Southampton vs Liverpool news: Man City slip will keep Reds focused for Saints trip

Jurgen Klopp’s FA Cup winners aren’t giving up on the Premier League and can take the title race to the final day with three points at St Mary’s.

The margins can become incredibly tight when the season gets to the business end.

Had Liverpool lost their shootout to Chelsea and Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez netted from the spot against West Ham, two legs of the Reds' possible quadruple would have gone up in smoke.

As it is, Alisson and Fabianski made crucial penalty saves, Kostas Tsimikas took his cult status to new levels by slotting home the decisive spot-kick and Liverpool ended the weekend as FA Cup winners and still in with a chance of capturing the Premier League.

To give themselves a shot at the league title on final day, three points away to Southampton is a must on Tuesday night. But what sort of team will Jurgen Klopp be able to send out?

When: Tuesday, May 17, 19:45 BST

Where: St Mary's Stadium

How to watch: Sky Sports Premier League

Follow this game via our score centre

Who is the ref for Southampton vs Liverpool

Martin Atkinson is the man in the middle at St Mary's.

Martin Atkinson referee

The Yorkshire official last took charge of Liverpool just under a month ago when the Reds cruised to a 4-0 win over Manchester United. He booked three players that day, including Naby Keita.

Earlier this season he reffed Southampton's 3-1 loss at Chelsea, sending off James Ward-Prowse with the scores 1-1 after 77 minutes.

Season stats 2021/22: All matches (26), yellows (67), reds (3), penalties (7)

Recent form

Liverpool are having to dig deep as their incredible season comes to a climax.

A run of six straight wins ended with a 1-1 draw at home to Spurs, a game where they trailed at half-time.

They also shipped an early goal away to Aston Villa but hit back to win 2-1.

And then, of course, there was the FA Cup final when they and Chelsea couldn't be split after 90 minutes for the fourth game running this season.

Liverpool FA Cup

But as they did in the Carabao Cup final, Liverpool won a penalty shootout so the Reds still haven't suffered that losing feeling away from Anfield since a 1-0 defeat at Leicester three days after Christmas.

Southampton have been on a miserable run since winning an FA Cup tie at home to West Ham at the start of March.

From that point they've lost eight and drawn two of their last 11 games, the only victory a 1-0 success over Arsenal.

Their two latest outings have resulted in a 2-1 home loss to Crystal Palace and a 3-0 defeat at Brentford.

Liverpool and Southampton players in form

January signing Luis Diaz was man-of-the-match in the FA Cup final after yet another performance full of vim and vibrancy.

He couldn't convert one of several chances he had against Chelsea but six goals and four assists so early in his Reds career is an excellent start.

Luis Diaz of Liverpool FC celebrate a goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final

Alisson Becker was again a rock in the Liverpool defence, making key stops in regulation time and then saving Mason Mount's penalty in the shootout to put his side on the brink of victory.

Thiago Alcantara continues to run the show in midfield while Trent Alexander-Arnold is finishing the season strongly. He has 18 assists so far.

Saints have suffered a collective loss of form but Ward-Prowse remains a goal threat and has moved into double figures for the season after netting three times in his last seven games.

Liverpool will be extra keen to not give fouls away anywhere near their own box as Ward-Prowse - nominated for Player of the Season last week - has strong claims to be the best free-kick taker in the division.

Previous meetings

Liverpool 4-0 Southampton (November 27, 2021)

Liverpool set the tone with a goal from Diogo Jota after just 97 seconds as he prodded home an Andy Robertson cross.

The Portuguese striker added a second on 32 before Thiago's deflected side put the Reds 3-0 up going into the break.

Virgil van Dijk netted against his former club seven minutes into the second half and Southampton were glad to keep the score semi-respectable from there.

Liverpool 2-0 Southampton (May 08, 2021)

After a troubled title defence, Liverpool needed a late charge to make the top four and they started it here with the first of five closing wins that lifted them to a third-place finish.

Sadio Mane headed home Mo Salah's cross to give the Reds a 31st-minute lead but there were scares for the hosts, not least when Alisson gifted the ball to Che Adams whose shot he managed to save.

Home nerves were finally settled when Thiago scored his first Liverpool goal in added time, a strike that gave Klopp his 100th win at Anfield in all competitions.

Southampton 1-0 Liverpool (January 4, 2021)

It was quite an image: Ralph Hasenhuttl sinking to his knees in tears after finally beating one of his managerial heroes.

A Danny Ings goal after just two minutes settled the contest and Liverpool's response was tepid. Indeed, they didn't manage a shot on target until the 75th minute - their latest in a Premier League match for five years.

Klopp's team actually finished the match still top of the table, but it was a sign of things to come in a troubled second half of the season.

Last 10 meetings

Southampton wins: 1

Draws: 1

Liverpool wins: 8

Southampton scored: 3

Liverpool scored: 23

Managers' thoughts

Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl on having a say in the title race: "We have done our job this season against Man City with two points. They lost four points against us in the title race.

"Against Liverpool, the first game we lost, so now it's up to us to show again that we can be competitive against a top team.

"For me, it's one of the most difficult games to prepare for because of the flexibility of the opponent and the unbelievable offensive qualities they have."

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp wants to give his side the best possible chance of overhauling Manchester City, even if he thinks a slip-up from the champions is unlikely.

He said: “What I can promise, definitely, is we will line up to try to win the game at Southampton. We have a job to do and we have to see who is able to help.

“I am really looking forward to the game, but is it a big chance? I wouldn’t say so because I don’t know when City last dropped points two games in a row."

Predicted Southampton vs Liverpool teams

Southampton will have had 10 days off coming into this one so will be far fresher than the visitors.

From the team that lost 3-0 to Brentford, Oriol Romeu should return while Che Adams may come in for Adam Armstrong.

Keeper Fraser Forster will be assessed after missing training. 

Possible Southampton starting line-up: Forster, Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Salisu, Perraud, Redmond, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, S Armstrong, Broja, Adams.

It's going to be a case of checking out the walking wounded for the Liverpool medical team.

Salah and Van Dijk both came off at Wembley with muscle injuries and Klopp will not to risk them given the proximity of the Champions League final (May 28). 

He said: "They are both OK, so the target for both would be they could be involved again at the weekend."

Fabinho is also out while Robertson's heavy workload at left-back means this could be a good time to start Wembley shootout hero Tsimikas.

Liverpool FA Cup

Joe Gomez, Curtis Jones and Roberto Firmino are other options for Klopp, who must be wary about trying to wring too much out of his usual starters.

Possible Liverpool starting line-up: Alisson, Gomez, Tsimikas, Konate, Matip, Jones, Henderson, Keita, Jota, Firmino, Diaz.

Southampton vs Liverpool prediction

Had Manchester City beaten West Ham, that would have been the title sewn up barring a freakish goal difference swing.

But with the door still open, Liverpool will be desperate to take this to the final day and hope Steven Gerrard and Aston Villa can do them a huge favour on final weekend.

With that extra focus, take the Reds to beat the struggling Saints by a couple of clear goals - 2-0 or 3-1.

READ MORE: Liverpool showed winning mentality in FA Cup Final shootout win, says Alisson

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