Scott Groom takes a look at a few things we can expect to see from Liverpool vs Southampton when the Saints visit Anfield this afternoon.
After the glamour of the Champions League tie under the Anfield lights against PSG, Liverpool this weekend return to Premier League action with another home tie against Southampton in the offing on Saturday.
Jürgen Klopp’s men made it six wins from six in all competitions against Neymar and co. and will be looking to further extend that winning run when The Saints visit Merseyside at the weekend.
Having played in the Champions League in the week, we can certainly expect to see a few changes, so here are a few things to keep your eyes peeled for.
Fabinho making his full debut.
Liverpool fans have waited long and hard for £39 million man Fabinho to be thrust into the mix by Klopp since his arrival from Monaco, and Saturday could be the perfect opportunity to start blooding him into the first team.
After a brief cameo appearance against PSG on Tuesday, he could well be in line for a starting role on Saturday in order to rest Gini Wijnaldum and James Milner, who have played a lot of football already this season.
With those midfielders needing a rest ahead of a busy few weeks, Southampton presents the perfect opportunity for Fabinho to get a feel of the Premier League from the onset, in a game which, on paper, shouldn’t be too much like throwing him at the deep end.
A good result and performance against Southampton will be perfect for Fabinho to get his eye in and get his Liverpool career up and running before he goes on, undoubtedly, to become a crucial player for Klopp.
While he has by no means endured a torrid start to the season, Mo Salah has also not quite looked at his best and against PSG, he looked tired.
The uncharacteristic sloppy pass that let PSG in for their equaliser was not like Mo and would suggest he was mentally drained having again played lots of minutes already this season.
With a manic run of games coming up, it would make sense to see him come off the bench perhaps to keep him fresh for the big games, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him sit out the upcoming cup tie against Chelsea either.
Chance for Shaqiri to shine
With Salah perhaps in line for a rest, it would represent a big chance for a fringe member of the squad, Xherdan Shaqiri.
The Swiss international has been limited to short appearances from the bench for Liverpool so far, but allowing Salah to put his feet up for the afternoon would allow Shaqiri the chance to come in directly in Salah’s place and show Liverpool fans what he can do.
He looked bright and inventive when he replaced Mo in the away win at Leicester where he played around 20 minutes, and his expertise from free kicks could be something Klopp could utilise, too.
Liverpool have never won their first seven games in all competitions at the start of a season, but are on the brink of making that piece of history.
On paper, you would think Liverpool can notch up that seventh win against the Saints on Saturday, but we all know that the Premier League is rarely that straightforward.
What Saturday does represent is a great chance to make this happen, and with the way that Klopp has got this squad humming and buzzing at the moment, you would think that this is something they will be arriving to achieve and should do.