Southampton start the day lying 16th in the Premier League table, however with their clash with Liverpool being the third of three Premier League clashes to take place this afternoon there is also every chance they could go into this game lying in the bottom three.
For that to happen that it would need both Huddersfield and Newcastle to win their respective matches earlier in the day and although that may be an unlikely combination it does not make this fixture any less of a must win one for Mauricio Pellegrino’s men.
They entertain a Liverpool side who have dropped to fourth in the table yesterday after Tottenham got the better of their arch rivals Arsenal at Wembley yesterday, however third place can be restored with just a point at St Mary’s today.
It was a point that both Liverpool and Tottenham had to settle for last Sunday in what was arguably the most dramatic game of the Premier League season so far. Liverpool at one point were staring defeat down the barrel of a gun when Harry Kane was presented with a late penalty.
His under par effort was saved by Loris Karius and that in turn gave the Reds the belief to go on and find a winner, something that they though they had done in injury time when Mohamed Salah danced through both Jan Vertonghen and Ben Davies to then slot the ball past Hugo Lloris.
However as we know by now there was still time for one last controversial twist in the tale as Tottenham were awarded another penalty in the 95th minute after Virgil van Dijk was ajudged to have fouled Erik Lamela in the box. Harry Kane stepped up once again and the England international does not need to be asked twice.
Honours even at Anfield although Liverpool will feel that they were robbed of two points, be though as it may what’s done is done and now they have to put the events of last weekend behind them and focus on the task in hand, that being the trip to the South Coast.
One that will see Virgil van Dijk make a quick return to St Mary’s. Southampton fans perhaps did not expect to see him come back so soon but obviously he will be in opposition colours after making his long awaited move to Anfield at the start of last month for a cool £75m.
A fee that in fairness he has not quite lived up to as of yet, obviously he is still very early in his Liverpool career but it has been quite the mixed bag in terms of performances from the Dutch international. A perfect start has then been added to with some indifferent on pitch offerings.
It will be interesting to see how the former Saint copes today as the home fans will obviously be out to make life difficult this afternoon, of course this transfer is just the latest in the long line of Southampton players moving to Liverpool so it could be hostile for a number of faces.
If Southampton’s fans are going to try and make life difficult for their former players then the club’s current crop of players will be looking to do the same on the field. Not only that though but they will be looking to build on their all important win over West Brom last weekend.
That trip to The Hawthorns was nothing short of a six-pointer, a result that has given the Saints a shot in the arm and more importantly given Mauricio Pellegrino some breathing space as those three points just relived the pressure on the former Alaves boss.
However they cannot stop to admire the work of last week as they will need to roll their sleeves up once again, recently they made life difficult for Tottenham here and the hope from manager and fans alike is that they can do something similar today.
Unfortunately though I don’t think that they will be the case, Liverpool’s front line has been scintillating this season and even for all their defensive deficiencies I think they will have enough to pick up the win. Both teams to score but the Reds to come out on top.