Matthew Sinton looks ahead to Liverpool’s next Premier League game against Southampton.
I’ll be watching, but I can’t say I’m excited about the international break. The only time I’m particularly interested in international football is during a major tournament, so at the moment, I’m more concerned about our upcoming clash with Southampton. We travel to the South Coast on Saturday the 19th for a game that won’t be our easiest of the season, but it’s one we’ll certainly be hoping to win given our current form.
We made the trip to St. Mary’s twice last season. The first ended in a 6-1 demolition in the league cup quarter-finals in December last year, with a first goal for the club and a hat trick coming from Divock Origi (and a brace from Daniel Sturridge). Their only goal was scored by our very own Sadio Mane. The league fixture was, however, much more disappointing. We saw a 2-0 half-time lead slip to a 3-2 defeat, with another two goals from Mane. It’s a good job he’s on our side this time.
We look a much more complete, confident team since that defeat, and I’m sure our players are more than ready for the challenge. Southampton have had a steady but unspectacular season so far, but they should not be underestimated. One we should watch out for is Charlie Austin, who is in arguably the best run of form of his career at the moment.
There is some confusion on how we will actually line up next Saturday afternoon. Our two Brazilians will be the last players to return from the international break, so will Klopp think they are ready to start? It certainly wouldn’t be a terrible idea to start both Sturridge and Origi up front; the pair started both away games against Southampton together last season and we scored eight goals in those games, with six coming from them.
We have no major injuries in the team, so I think our defence and midfield will remain the same as it has been for the past few games, with Emre Can or Wijnaldum being the only other selection dilemma for Jurgen Klopp.
Of course, it is important that we take every game just as seriously as the last, but there’s definitely something for the fans to be excited about. We’ve come away from a particularly difficult start to the season top of the league, and don’t have a ‘big’ game until Manchester City on New Year’s Eve.
Also, in the second half of the season all of those games – apart from both Manchester clubs – are at Anfield, which has proven to be a very difficult place for teams to come and get a result this year. If we continue to play the way we have been playing, who knows what could happen. I won’t say anything yet, though. I’ve been hurt before. The focus, for now, is next Saturday. Let’s hope for another three points.