The Liverpool winning-machine resumed usual practice on the London Stadium on Wednesday night as Jurgen Klopp’s team secured their 15th consecutive league victory to extend their gargantuan lead at the top of the Premier League by 19 points.
By the time current holders Manchester City walk out to face Tottenham Hotspurs in the capital, the Reds could be 22 points ahead of their greatest challengers.
Next in line for Klopp’s unbeaten league leaders is Ralph Hasenhüttl’s in-form Southampton side. The Saints have won five of their previous seven league fixtures and have claimed the scalps of Chelsea, Tottenham and Leicester City during that period.
Since Boxing Day, only Liverpool have claimed more Premier League points than Southampton and they will arrive at Anfield with only one defeat in their last nine.
Meanwhile, the European champions are currently embarking on a 41-match unbeaten league run following yesterday’s victory. Liverpool have claimed 97 points from their previous 99 available and have dropped just two points in the league all season.
Going by form, Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has unsurprisingly backed Klopp’s champions-elect to record their 24th victory of the season in style but did take time to praise the ‘brilliant’ Hassenhuttl who has miraculously guided the Saints away from the bottom three and just nine points off those Champions League places.
Speaking in his weekly predictions column, Nicholas said: “The Liverpool machine just rolls on. I did think they looked a little on edge against Wolves but they got through again and then strolled through at West Ham with minimum stress. The graft and determination is there and a break is just around the corner.
“They will not worry about the FA Cup scenario and have some time off. Southampton have been impressive. Ralph Hasenhuttl is brilliant – I did not see the need to get rid of him or ever think he was under any pressure in his position.
“He has been courageous and he has the energy back in Southampton. He has Danny Ings, Nathan Redmond and Shane Long all playing well for him. I think he may go with a back five for the Liverpool match – who can blame him?
“Saints are dangerous, but when Liverpool pin teams in, they do not let you off the hook and it is the wide men that do that to you. There is no relief through the midfield either. I can’t see this machine faltering. I am so impressed.”
What RTK has to say
Not the most inspiring prediction considering Liverpool’s relentless run of form this season. With 23 wins from a possible 24 in the league this season and with a 100 per cent record at Anfield in the league since January 2019 a win for Klopp and co isn’t necessarily the most inspirational pick for a bet.
However, Liverpool will be fully aware of the threat Southampton oppose and will certainly look to keep quiet one of their former players. Danny Ings, who was a real fan favourite during his four-year Anfield tenure, is one of the most in-form strikers in the league this season. The former Reds forward has clocked up 16 goals in 27 appearances this season – and has six in his last seven league outings.