The old axiom ‘football is not a matter of life and death, it is much more important’, is surely true as two teams with everything on the line go head to head at St. Mary’s. The home side (W3, L2) are embroiled in the relegation battle, while visiting Liverpool (W4, D1) are in the race for the title.
Coach Ralph Hasenhüttl has brought improvement to Southampton, and over the last ten rounds just five teams have taken more points (W5, D2, L3). Especially strong at home, the ‘Saints’ have scored at least one goal in 11 consecutive competitive matches here, with these matches featuring 3.18 (total) goals on average.
Southampton have a reasonable return against the current top six teams this season (W2, D2, L7), but have conceded 28 goals from 11 matches – 2.54 per match on average.
Speaking of conceding, Liverpool have developed a worrying trend in recent weeks and have conceded in four straight competitive matches. Indeed, after conceding just eight goals in the first 20 Premier League (PL) rounds, they’ve conceded 11 in the subsequent 12 rounds.
Entering the round having taken more points away from home than any other PL side, Liverpool have nonetheless drawn three of their last four on the road. Against the current bottom six however, they’ve won all four matches so far – curiously, three of those by just a single-goal margin.
Players to watch: James Ward-Prowse has been the standout player for Southampton recently, with three goals in his last four PL matches. That’s bettered by Liverpool’s Sadio Mané, who’s got eight goals from his last eight competitive matches!
Stat attack: Both teams have scored in ten of Southampton’s last 11 competitive home matches.
When in front at half-time (18 matches so far), Liverpool are yet to lose a single PL point!
Liverpool are the only team in the league yet to lose when entering a PL match as favourites this season (W24, D7).
My bet: Both teams to score (What does BTTS mean in betting)