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10 key things to know ahead of Southampton vs. Liverpool

Liverpool head to Saint Mary’s looking to bounce back from the disappointment of missing out on a top-four finish for the first time in seven years.

Southampton vs. Liverpool

Premier League (38) | Saint Mary’s
May 28, 2023 | 4.30pm (BST)


Liverpool’s 2022/23 comes to a close this weekend as Southampton play hosts for the final game of the season.

The Reds picked up seven consecutive wins before being stopped in their tracks by a 1-1 draw at home to Aston Villa, with hopes of a Champions League finish finally dashed by Man United‘s 4-1 victory over Chelsea.

It leaves both sides with little more than pride at stake on the final day, with Southampton‘s relegation to the Championship having been confirmed two weeks prior.

Here are 10 things you need to know ahead of Southampton vs. Liverpool.

 

1. New fitness concerns

Jurgen Klopp indicated in his pre-Southampton press conference that both Andy Robertson and Ibrahima Konate are doubts for the clash.

The manager hinted that he may look to “make changes” in what is effectively a dead rubber for both sides, after telling the media that Robertson “felt something in his groin” in training and that Konate has picked up an illness.

 

2. Another managerial change for the hosts

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 12, 2023: Southampton's manager Rubén Sellés during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United and Southampton FC at Old Trafford. The game ended in a goal-less draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Southampton confirmed earlier this week that the club will part ways with current boss Ruben Selles after Liverpool’s visit.

The Spanish coach will become the third Saints manager to be removed from the post this season, after Ralph Hasenhuttl and Nathan Jones’ spells were both cut short earlier in the campaign.

It means Sunday’s showdown will be Selles’ last game as Southampton manager, with the club already looking ahead to competing in the Championship in 2023/24.

 

3. One last set of goodbyes

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 20, 2023: Liverpool's James Milner applauds the supporters after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In what has felt at times like a farewell tour for Roberto Firmino, Sunday’s fixture will represent the last opportunity for the Brazilian to pull on a Liverpool shirt.

James Milner will also hope to be involved for the last time at Saint Mary’s, with both players coming off the bench for a final Anfield appearance last weekend.

Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will also depart at the end of the season, but neither are expected to feature against Southampton.

 

4. A rare green kit outing

LONDON, ENGLAND - Monday, January 2, 2023: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk reacts after missing a chance during the FA Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC at the Brentford Community Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Much has been made about Liverpool’s struggles while wearing their divisive white away kit, with the much more popular third kit option often overlooked.

Southampton‘s red and white strip will mean that the green shirt will get one last showing against the Saints to pick up what will hopefully be a comfortable three points.

 

5. Saints’ standouts

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 12, 2023: Southampton's James Ward-Prowse during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United and Southampton FC at Old Trafford. The game ended in a goal-less draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It has been an unquestionably miserable campaign for Southampton, who sit bottom of the table having collected just 24 points all season, but there have been a couple of shining lights.

Both James Ward-Prowse and Che Adams have notched 10 goals in all competitions, picking up five and three assists respectively.

It is difficult to envisage either player remaining at the club next season and there will undoubtedly be one or two top-flight clubs circling the pair.

 

6. Mo to pass Gerrard?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 20, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

By recent standards, Mohamed Salah‘s two games without getting on the scoresheet could almost be described as a mini-duck.

The Egyptian tied club legend Steven Gerrard on 186 goals with his winner at home to Brentford to place himself in joint fifth position on Liverpool’s all-time goalscorers list.

He will undoubtedly view Southampton as a perfect opportunity to boost his tally as he looks to overtake the former Liverpool skipper.

 

7. A return for Nunez?

LEEDS, ENGLAND - Monday, April 17, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (L) celebrates with goal-scorer Darwin Núñez after the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. Liverpool won 6-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After falling down the attacking pecking order and picking up a toe injury, Darwin Nunez could be in line for a return to the side.

The manager confirmed while previewing the game that the Uruguayan trained “fully” on Thursday and will be available for selection in the curtain-closer.

Expect him among the subs for this one.

 

8. Worst season under Klopp?

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (left) and Trent Alexander-Arnold appear dejected during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Thursday January 21, 2021. (Clive Brunskill/PA Wire/PA Images)

Plenty of parallels have been drawn between this season and the 2020/21 campaign, in the sense that the Reds have fallen below expectations and lacked consistency but finished strongly.

Failure to win would see Liverpool end 2022/23 with fewer points than they amassed two years ago, but three points would match that total of 69.

It means that the Reds can only tie their previous lowest total in a full season under Klopp and anything below that would effectively be the worst Premier League season of the German’s era.

 

9. England in charge

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 13, 2022: Referee Darren England during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Leicester City FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Darren England will be the man in the middle on Sunday afternoon in what will be his third Liverpool fixture of the season.

The Reds have failed to win the two previous encounters away at Brighton and Crystal Palace but will be hoping to buck that trend this weekend.

England will be assisted by Dan Cook and Samuel Lewis on the sidelines, while Klopp’s favourite referee Craig Pawson takes charge of the VAR.

 

10. End the season with us!

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Monday, January 4, 2021: A general view of Southampton's St Mary's Stadium before the FA Premier League match between Southampton FC and Liverpool FC. (Pic by Propaganda)

As always, we will be on hand to provide updates and give biased takes on proceedings at Saint Mary’s as the season reaches its conclusion.

The game will not be shown live in the UK due to the relegation battle, which we will also be keeping an eye on, being shown live on Sky Sports.

Our matchday live blog will be available on our website from 3.45pm (BST), feel free to come and get involved!