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Verdict: away win
Best Odds: 4/6
The meeting between Southampton and Liverpool on Monday night at St Mary’s will conclude round 17 of the 2020-21 season, the first of the new year.
You could say that both teams have done surprisingly well in different ways and taking different factors into account.
A regular mid-table team in the Premier League, the Saints finished 11th last season and are currently 9th. They share their 26-point tally with four other teams: Chelsea in sixth place, Aston Villa in seventh (one game in hand), Manchester City in eighth (two games in hand) and West Ham in tenth (has played a game more).
The Ralph way HasenhuttlThe team he’s on right now is hard to describe. His record for the last six consists of two wins, three draws and one loss, but a closer look makes things a bit murkier. They beat Brighton and Hove Albion away 1-2 and beat Sheffield United at home 3-0. They then lost 1-0 at home to Manchester City and drew 1-1 at Arsenal, which is certainly nothing to be ashamed of. But that was followed by goalless draws against Fulham and at home against West Ham.
Hasenhuttl will be without the services of defender Jannik Vestergaard and winger Nathan Redmond, which means Jan Bednarek and Jack Stephens will likely play at the heart of the defense once again, with Kyle Walker-Peters and Ryan Bertrand on both sides. The attacking flanks will likely be covered by Theo Walcott and Moussa Djenepo, with James Ward-Prowse and Oriol Romeu holding the center of the park. Former Liverpool player Danny Ings will lead the line up front, and Che Adams is more likely to be by his side.
If Southampton’s shape is difficult to understand, it’s a piece of cake compared to Liverpool’s. The champions were expected to reserve six points without major difficulties in their last two games, at home against West Bromwich Albion and away from Newcastle, but the Baggies managed to draw a 1-1 draw at Anfield before the Magpies kept them scoreless. one in St. James’ Park.
And yet, when many believed they would fight to Crystal Palace before that, they defeated the Eagles 0-7 at Selhurst Park. The Merseysiders seem to be seriously lacking in consistency, and their results largely depend on which side of their quality shows up in a game.
Nonetheless, Liverpool are still the favorite to win, that cannot be questioned, but the Reds, mainly their attack line, will have to find their sharpness and speed. It’s quite surprising given that it’s actually defense where their best players are lacking, but there you have it: those who have come in behind have done quite well so far, while the stars up front blew a lot of opportunities in the last two games. .
Liverpool won just two of their last six games, tying the other four now. Still, they top the Premier League table with 33 points to their name, but now they have their arch rivals Manchester United breathing hard on the same tally from the same number of games.
Jurgen Klopp has only three designated high-level centers in his ranks and all three are currently out. Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are, of course, not very likely to play again this season, and Joel Matip injured his adductor against West Brom. It means midfielder Fabinho is sure to return to command the baseline, with Nathaniel Phillips, 23, or Rhys Williams, 19, at his side.
Reserve left-back Kostas Tsimikas is also injured, leaving Andy Robertson the only option for the job. Midfielder Naby Keita and forward Diogo Jota will also not be in the team due to different injuries.
Georginio Wijnaldum is likely to return to the starting eleven after being introduced from the bench last time and playing alongside captain Jordan Henderson and Curtis Jones, 19, or the newly recovered Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The usual three forwards of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah will start, unless Klopp chooses to field Xherdan Shaqiri and give one of them a break.
As stated above, backing Liverpool to win would be the most sensible thing to do in predicting the outcome of this match, although it is by no means certain.
Verdict: away win
Best Odds: 4/6