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SOUTHAMPTON 1-02-20 PL (H)

For a change this is a 3pm Saturday afternoon game, the last for a while, as our remaining February and March games are televised.  Saints are on a good run and have won the last 4 away, so we have to take this challenge seriously.  I would suggest the following team:

Alisson

Trent Gomez VVD Robertson

Keita Henderson Wijnaldum

Salah Firmino Minamino

Keita would bring fresh legs while Minamino would be fresher than Origi, though Jones would be another option.  Southampton have been emplying a high press with some success.  Danny Ings is particularly effective at this as he proved in the reverse fixture to Adrian's discomfort.  However, with Alisson, Trent and VVD all capable of launching accurate 60 yard passes from the back, we have the tools to turn this to our advantage.  I can envisage a more open game than West Ham but hopefully the result will be the same.

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  • Credit to Southampton for executing their pressing game brilliantly in the first half but they were unable to reach the same intensity in the second and we blew them away. There were a lot of positives from that second half performance but the biggest for me was seeing Fabinho shake away the cobwebs and start to look like the player we saw earlier in the season. Keita gave another good cameo and Ox is also getting back to his best as is Salah. With Mane and the other injured players due back after the break we are in a good position, not just to wrap up the PL but also to defend the Champion's League.
  • How many times this season have we seen them come out for the 2nd half and play teams of the pitch, seems it's almost every game to me. Fantastic 2nd half with some show boating thrown in for good measure. Even if the opposition are in our 6 yard box you just know that either Gomez, VVD or Alisson is going to block any shot, i've never felt more confident that even when our opponent is attacking us they just won't score, what a feeling.
    For me, right now i want Hendo to get our player of the season award, he has been a beast, pure and simple. Seems to want to win this Lge more than any other player, a proper captain, i'm sure Stevie G is proud of him.
    • Often we see Klopp sprinting down the tunnel at half time so he and the analysts can prepare what they are going to say to the players. Whatever it is it must be working because, like you said, in so many second halves we're much better than we were before the break. I thought this match would be closer but our transitions and finishing in the second half was a whole level above Southampton, and they didn't play badly. The standout players for me were Alisson, Henderson, Firmino and Salah, but there were some really good performances from the rest of the team too. 22 points ahead at the beginning of February is crazy, surely it's a physical impossibility that we can blow this now?
      • No way they'll blow this now but even at that, i won't start celebrating until the Maths are so that it's impossible for anyone to catch us.
  • The first 11: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Henderson, Salah, Firmino, Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • I'm glad the kickoff is at 3pm and not 12pm, we tend to start a bit slowly at the earlier time. This could well be a fast game as both teams are very intense and high pressing, a slow start from us could be costly. The only question mark I have over Minamino is that as of yet he hasn't looked too sharp in front of goal, that's not to say he won't be but I wonder whether it would be better to play him behind the front three until he's adjusted to the way we play and then move him into a more attacking role. We've got enough squad players fit now to be able to try people in different positions so I'm not too fussed where the likes of Keita or Minamino play, it's just a case of finding a position that will get the most out of them. It'll be nice to see Danny Ings again but I don't want to see him in our box, his finishing has been deadly lately. It should be a good game to watch, all considered.
  • I'm all for giving Minamino a start here, need to get him up to speed as quickly as possible in case either Salah or Firmino break down like Mane, i know Origi and Jones are there as well but i feel Minamino could be on a higher level than them.
    Keita was showing some great form before he got injured but seen that Fabinho played some minutes against Westham i think he may get the nod to start here, the rest of the team picks itself really.
    • Keita also came on against West Ham. Fabinho still looked off the pace whereas Keita, although he only played a few minutes, looked sharp.
      • I think Fabinho Looks well on his way back to top form already, he looked really sharp today, was excellent in my opinion, Keita was very good as well when he came on, great to have two quality players like this fresh at this stage of the season.
      • Of course, forgot Keita had a few minutes at Westham and your correct, he did look sharp, toss of a coin there i feel.
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