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Southampton, 11-02-18 (A) PL

A potential bannana skin this one and for varius reasons, 1) the obvious, they'd love to get one over on us because we continue to poach their best players, VVD is in for dogs abuse here so lets hope he can handle it. 2) the pressure is on us now seen that spurs beat arsenal, the race for the top 4 positions is really hotting up now, can we handle the run in???

Gomez is ruled out through injury but that seems to be the only new injury concern. My back four would be Arnold, Lovren, VVD and Robertson, my midfield would be Can, Chamberlain and Hendo, the front 3 picks itself of course. The team for this game might look like this, 

                                                                            Karius

                                                 Arnold         Lovren       VVD        Robertson

                                                                             Can

                                                                    Ox            Hendo

                                                              Salah         Firmino     Mane

The players have had a full week since their last game so well rested, i expect to see a similar team for the porto game on wednesday night. I hope Klopp and the players don't have one eye on that game as we know what can happen in that case, the next game is always the most important so we need 100% concentration on this one, best of luck RedMen.

 

 

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  • Just read that Sturridge's return to Chelsea lasted just 3 minutes as he went off injured. The guy just cannot catch a break. It looks like he'll never return to his best which is such a shame for a hugely talented player.
  • It's a game where I thought we were professional but also just tad bit lucky. Given our luck, normally, their two free headers in the box would be goals - Carrillo and Ward Prowse had two very good chances and we would have been left lamenting our missed opportunities. Other than that, we snuffed out everything they had to offer. It's a key 3 points with Utd losing and more importantly, Spurs winning. We should have our eyes set on 2nd. We'll have to go the remaining 11 games unbeaten winning most of those to achieve that. TBH I think we have been best of the rest this season.
  • A strange game in some ways. We scored the goals in the first half but I thought we played much better in the second half when Salah twice, Mane and Lallana missed great opportunities to put the game to bed. However after the break we defended well as a unit and I don't remember Saints having a sniff of a chance. Van Dijk makes a huge difference to our defence but I feel we need someone equally accomplished alongside him. Matip and Lovren have too many poor moments. Gomez may be the long term solution but over the next couple of years we need someone with experience. Anyway, mustn't grumble as we are back above Spurs and only two points behind United.
    • I'm interested to see how Lovren reacts to playing alongside VvD. Lovren used to partner a dominant centre back while at Southampton (whose name escapes me) and he was much more confident, thus Liverpool became interested in him. When he came to Liverpool everyone expected him to be the lead defender, which he'd never really been, and disaster ensued resulting in his fragile confidence. Now we've got VvD to lead the back line some of the pressure will be off Lovren and I suspect he'll feel more comfortable. Whether he's too far gone to retrieve as a long term solution I don't know but I would like to see him given a run of games with VvD to see how strong a unit they are.
  • I was surprised how lackluster the Southampton team and fans were. Yeah, there was some booing but it was hardly the cauldron of hate we were expecting. For most of the second half the Southampton team were pretty resigned too. If I didn't know better I'd say Klopp was trolling the opposition fans by putting on Lovren and Lallana so we had all our currently available ex-Southampton players on the pitch at once.

    Karius had another good outing, made some decent saves and looks to be gradually improving as he becomes more confident in the role. I'm not sure how he'd cope if we were drawn against a top opponent in the CL but he's doing as well as can be expected so far. Mane is so frustrating - he's doing most things right, getting in the right positions and working well with the other players, he just can't find the net with his final ball. Salah and Firmino have been nearly everpresent this season and it shows. They work so well together now and when you add Mane to the equation the fluidity of our front line must be terrifying to go up against. Thankfully there didn't seem to be any injuries on our side so we should be alright for Porto. Incidentally, the reason why Henderson wasn't risked against Southampton is because Can is suspended for the Porto match (I didn't realise this).
    • Firmino and Salah were total class and have been for all of this season. Mane does alot of the good things which lets them play so well. like you said, he does everything brilliantly till he gets in front of goal. Based on Karius's performances, I think Klopp is right in putting him as #1. He does the other things like coming out of his line, dealing with crosses, distribution a bit better than Migs, although I think Mignolet has a bit better shot stopping ability. Both have been prone to mistakes but Karius has been getting better.
      • Fair dues to Karius, he is improving game by game. I wish Klopp would be a bit brutal with his squad now and just choose a keeper and two centrebacks - on current form Karius, VvD and Lovren - and just stick with them for at least half a dozen matches (unless one gets injured, of course). I don't think the constant rotation of defensive players helps anyone right now. Attacking and midfield players, yes, but Karius and VvD are still establishing themselves in the side, they need predictability more than they need resting. If we're ever going to get a reliable defence that trio of players needs to have as close an understanding as possible, rotating with Mignolet (who I still think is the better shot stopper) and Matip at this point won't help Karius and VvD as they enter the final and most important stages of the season. I didn't think I'd say this but I hope to see Karius in goal against Porto.
        • True although I think Klopp will pick Mignolet for Porto but it makes sense for Karius to play and build a reputation with the defenders but hey if we keep defending like we have been which has decent as off late, then it doesn't matter which keeper plays as he will not much else to do other then the odd routine save, goal kicks and collecting back passes.
          • There's been reports Klopp will stick with Karius against Porto and Klopp has said this when asked about who'll be keeper:

            'To be honest I have not made the final decision but it is not the same situation as it was.'

            If I had to put money on it I'd say Klopp's going with Karius although you never really know with Klopp, he's fooled us all before.
    • I was also surprised by Southampton. They were decent going forward in the first half but looked vulnerable every time we attacked. In the second half we tightened up and they had no answer. I was amazed when they brought Long on that they took off Ward-Prowse, as his delivery was the only weapon I could see causing us trouble. They have good players but I would suggest their manager isn't getting the best out of them. The fact that we didn't over exert ourselves especially in the second half should mean we are reasonably fresh for the Porto match.
This reply was deleted.

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