Flanagan to start, Allen in contention – Predicting Liverpool’s lineup for Southampton trip


Liverpool return to Premier League action against Southampton, and we take a look at how Jurgen Klopp could line up his side on Sunday afternoon.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 25, 2015: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and Southampton's manager Ronald Koeman during the Premier League match against Southampton at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Reds arrive on the south coast looking to build on successful European exploits by continuing their positive league form.

Another big game faces Liverpool as they resume their fight to win Champions League football any way they can against Ronald Koeman’s team at St Mary’s, where the Reds have had some thoroughly enjoyable trips in recent times.

After an “intensive” 90 minutes at Old Trafford on Thursday and little room for error as the Reds play catch up, Klopp is likely make some changes but keep a strong team in search of a fourth straight league win.

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Liverpool Team News

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 2, 2015: Liverpool's Joe Allen in action against Southampton's Victor Wanyama during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match at St. Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Klopp to consider changes with strong squad available
  • Fresh legs available and at the Reds’ boss’ disposal throughout the team
  • Moreno to be assessed after missing United draw with hamstring issue
  • Milner suspended following Crystal Palace red card
  • Flanagan set to come in at left-back
  • Henderson sickness could see him left out at St Mary’s
  • Allen could come into midfield in place of the captain
  • Plenty of options in attack with Klopp spoilt for choice
  • Coutinho, Lallana, Firmino, Sturridge all available
  • Origi could come in for fresh legs to lead the line

The Reds XI vs. Southampton

Changes are likely to be forthcoming but Klopp is unlikely to make many with the Reds needing a strong side to grab another vital three points.

Milner’s suspension and Moreno’s injury is set to see Flanagan start, and keeping with the same midfield and attacking support with it the strongest possible, fresh legs up front could be provided by Origi entering in place of Sturridge.

In the usual 4-2-3-1 set-up, two changes could see Liverpool lineup like so:

Saints 4-2-3-1 XI

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Klopp could opt for a slight further change of personnel, and shape at St Mary’s.

Having romped to the memorable 6-1 win over Koeman’s men in December with the 4-4-2 diamond, the Liverpool boss could revisit it on Sunday.

Keeping with the same back four, Allen could provide freshness in Henderson’s place if the captain is unwell, with Origi doing the same alongside Sturridge – reforming the partnership that saw the duo net five of the six goals scored in the League Cup hammering.

Alterations to the team and system would see the Reds look like this come 1:30 kick off time:

Saints diamond XI

A difficult game faces Klopp’s side against the Saints, but with fourth place in sight Liverpool must make it a fourth straight win on the south coast.

Select your XI:


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  1. That back line with Flanagan in does look very solid.

    Mignolet has been pretty okay recently. I think he just has a wobble over the Christmas period.

    Distracted by the birth of baby Jesus no doubt.

    • I was thinking how much Mignolet looks to have improved but then he almost gifted the mancs a goal at OT when he started to come for an easy cross, inexplicably changed his mind and presented Fellaini with a free header, he’s still got bad decisions and a variety of errors in his locker…

      • Man I just hope Kloppo gets in some kind of a decent backup/insurance plan there…it’s happened 2 seasons running now even if he does think that Migs has gone back to being good between the sticks.

        • I’m hoping we buy a keeper who’ll relegate Mignolet to ‘some kind of back up/insurance plan’ (he’s worth keeping as a number two imo) I’m not sure what the situation is with Danny Ward, I can understand the logic in bring him back as Klopp obviously doesn’t rate Bogdan, I suspect (hope) another proven GK will be brought in this summer, we definitely need three good keepers irrespective of who’s number one…

          • I know what you’re saying, I’m just trying to temper my expectations a bit here since I know how highly Klopp rates Migs.

    • Probably right, I think Sturridge needs some easier games under his belt to build some momentum though.

      His decision making on Thursday was pretty awful.

      • There is no such thing as easier game, all the games left are hard games, the ones you think are easier, those are the hard ones, he needs games, of all the strikers we have, he is the only goal treath.

      • I agree, he needs games to get his fitness back. There is as much chance of him getting inured in training as there is in a game.

          • Why would you say such thing? Haven’t you seen him played there before on more than 1 occasion? And being successful at it.

          • Mate,you’ve seen allen on the pitch under klopp,yes!but every single time it’s been in a three man midfield,in the league cup matches,when he’s come on in the league aswell as the europa league the same!a two man midfield needs to be abled to overrun the other teams midfield to be successful,which is something Allen’s peace can’t deliver…a three man midfield only needs to out pass the other midfield,which is something allen can deliver… If allen plays,I garentee you the formation will be switched!and I think you should stop you’re hatred towards flannagan!he’ll start aswell, I can garentee you that,whether you like it or not!!

          • What hatred to Flanno are you talking about? Did I say the club should not renewed his contract? Did I say the club should sell him as you all wanted for Sturridge? Was I ever said I hope he never recovered from his injury? like you all did hope for Sturridge. I did said we need upgrades to Clyne and Moreno, which Flanno is no where near, is that hatred to Flanno.

          • Yes because as a Liverpool player, who had done more for the Club, than Flanno will ever do in his life time, got more support from everyone link to the club, than what Sturridge got, because he is a Scouse, and I have a big problem with that.

          • So what exactly as sturridge done to date except score more goals flanno will
            whats he won for lfc that flanno could not in his lifetime
            As studge set some record for lfc that i am unaware of
            i bet its not a record to do with appearances that flanno could not beat in his liftime

          • Yes a lot more goals and appearances , and in his time of needs, he received uncalled for criticism from you all ungrateful Scums.

          • Are you actually calling liverpool fans scums?fukc off mate!!you’re not a LFC supporter,youre clearly here just for sturridge!!

          • Sturridge’s attitude is shyte mate!!he doesn’t want to be a Liverpool player!we should get rid in the summer’

          • Agree and disagree clown-features. Agree we should ship Sturridge – been saying that for a while. Disagree on Allen though as he played part of a middle two when he bossed Toure and the City midfield last year.

  2. I will always advocate a return the 442 Diamond that served us so well with Countiho in midfield, and 3 goal threats up top.

    The next best option to get the goals flowing in the 4231 would be to return Sturridge to the RWF position from which he was prolific for Chelsea, with Firmino behind either Origi or Benteke through the middle

    • Sturridge doesn’t like to play that position. He wants to be a CF which one of the reasons he wanted to leave Chelsea

      • Most of all Sturridge wants to play. He was scoring goals frequently while playing in that wide-forward role under AVB. However, he still was treated as a junior member of the team, even while outscoring Drogba and Anelka, and wanted at Chelsea. That wouldn’t be the case at LFC.

    • I’m thinking something similar, but I’ve always felt that Coutinho is more productive from deeper. Same with Can, only more so. I’m really starting to like him as our deepest midfielder. Won’t be long before he’s actually justifying his hype if he maintains this form.

  3. Like the second option, but with Lallana instead of Allen.

    Can’t see Klopp dropping Henderson and Milner though.

  4. Second team looks good, think that one is unlikely though. Anyone else disappointed Klopp didn’t trust Smith for a game on Thursday? I think he has proved he is capable.

    • My thoughts exactly! Shows he doesn’t trust him at all. Our lb ranking apparently goes 1. Moreno 2. Milner 3. Flanagan 4. Smith

    • Nopes, not in the slightest bit. There’s a huge difference between playing against sides like FC Sion when both sides are thru and teams like Exeter in the FA Cup compared to playing in Old Trafford when it’s clear that United had to attack from the off and score atleast 2 goals.

      And as ordinary as I think Milner and Clyne were on the day, I think things could have been a lot worse considering it was Martial, Rashford and Lingaard running at our full backs. That was basically the most important threat of the day…and you don’t play inexperienced players at that stage unless you’re fully sure of it. Have some faith in the manager on this.

  5. Why does Sturridge look so grumpy and never ackowledges the fans when he is pulled off after not contributing anything ? Extreme arrogance if you ask me . Start Origi is my call

    • Did u see Sakho react to being subbed the other day??

      Very few star players are happy to be subbed off, never mind being subbed off early on routinely

      • Maybe we shouldn’t be making such a big deal about Studge being subbed off but Sakho’s situation was completely different. It was a cup final, he got a head injury and would have been massively frustrated at that moment thinking that he was ok to continue but that the medical team knew better.

        • tbh I didn’t make a big deal to Sakho’s reaction either; I’m just pointing out that and we’ll frequently see reactions similar to Sturridge’s, while the reaction of Sakho was far worse (as he was putting himself above the team).

          Yet somehow Sturridge is being highlighted again in a negative light, for whatever reason, as if he is the first player to be disappointed at being subbed every game

  6. Firmino has a minor injury (bruising). I’d put Lallana at the tip of the diamond for the 2nd option.

    Lallana, Allen, Coutinho, Can – all excellent at pressing. Intelligent, aggressive, tenacious. Not the biggest group of lads (save Can), but a real swarm of hornets.

    Let the two up top alternate playing on the shoulder, scare the hell out of the defense. Let’s see who can put in the sweetest though ball.

    • Hey dude, seems like we, against all “prevailing wisdom”, have been proven right about Lallana. In fact, we’re always right – brothers in arms!

      • The quality was always there, but the circumstances were not. Lallana is not the kind of player who can single-handedly change games (on a regular basis, at least). But if you put him with a top drawer attacker, someone he can play off, Lallana has a very high ceiling.

        The same goes for many of our players – Coutinho, Henderson, Allen, etc. Coutinho is a perfect example. Put him in the Barca or Madrid side and he would immediately fit in comfortably. But that doesn’t mean he can win games alone (lovely goal against the Mancs, completely ruining my point).

        People give Sturridge a lot of grief, but his presence unlocks so many other players. Luckily, we have Origi and Firmino also starting to cause problems up top, so we can expect to see a lot more from the midfielders that everyone was so quick to rubbish.

        That said, all hail Klopp for getting the requisite aggression out of players like Lallana and Allen. Quite a manager we’ve got on our hands.

        And he’s making those of us that kept the faith with the players look good!

  7. The first line-up for me, definitely. With Milner and Moreno unavailable, and Sturridge looking like he needs a break, it makes perfect sense. I like seeing Flanno on the left, it reminds me of the 2013/14. He won’t be making many bursts forward, but it’s probably for the best, since he’d be sharing the flank with Coutinho, who can’t honestly be expected to cover for him properly. But overall, the same general approach as in these last few games. No point in changing a successful concept.

  8. If i was in Sturridge shoes, i would send in a transfer request,why would i want to play for a club when 98% of the fans don’t want me here,there is nothing else he can do win over the fans even if he scores in every match, as soon as he gets another injury its start all over again.

        • Yeah that’s fine by me,atleast a player will represent us with hart!!would also be nice to see you go aswell!since you’re only a sturridge fc supporter and not a real liverpool fan!

    • wow 98% seems like a big number. Only in here is see people giving a hardd time to studge and we still want him to stay. Do you talk to LFC fans outside of net?

      • Even out here it’s not 98%…talk about hyperbole..yes he got a hard time of late for sulking a bit at the substitution but I haven’t given up on him just for that personally.

        • Yes. Everything is getting blown out of proportions now. I believe Klopp is trying to build a team where we dont have to depennd on individuals to succeed. Now we have Origi if and when Studge is out. Which is perfect. But yeah Studge all day

        • Mate we both rate Studge. But the difference is you cant see no fault in him. Every player should get lashed at. Even Gerrard was given a hard time. Doesnt mean we dont support them

          • My point is, in his time of needs when he was injured very few send support his way, that’s all I am saying.

    • The last time we played the Saints, they both put in incredible assists.

      Seems like not to many people remember that we ripped them apart, scoring 6 goals in one of our best performances.

      • It’s not that I don’t remember it…I just don’t think those kind of performances are repeated in general…they’ll be set up differently for this match I’m sure.

      • It’s easily forgotten that for the first 20 minutes Southampton played us off the park, the two goals from Sturridge were definite game changers, it might have been very different if Southampton had got the second goal. I’ll take a scrappy one nil or two one today…

  9. 4-2-3-1 with Sturridge on top. Cou-Firmino-Lallana the 3 Advanced Midfielders. Can and Henderson to mop up (Joe Allen is just a good substitute and I think thats easy for him as well). Flanno-Sakho-Lovren-Clyne at back.

    Note : Clyne had a bad game against united. What an opportunity to correct that at St.Mary’s and show them what they are missing this season.
    Clyne has been our best buy so far this season. And hope he puts in a great shift again.

    • Hendo is showing glimpses of form again and atleast is making thos intelligent runs. Forget those glaring misses but he is getting chances. If he is just sick and is back to shape for tomorrow. Please play him..Hendo in top form will be much crucial for the final 9 games.

  10. I’d love it if we could play the same team we did the last time we played them but then that’s just wishful thinking on my part since no 2 games are the same. With that being said, I think we looked great in that 4-4-2 diamond formation. Can and Allen in B2B were great to see.

    Back to 4-2-3-1 I guess…start off with Origi up front, the usual 3 behind them (L-F-C).

  11. I’m a little skeptical about Allen in the starting XI, I think he’s done great lately but I feel he needs two physically strong midfielders behind him to play his game. I’m afraid he’ll be outmuscled against soton, but with Milner suspended, Lucas injured, and Henderson sick we don’t have a lot of options left. But I’m sure Klopp will figure it out! :)

    • YouTube this: JA vs Southampton (A) 15-16

      Absolutely bosses the game. Relive THAT pass to Sturridge. If you were to make the top 5 passes this season, Allen would have at least two or three in there. And that was one of them (the assist to Ibe has to be another contender).

  12. Firmino injured! FFS.


  13. How and where did Benteke get his hands on a Firmino voodoo doll and when did he start sticking pins in it???

    Well surely this now moves him up the pick list…that is until Origi starts ahead of him enough times before Firmino returns to fitness.

    The big man can’t catch a break…or a proper voodoo doll.

  14. I tell you what, I saw that diamond formation and was all, “Wahhhh!?!!” That’d be something to watch!

    • The one with Studge, Origi, Firms and Coutinho? Indeed, very attacking and could be very productive. It could come at the expense of some midfield control, but heck, what have we to lose?

      Alas, Firmino is injured.

  15. So, given that Milner is suspended and Firmino is now injured, I think the likelihood of Origi starting with Sturridge is indeed very high. We’ve been playing traditional 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 for the last few matches so wouldn’t surprise me to see the same formation with Origi in place of Firmino. 4-4-2 diamond also sounds tantalizing, especially considering what we did to them last time around with that formation, but I think Lucas was in defense at that time and the Allen/Can duo was the ideal one to watch. Doubt Couts or Lallana would have the same effect as a box-to-box MF.

      • Him and Firmino just don’t make a great combo sadly…I wonder if that can change in the future..they don’t seem to compliment one another too well IMO. Origi and Sturridge just sounds a lot better.

        • Maybe with a good pre season. But it will also help if Studge was less of a selfish git.

          He plays for himself rather than the team.

          • But isn’t it a little interesting how he generally seems to link up with all other players with greater ease? Maybe it’s just his post-injury form here that’s playing a factor as well.

          • Origi? Yes, he links well with everyone else. I feel that that has to do with his versatility (different positions) and speed (suited to our style). Plus the fact that he looks out for the team and his general positive attitude – he doesn’t let his head hang down when things don’t go his way.

            Maybe it’s because of his youth. But if you think about, these qualities are expected of more mature players rather than young ones.

            I see the exact same qualities in Ings and Firmino. In that regard, we are blessed because we have at least 3 players in our forward line with the right mental attitude which can take us far.

          • I’d start Big Ben, maybe with Origi but certainly it’s time to give him another start.

  16. This team would do for me

    Origi to play lone striker for 60+ mins then sub in Studge / Big Ben.
    Hope Sakho & Lovren maintain a good run to build understanding and trust in prep for the Dortmund games and beyond.

    Lot of folks on hoping we play the diamond, but I believe Klopp prefers a 4321 or 433.

  17. Interesting news about Hendo – now being widely reported and Klopp quoted so must be something there. Surprise though that he’d actively want to go to Spurs. Understand lure of London and all that but he’s captain of one of the world’s great clubs.

    • Wait Klopp quoted? What did he say? And I thought the reports said that Klopp wanted to let Hendo go, not the other way around.

      • He responded saying he doesn’t want anyone who doesn’t want to be here. Stuff definitely going on behind the scenes. Would prefer to keep but to go forward I suspect we need an upgrade on Hendo in our best 11.

        • Yeah just read the quotes. Doesn’t seem like he’s even hinting it. So tough to tell if this has any wheels behind it really.

  18. With regards to the Hendo rumors, here’s what Klopp had to say on the matter. Taken from Daily Mail, so here’s hoping atleast their quotes are accurate.

    ‘Everything is OK in this moment but nobody in the world, maybe only (Lionel) Messi, is unsellable,’ said Klopp. ‘There is always a situation. I come from a club where always the best players are picked by other teams and at the end, you have to accept a few things and always need to have a Plan B or C.

    ‘I am pretty sure it is only a rumour (Tottenham) but if not and if a player – let’s not say Hendo but any player – comes to me and says he doesn’t feel comfortable and wants to leave, style of play, more money, then you always have to start thinking. That’s all I can say on this.’

    Doesn’t sound bad to me at all. All he seems to be saying is whoever wants to leave the team is free to do so for the right price.

    • first of all i don’t think hendo is going to leave.
      second of all even though klopp will not stop players form leaving, liverpool will not sell to a rival, at least not without at huge fee.
      third of all everybody wants to be part of klopp revolution. If they leave is because he doesn’t want them, not the other way around.

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