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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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Premier League: Southampton vs Liverpool; The title race is hotting up

Liverpool have been stumbling in recent games with two poor draws and have allowed their bitter rivals from Manchester to catch up.

Now The Red Devils are level on points with Liverpool as Klopp’s team travel to Southampton on Monday night.

There really should be a big lead at the top of the table now when you think of the draws that Liverpool have had, they have all been against sides in the relegation battle.

Last season they would have found a way, but this is a mad season of football so maybe Liverpool will have to just have a stumble every now and then like everyone else.

However, they cannot afford to stumble against Southampton as it will give Manchester United all the initiative they need to go top of the league and then all the momentum will be with them when they travel to Anfield in a couple of weeks. 

Of course, it is not just Manchester United it is every side in the top half of the table, with only six points between tenth place and top which is just ridiculous.

Not one team from the top half can realistically be ruled out as of yet but Liverpool can rule them out by going on a long winning run like they did last season, and it needs to start against Ralph Hassenhuttl’s Southampton.

After the Newcastle game Klopp said: “The last thing I think about at the moment is our position in the table. It doesn’t mean anything.”

But if Liverpool do fall from the top of the league Klopp will have a little look but if his team can get back to winning ways he won’t need to.

Southampton will be a challenge as it always is but especially with their form this season under the ‘Alpine Klopp’ as Ralph Hassenhuttl has been referred to in the past.

He has a similar style of play to Jurgen Klopp but uses a different system as he prefers the 4-4-2 over Klopp’s 4-3-3.

Therefore, meaning that there are always the two strikers menacing the backline and one of those is former Liverpool man Danny Ings who is easily one of the best strikers in the league.

He has recently come back from injury and is expected to start.

It was so unfortunate that Danny Ings did not get a proper chance to prove himself at Liverpool and he would love to score against his former teammates again who all appreciated him so much.

Last season he scored against Liverpool in this fixture thanks to Adrian’s poor pass out from the back which ricocheted off him into the net, hopefully for Liverpool Alisson won’t make that sort of mistake on Monday night.

Whilst Liverpool don’t have any goalkeeping injury issues at the moment Southampton do.

Alex McCarthy, who has been in splendid form this season, has tested positive for coronavirus and will miss the game meaning that back-up keeper Fraser Forster will come in.

Normally that would be an advantage for any team but when a second-choice goalkeeper starts against Liverpool they often turn into prime Iker Casillas and have the game of their lives.

Plus, every Liverpool fan will have flashbacks to the League Cup semi-final in 2017 when Fraser Forster kept a clean sheet with some heroic saves especially the one he fumbled but then clawed off the line from Emre Can.So, a masterclass from Forster is on the cards but Klopp knows his side face competition for their crown and he will want his players to send out a big warning for the ones who dare to challenge them.

Written by Elliot Thompson

READ MORE: Premier League: Everton vs Manchester City; Everton for the title

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