The Southampton fans in the Transfer Tavern are hoping their side can cause a huge upset when they face Liverpool at Saint Mary’s Stadium this afternoon.
Following a dismal run of 12 matches without a win in the Premier League, Mauricio Pellegrino finally recorded a well-needed 3-2 victory last weekend away at West Bromwich Albion. Next up for the Saints is a home fixture against Jurgen Klopp’s unpredictable side this afternoon. Southampton will be aiming to achieve back-to-back victories in the league for the very first time this season, and they might just fancy their chances given The Reds form in recent weeks.
Liverpool have recently suffered shock defeats against both Swansea City and West Brom, so Pellegrino will know there are plenty of frailties to be exploited against the visiting opponents today.
In Southampton’s most recent fixture, Pellegrino handed Guido Carrillo his first start for the club since his £19 million move from Monaco in January, but the Argentine striker is yet to get off the mark for the club after 3 appearances. The quality of Carrillo’s performance in the final-third could be a decisive factor in determining the result this afternoon, providing he is chosen to lead the line for The Saints.
However, the performance of James Ward Prowse (valued at £13.5 million by Transfermarkt) is likely to have a more profound impact on the final result. Southampton will undoubtedly expect Liverpool to take the game to them and attempt to dominate possession, so they will need to be shrewd with their limited opportunities in Liverpool’s final-third.
First and foremost, Southampton should do everything they can to focus on winning set-pieces in vital areas so they can exploit Ward-Prowse’s excellent ability from both free-kicks and corners. Both of Liverpool’s goalkeepers Lorius Karius and Simon Mignolet have proven they are uncomfortable with stepping off their line to deal with crosses into the box, so the 23-year-old should certainly be trying to make life difficult for Liverpool’s keeper by whipping set-pieces close to the 6-yard-line.
The pre and post-match narrative will certainly be dominated by Virgil Van Dijk’s return to Saint Mary’s, but Ward-Prowse could steal the headlines with a match-winning performance for the Saints on a huge afternoon for both clubs.
Historically, the North London derby isn’t an easy game to predict. But if you are willing to take a position on the big rivalry game this Saturday, we have an Premier League outright win treble that will pay out handsomely! In this week’s Accy Show, we’ve also put together a fantastic EFL fourfold, with odds that could see you earn ten times your stake. Check it out and let us know where you’re putting your coins this weekend!