An encounter with completely different things at stake, Liverpool aim to weather the storm at the St. Mary’s Stadium, a place that hasn’t been particularly kind to them in recent years, hence their frequent shopping down on the South Coast.
As the Saints look to guarantee their stay in the Premier League, they certainly won’t back down and will fight tooth and nail for points. Imagine how much the home supporters would love to stop the Reds’ title challenge after being gutted by them in the transfer market.
While there are so many narratives heading into the game, perhaps a battle no one is talking about but should is the one between youngsters.
Both Yan Valery and Trent Alexander-Arnold are rising stars for respective units, exciting going forward and having to face dangerous tasks in respective wings, they’ll have key roles in deciding which way the game swings.
With that in mind, here’s a closer look.
Under Ralph Hasenhuttl, Valery’s bloomed over, giving some prime examples of his talent in recent games.
The French youngster’s been a breath of fresh air in defence, not only keeping top attackers at bay but also being decisive going forward. Valery boasts a 94% tackling success, 48 clearances and 16 interceptions (stats via Premier League) and has proven himself capable of hanging with the big boys by neutralizing some intimidating wingers in recent past.
He’s also got a stunning eye for goal, with his crossing ability and electric demeanour in attack destined to cause Liverpool problems.
TT Grade: B+
Alexander-Arnold’s been a strong cog in Liverpool’s defence throughout this season, showcasing signs of improvement all around.
He’s been brilliant going forward, especially with his prime crossing ability and set-piece prowess. However, not only has he assisted 4 goals, but he’s also improved his defensive stability.
By recording a 67% tackling success, making 47 clearances and 121 ball recoveries (stats via Premier League) this season, the youngster’s proven himself as a difficult man to break down. He thrives to shine through against sides like Southampton, not only maintaining his solid defensive work but his dangerous crosses through the right destined to create big problems.
TT Grade: B
This should be an extremely tight affair between two rising youngsters, but knowing how much Valery’s craves for performing on big occasions, he might overshadow Alexander-Arnold. The French youngster’s unpredictable attacking stance might surprise the Reds, as he might end up lighting the St. Mary’s once again on Friday night.
Southampton fans, do you think Valery can repeat his heroics against Liverpool? Join the discussion by commenting below.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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