Liverpool take on relegation threatened Southampton at St Mary’s.
Southampton’s forward line is a point of strength but Mauricio Pochettino was still disappointed to have missed out on signing Philippe Coutinho from Internazionale in January. The Brazilian, who had a loan spell under Pochettino at Espanyol, signed for Liverpool and is likely to be in opposition at St Mary’s on Saturday. “Coutinho has that same quality that Ronaldinho and Messi have, but he has much to prove yet,” said Pochettino. Despite recent progress, so too do Liverpool, whose record on the south coast is wretched.
Venue St Mary’s, Saturday 3pm
Last season N/A
Referee P Dowd
This season’s matches 18 Y51, R3, 3.00 cards per game
Subs from K Davis, Richardson, Forren, Hooiveld, Ward-Prowse, Chaplow, S Davis, Do Prado, Puncheon, Mayuka
Form guide DLLWDL
Disciplinary record Y34 R0
Leading scorer Lambert 12
Subs from Jones, Gulacsi, Wisdom, Coates, Skrtel, Henderson, Shelvey, Allen, Sterling, Suso
Doubtful Allen (shoulder), Reina (calf)
Injured Kelly (knee, 22 Mar), Borini (shoulder, unknown)
Form guide WWWLDD
Disciplinary record Y41 R2
Leading scorer Suárez 22
Liverpool won the reverse fixture 1-0 at Anfield in December courtesy of Daniel Agger’s first-half header. Jonjo Shelvey and Luis Suarez also hit the woodwork.
Southampton have won three of the four previous league meetings against Liverpool played at St Mary’s, including the most recent encounter in January 2005.
Liverpool’s only win at St Mary’s Stadium came in January 2002, with Emile Heskey scoring the game’s only goal.
All the goals in the last three Premier League encounters have been scored in the first half.
Southampton have won only one of their last eight league games, seven of them under new manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Saints would be 17th in the table if the league had started on 21 January, the date of Pochettino’s first game in charge.
Only Wigan have accrued fewer points (five) against top-half sides than Southampton’s nine. Their only win came against Manchester City five weeks ago.
Saints have conceded 17 league goals in the 15 minutes immediately before half time – five more than any other club.
They have also let in a league-high 28 first-half goals.
The Reds are unbeaten in their last three away matches.
Liverpool are the eighth most clinical team in the Premier League this season (14%), up from last place in 2011-12 (9%).
Brendan Rodgers’s side have scored 12 goals in their last three league matches, and 21 over their last seven league fixtures.
Luis Suarez has won four more penalties (nine in total) than any other Premier League player since he arrived in England.
Suarez has had 141 attempts on goal in the Premier League this season, 27 more than any other player; 54 have been on target, 55 off target, 32 blocked.
Liverpool 18/1 to win 3-2: Southampton vs Liverpool Betting