By Harvey Byrne
Mark Lawrenson has predicted Liverpool will beat Southampton 2-1 at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Jurgen Klopp will take the league-leading Merseysiders to the south coast in what is set to be a hard-fought encounter between first and 10th.
The Reds have won their last four fixtures in all competitions, scoring an impressive 14 goals, and produced a series of scintillating displays before the international break.
Claude Puel’s Saints have won just one of their last three fixtures, which includes a 2-1 loss against Mike Phelan’s Hull team in their most recent match.
Former Southampton star Adam Lallana is expected to miss the clash after suffering an injury in England’s friendly against Spain in midweek and Lawrenson has stated that he will be a huge miss.
“It looks like Adam Lallana will miss this game after he was injured playing for England against Spain,” Lawrenson wrote on the BBC Sport website.
“That would be a blow because Lallana has been up there as one of Liverpool’s best three players this season, but they can just bring in Gini Wijnaldum – or even Daniel Sturridge, who has scored on his last two appearances against Saints.
“And I don’t think it would be a bad thing to reduce the number of former Southampton players facing their old club – Sadio Mane, Dejan Lovren and Nathaniel Clyne should all still start, even if Lallana doesn’t.
“I remember playing against Brighton after I had joined Liverpool and I was in danger of trying too hard because I wanted to prove why I had left. My game suffered because of it.
“Southampton’s form has dipped a bit in the past few weeks and they have only taken one point from three games.
“That is typical – it came just after I had said that their two centre-backs, Virgil van Dijk and Jose Fonte, and the goalkeeper Fraser Forster are as good as anyone in the league.”
Lallana, 28, has impressed fans and pundits alike this season with three goals and five assists coming in 12 appearances for the Reds.
He has been pivotal to Liverpool’s good start to the campaign and will be a huge loss as Klopp’s side look to extend their one point lead over second placed Chelsea.
In other Liverpool news, this Reds duo must strike up an instant rapport against Southampton.