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Liverpool return to Premier League action on Saturday against Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium just three days after beating Chelsea on penalties to lift the 2019 UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul, Turkey.
Jurgen Klopp’s side emerged victorious after a 2-2 draw over 120 minutes in humid conditions on Wednesday night but must now return their focus to domestic matters.
The two teams enjoyed contrasting fortunes on the opening weekend of the season. The Reds beat Norwich City 4-1 at Anfield while Southampton were thumped 3-0 by Burnley at Turf Moor.
Date: Saturday, August 17
Time: 3 p.m. (BST), 10 a.m. (ET)
TV Info: NBCSN (U.S.)
Live Stream: NBC Sports App (U.S.)
Odds (courtesy of Oddschecker): Southampton 11-2, Draw 15-4, Liverpool 4-9
Liverpool will have to cope without injured goalkeeper Alisson Becker for the trip to Southampton, after he was ruled out for several weeks, per Malik Ouzia at the Evening Standard.
Adrian should continue between the sticks for the Reds and will be full of confidence after saving Tammy Abraham’s penalty to give his side victory in the Super Cup.
Klopp could not hide his delight at his goalkeeper’s performance after the match, per BT Sport:
Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball
Of course Jurgen Klopp has gone full Rocky Balboa on us 😂
🎤 @DesKellyBTS https://t.co/BZzG4hNXxo
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Roberto Firmino and Georginio Wijnaldum could come back into the starting XI for the game after only being used as substitutes during Wednesday’s win.
Klopp will need to rotate given his side were in action in midweek, and he may also have concerns over his team’s defence.
The Reds had the meanest back line in the top flight last season, conceding just 22 goals in 38 games, but the team have looked uncharacteristically vulnerable in their games against Norwich City and Chelsea, as noted by football writer Joel Rabinowitz:
Joel Rabinowitz @joel_archie
Midfield getting constantly overrun and not able to feed the ball to the front three. Result is that defence is left badly exposed, and attack starved of service. Shape really needs fixing second-half. Gaps all over the show.
Southampton will hope to to take advantage of any fatigue or sluggishness from the visitors as they aim to pick up their first points of the new season.
Manager Ralph Hassenhuttl said his team have been working “very hard” after losing their opening game to Burnley:
Southampton FC @SouthamptonFC
#SaintsFC boss Ralph Hasenhüttl says he has no injury concerns at this stage ahead of Saturday’s home #PL fixture against #LFC: https://t.co/rttOEnFYhx
The German also told reporters he is confident his players will “show a reaction” to being beaten 3-0 at Turf Moor.
Southampton have improved under Hassenhuttl and gave Liverpool a scare when the two teams met in April. Liverpool were forced to come from behind and needed late goals from Mohamed Salah and Jordan Henderson to secure a 3-1 win.
The Reds are clear favourites to pick up all three points again, although their midweek exploits in Turkey mean this could be a tricky test for the European champions.