After an underwhelming performance against the hosts Newcastle United Fc, Liverpool Fc (The Reds) will play their first Match of 2021 against the hosts Southampton Fc (The Saints) in the Premier League.
Date: 04 January 2020 (Monday) ; Time: 8:00 p.m (BST) kick-off ; Venue: Southampton, England.
Since sustaining a knee injury during the Match against the hosts Everton Fc, Thiago Alcântara made his return to the side during the Second Half of the Newcastle United Fc Away Clash.
With the Spaniard back in the side, the Reds have now so many midfield options to rely upon for the Saints Away Clash and this is a welcome headache for Jürgen Klopp.
However, either Rhys Williams or Nathaniel Phillips could line up alongside the Makeshift Defender Fabinho in the heart of the defence.
The Saints have lost all their games against the Reds since drawing at Anfield on May 2017 (Premier League 2016-17 Season).
Yet, the Reds away record has not been good this Season as they won just twice so far.
Moreover after hammering the hosts Crystal Palace 0-7, the Reds Front Three (Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah) has lost a bit of their attacking swagger and were relatively under par for their standards, since then.
Reds Team Injuries and Suspensions: Joël Matip will be out of action for around 3 weeks after sustaining an adductor strain during the West Bromwich Albion Match. The Reds are once again left with no recognized Senior Centre Back Players in the side.
Due to a muscle related issue, Naby Keïta is currently sidelined for an indeterminate period.
Both Diogo Jota and Konstantinos Tsimikas are ruled out after injuring their knees during the Second Half of the FC Midtjylland Away Clash.
The Duo faces lengthy absences as they are expected to return around the second week of February 2021.
Joe Gomez and Virgil Van Dijk remains sidelined for the foreseeable future after undergoing successful surgeries on their injured knees. The good news though is Van Dijk has stepped up his rehabilitation.
No timescale has been set for the return of the Defensive Duo.
Verdict: Despite Klopp’s faith in Curtis Jones, the inexperienced youngster has shown his ineffectiveness particularly against defensive minded sides like the games against the visitors West Bromwich Albion Fc and the hosts Newcastle United Fc.
Unlike the Reds previous 2 opponents; the Saints under Ralph Hasenhüttl are known to press. So, the Reds will have a great chance to win but only if their defence holds up.
The next few weeks can be prove to be decisive for the Reds bid to win Back-to-Back Premier League Titles. As such, the Reds simply cannot afford to waste goal scoring opportunities or drop points.
Instead of persisting with inexperienced youth and ineffective players; Klopp must stick to the winning formula that works well with the squad, even if it that comes at the expense of upsetting a few.
As Sir. Kenneth Daglish had rightly said “No one individual is bigger than this Club”.
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