not be as bad as Saints’ first outing. Southampton was dominated by Burnley in a 3-0 nightmare at Turf Moor.
Southampton: Gunn; Valery, Vestergaard, Bednarek, Danso, Bertrand, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Redmond, Ings, Adams.
Liverpool: Alisson, Robertson, Gomez, Van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Keita, Mane, Firmino, Salah
What they’re saying
Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl after canceling a day off: “To invest time in my job is normal because we are in the Premier League where we play against the best teams in the world and the only chance to be successful against these teams is to do more than they do. If you do more than they do then you have the chance to be successful.”
Liverpool’s James Milner on playing under exuberant Klopp: “He’s on the side and he’s bouncing around; he wants to be out there. That energy’s big for us when we’re down. He seems to judge it right in terms of when to put an arm round the shoulder after a game, if we haven’t played well or something. He knows what to say at half-time, of if you need a rocket he’ll give you that as well.”
Danso is a bit of a wild card here. The 20-year-old Austrian is a remarkable talent, but it’s baptism-by-fire against Liverpool. Something tells us the Saints surprise, especially with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg returning to action. That surprise is just a tight game, though, with Liverpool emerging with a 2-1 win.