Liverpool VS Southampton – LIVE Reddit Soccer 17/05/2022
With another domestic cup sitting pretty in the trophy cabinet, Liverpool continue their quadruple pursuit with Tuesday’s trip to Southampton in the Premier League. The hosts have had 10 days to mull over their recent 3-0 loss to Brentford, while the Reds lifted the FA Cup for the first time in 16 years at the weekend. A season that has shown plenty of flickers of promise is ending in disheartening fashion for Southampton and their fans, who can take some solace in the fact that their side have been declared officially safe from the drop ahead of the final couple of gameweeks.
The away day blues continued to bedevil the Saints at the Brentford Community Stadium, as Pontus Jansson and Yoane Wissa struck in quick succession in the first half before Kristoffer Ajer took it upon himself to dribble through a sea of bodies and fire home in the second period. While it is still mathematically possible for Everton and Burnley to leapfrog the 15th-placed Saints, Leeds United’s draw with Brighton & Hove Albion means that Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side will finish above the dotted line and can already begin preparations for another top-flight campaign.
Posting just one victory from their last 11 in the Premier League is not a recipe for success before meeting Liverpool, though, especially with the Reds travelling down South with potentially renewed hopes of completing the impossible. A sense of deja vu befell Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel in front of the Wembley crowd on Saturday afternoon, as both sides could not convert a single one of their multitude of chances during a goalless 120 minutes in the 150th FA Cup final. However, Klopp’s “mentality monsters” sure did hold their nerve from 12 yards out, as Alisson Becker stopped Mason Mount’s effort before Kostas Tsimikas found the back of the net in Liverpool colours for the very first time to spark pandemonium for those in red.
Completing a domestic cup double has certainly set Liverpool up well for a Premier League and Champions League charge, and the gap to Manchester City will be cut to one point with a win after the champions could only draw with West Ham United, but it remains out of the Reds’ hands.
A shaky defensive start did not prevent Liverpool from running out 2-1 winners over Aston Villa last time out, but Klopp now has injuries aplenty to contend with as he seeks to steer the Reds to a seventh win from eight away from home in the Premier League.
Hasenhuttl memorably dropped to his knees as Southampton ran out 1-0 winners over Liverpool at St Mary’s last season, but the Reds hit the Saints for four without reply at Anfield earlier this term and will be in no mood to let lightning strike twice on the South coast.
As we enter the final stretch of the 2021/22 Premier League season, Liverpool and Manchester City continue to fight it out for the title at the top of the table. The reigning champions and table-toppers almost slipped up hugely in the race this past weekend, with West Ham United coming ever so close to defeating them, only for Pep Guardiola’s troops to rally back and secure a 2-2 draw in London on Sunday.
That result means the Cityzens have a four-point advantage over Liverpool heading into the final matchday of the season. And, the ball is in now the Reds’ court to reduce that lead to just one point when they travel to St. Mary’s to face Southampton on Tuesday night.
Fresh from their FA Cup triumph via penalty shootout win against Chelsea, Jurgen Klopp’s brigade will want to take the title race down to the wire as they continue to dream of the unprecedented quadruple. For that, they will need to win both their remaining matches against Southampton and Wolves while hoping that club legend Steven Gerrard does them a favour when his Aston Villa side face the Cityzens on Sunday.
As for Southampton, they do not have much left to play for this season, with Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side six points clear of the drop zone and five above 17th-placed Leeds United, who have just one game left. So, they are not in danger of getting dragged into the relegation battle in the final week, while a top-half finish is also beyond their reach.
The Saints will be playing for pride, as they will want to give the fans something to cheer for in their final home game of the season. But form is not on the home team’s side as they have failed to win each of their last four games (D1 L3) and have just one victory in their 11 games in all competitions. Having been hammered 3-0 by Brentford last time out, they will be hoping to produce a strong reaction and have a say in the title race.
The reverse fixture at Anfield had ended in a 4-0 triumph for Liverpool, with Diogo Jota grabbing a brace while Thiago Alcantara and Virgil van Dijk also scored. Ahead of their latest meeting at St. Mary’s on Tuesday night, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams.
With no fresh concerns to report from their drubbing at the Brentford Community Stadium, Southampton remain in good shape barring long-term absentee Valentino Livramento, and Hasenhuttl is hopeful that Stuart Armstrong and Fraser Forster will both recover from joint pains in time for the contest.
Changes should certainly be in the offing after the dismal showing in gameweek 35, though, with Oriol Romeu primed to take the place of Ibrahima Diallo alongside Player of the Season nominee James Ward-Prowse.
Adam Armstrong was also given a rare opportunity in the final third last time out, but Che Adams will aim to displace his counterpart against the Merseyside giants.
Speaking of Liverpool, Klopp is already working without Fabinho until the Champions League final and also witnessed Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk come off with injuries in the FA Cup final.
The influential duo are not thought to be nursing serious issues but will understandably be carefully assessed ahead of three crucial fixtures, while Andy Robertson might be afforded a rest after suffering from cramp in the cup.