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EPL Preview: Liverpool v. Southampton

Liverpool will play host to Southampton at Anfield on Saturday, September 21, as the Reds look to continue their unbeaten start to the new season.

Liverpool will play host to Southampton at Anfield on Saturday, September 21, as the Reds look to continue their unbeaten start to the new season.

Brendan Rodgers’ side are currently top of the English Premier League with 10 points (3-1-0), one point clear of North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

However, the Reds, fresh off a 2-2 draw at Swansea on Monday, will be without the likes of Aly Cissokho (ankle), Glen Johnson (ankle), Luis Suárez (suspension), Philippe Coutinho (shoulder operation) and Sebastián Coates (knee) on Saturday.

Danny Fox (ankle) and Tadanari Lee could miss out for the visitors, but Luke Shaw is expected to play despite exiting last week’s fixture against West Ham with a knock.

Notable Match Facts

Daniel Sturridge, who featured from the start in Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Southampton at St Mary’s last term, has scored in all four league matches for Liverpool this season, becoming the only player to accomplish the feat in the Reds’ Premier League history.

The Saints have surprisingly won four of their last six league fixtures against Liverpool, but the Merseysiders have won the last two at home.

Goals could be hard to come by at Anfield on Saturday. Liverpool have scored just three goals in their last five meetings against Southampton, while the Saints have struggled to find the back of the net in recent times, having tallied just four goals in their last nine league matches.

Total Goals |  Over 2.5 (4/5) | Under 2.5 (1/1)

Quote

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is content with the Reds’ start to the season, but has insisted their is room for improvement ahead of Saturday’s clash against the Saints.

“I believe the team has still got a lot of improvements to make because of the nature of what I’ve seen in the games and the potential we have in the players,” said Rodgers.

“We’ve got to sustain that but I’m really happy that in these early stages we’ve shown at least potential.

“I think that potential can grow even more.”

Meanwhile, Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino expects to compete for all three points on Saturday, and refreshingly so.

“It’s clear that they are a very powerful side and Anfield is a great stadium to play in,” added the Argentine.

“It will be a great place to perform, to do well in and actually try to get the three points.”

Players to Watch

In a match where goals will probably be hard to come by (as alluded to above), strikers are of the utmost importance.

With Luis Suárez serving the final game of his 10-match ban and Philippe Coutinho out due to injury, Daniel Sturridge will be the main man for the Reds on Saturday.

For the visitors, it’s all about record signing Pablo Daniel Osvaldo and England international talisman Rickie Lambert.

Match Odds

Liverpool (8/13) v. Southampton (11/2); Draw (3/1)

Match Prediction

Liverpool 0 – Southampton 0

Fri 20 September, 2013
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