Will Southampton surprise once more, winning at St. Mary’s today to do the double over Liverpool this season? (Watch live on NBCSN and online on NBC Sports Live Extra at 12:30 p.m. ET).
The Saints will need to push aside memories of last week’s 3-1 defeat at West Ham, their first loss in seven league outings. At this point, however, it’s pretty much pride that Southampton are playing for: they’re not part of the relegation struggle that’s plaguing every side in the bottom half of the table, but they’re also 11 points outside of the final European position.
Liverpool, on the other hand, could do with a bit more security. They’re currently six points clear of Tottenham, but would certainly like to secure third place rather than be forced to play into the Champions League. A win at Southampton could take them into third, although Manchester City would have not one but two games in hand by the end of the weekend. And with their eight game unbeaten run, combined with twelve goals scored in their last three matches, well, Liverpool will likely make things difficult for the hosts.
Mauricio Pochettino keeps the faith in his squad, making just one change, with Dejan Lovren returning to the starting lineup. Alas, Twitter users, that means he won’t be providing commentary through the Saints’ official account.
Brendan Rodgers switches things up a little, with Raheem Sterling dropping to the bench, and Joe Allen coming into midfield. For the most part, however, the lineup remains similar to the starting XI that beat Swansea 4-3 last time out.
Southampton:Boruc, Chambers, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Cork, Schneiderlin, Davis, Lallana, Rodriguez, Lambert
Subs: Gazzaniga (GK), Clyne, Yoshida, Ramírez, Wanyama, Ward-Prowse, Gallagher
Liverpool: Mignolet, Johnson, Flanagan, Agger, Skrtel, Gerrard, Allen, Henderson, Coutinho, Sturridge, Suarez
Subs: Jones, Toure, Cissokho, Moses, Aspas, Sterling, Teixeira