Premier League preview: Southampton v Liverpool
By Football News
Liverpool travel to Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday with a win pivotal for both sides.
Liverpool have won their past four in all competitions, a period in which their lethal leading scorer Luis Suarez has scored seven times.
And, following their last-gasp win over Tottenham at Anfield on Sunday, Brendan Rodgers' side are back in the hunt for a Champions League place.
The three points lifted them to within seven of Chelsea in fourth, and while everything would have to go right, they remain in with a fighting chance.
The Reds interchangeable front line will pose problems for Southampton's suspect defence but Saints will be playing at home, where they defeated Manchester City 3-1 just a month ago.
In fact, Southampton have taken it up to a number of the bigger clubs this season with their expansive play and are a potential banana peel for in-form Liverpool.
Last week's 0-0 draw with Norwich was another tale of missed opportunities for Southampton, who, despite their impressive season, are languishing three points above the drop zone following wins for relegation rivals Aston Villa and QPR on Saturday.
Nigel Adkins supporters will point to a run of only two losses in 12 games before he was sacked, and just one win for new boss Mauricio Pochettino, albeit against champions Manchester City, as evidence the decision was unjust and ill-timed.
Artur Boruc, the villain early in the season after throwing a bottle into the crowd at St Mary's, turned hero on Saturday with a brilliant save from Grant Holt's penalty to deny Norwich a stoppage-time win.
But Southampton must start turning good performances into points, before the Premier League becomes a distant memory.
Liverpool will be sweating on the availability of injured goalkeeper Pepe Reina for the clash after he missed against Spurs.
Meanwhile, Saints have a relatively fit squad to choose from with Steve Davis (illness) a doubt and reserve left-back Danny Fox (hip/thigh) close to contention.