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Southampton 0 v 0 Burnley
Barclays Premier League
Sunday, 12th August 2018 Kick-off 13:30
Saints V Liverpool The Preview
Sunday, 11th Feb 2018 08:43

This game has more riding on for Saints supporters than most with so many departing St Mary's for Anfield over the past few years, but this year even more so.

All the headlines are about Virgil Van Dijk, but the fact is since his departure Saints have slowly and quietly started to get their act together culminating in the win at West Brom, it will be tough to keep that run going against a Liverpool side who of late seem to blow hot or cold, but you feel that Saints are a lot better equipped to do it than a few weeks ago.

After last week's win you feel that the confidence has started to return and that at West Brom it was the first time in a long time that we had played as a team.

If Saints can do that again then they can get a result against Liverpool, but doing so means defending a lot better, this season has seen so many points thrown away by poor marking and that has to change, if we cut that out, then we can have a storming finish, if we don't then we are going to have to work hard to pull clear.

All eyes are on Mauricio Pellegrino, he has the squad to win games, the issue though is that he just can't seem to give a good squad that extra bit of leadership to get them over the line and win games, that has been the case in a list of games, he seems to show naivety not only in his team selections but his substitutions, that at times have even seen him in blind panic and fear making changes far too early, or the exact opposite where he has left it far too late and failed to spot glaring issues and aken the appropriate action.

At West Brom he seemed to get it right in both areas and he needs to do so this weekend and keep doing so for the rest of the season, he needs to realise that subtle changes are needed rather than seemingly change for change sake.

Indeed that is probably Pellegrino's problem he tends to over elaborate some times, he can't seem to get the balance right between when a team needs it's manager to do something and when the manager just needs to keep it going and only give it fresh legs at the end.

Hopefully there will not be too many changes from the game up at the Hawthorns, the starting XI up there did the business and earned the right to start this one, that might be hard on Pierre Emile Hojbjerg who only played a small role after a man of the match performance in the previous game, but he is probably the only player who didn't start who perhaps should, although it is hard to suggest who he would come in for, certainly not Mario Lemina who often seems to be one that Pellegrino overlooks.

Liverpool have it in them to challenge for the title, although not this season, the loss of Phillip Coutinho is a blow, but they have plenty of other options in attacking areas.

Their wek spot however is at the back, the arrival of Van Dijk has not solved their problems, in fact it appears to have created more Dejan Lovren is throwing his toys out of the pram and there appears to be no love lost between him and his new back four partner, Lovren declaring ahead of this game that he is number one at the back and Van Dijk has to take that off him with performances, this was a challenge more akin to a World Title Boxing match than what should be two team mates working together.

Add the fact that whoever Klopp plays in goal seems error prone and Saints can beat Liverpool, if they keep it tight at the back, don't give Liverpool anyting they haven't earned and take our own chances.

We have to use the Van Dijk issue to be the catalyst to Saints supporters getting behind their manager, their team, their club and make today another special occasion at St Mary's.

The club is bigger than any individual, we want Saints to pull clear and start to show what they are capable of, if you want us to be relegated then abuse the manager if we go a goal down, if you want this club to be a Premier League team next season and every season afterwards then offer only words of encouragement !

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A1079 added 09:37 - Feb 11
It has to be purely about getting a win and 3 points, because if we don't and Newcastle and/or Huddersfield win then we are back in the bottom 3 and even if that doesn't happen, failure to get anything out of this game means that we will still only have had one win since November in the league, that we are in danger of being cut adrift from those now on the 30 point plus mark.

This game cannot be about any one player, but no doubt some will make it so. My concern is, that even if we play really well, even if we score, there is always an error or 2 in our games that seems to gift the opposition, and Liverpool have such an array of players that can really damage you if an error is made. Equally though, Liverpool have their weaknesses and we need to exploit it and capitalise on them when we can.

5

SaintNick added 09:47 - Feb 11
I dont think it is just about a win, football seasons are about 38 games not one in isolation, we have lost only once in the last 8 games and we have put together a goo run, just not enough wins, a point from this one will be a good one, but we will suffer defeats from time to time, the trick is not to panic everytime we do
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TimSaint added 09:54 - Feb 11
Hopefully Klopp will have Wednesday's Champions league trip to Porto above a trip to little old Southampton on his agenda, when selecting the team today.

We just need to stop these unforced errors and gifting opposition free headers. Dropping Davis has helped and now Stephens just needs to learn to win balls in his own box - as well as the opposition's. Hope he scores though !!

I'm worried that we won't be able to cope with the pace and pressing, as our centre backs are not the quickest. So like with Spurs at home, let's take the game to them and let them worry about us and their back 4 frailties !!

3

petesmaterob added 10:22 - Feb 11
I want to see a good performance along the lines of the spurs game and further proof that MP has taken on board the lessons from the first part of the season. I am not going to be negative as Pete won't share his wine gums with me but we are in this position because of poor management decisions up to now.
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skiptonsaint added 11:03 - Feb 11
We must show the effort of the Spurs game including the crowd lifting the team and the finishing of the West Brom game. We have a chance then

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A1079 added 11:18 - Feb 11
Sorry Nick. I was not intending to intimate that there had not been an improvement, as there has been, but I was just trying to be a bit pragmatic, but perhaps did not make my point very well. The main point I was trying to make, was the need to concentrate on trying to win the game and not on any peripheral issues - such as ex-players.

Sadly, I won't be there as I am at work this afternoon (so will not even get to see it televised), but hope it is a great game and that the supporters give it their all and we come out of it positively, whatever the result.

Have a good time.
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