We're all caught up at this point with Liverpool and West Ham playing their game in hand last night.
With 14 games remaining, things are starting to get serious for everyone. Title challenges, top 4 battles, and relegation scraps are all well underway and it's crunch time.
On Saturday, Liverpool face off against Southampton at Anfield in an attempt to go 22 points clear of Manchester City before their game against Tottenham on Sunday.
Within this post, you'll find a recent form guide for both teams, pre-match analysis of squad injuries and strategies, alongside a match prediction and some betting tips.
Liverpool are currently sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League with 70 points, now 19 points clear of Manchester City in 2nd place. They remain the only undefeated Premier League team so far this season.
Liverpool have scored 56 goals in their 24 league games this season, an average of 2.33 goals per game. Defensively, they've conceded just 15 times over the same period, an average of 0.63 goals per game.
In their previous 5 league games, Liverpool won all 5.
Southampton are currently in 9th place in the Premier League table on 31 points. This puts them just 3 points behind 5th placed Manchester United with a lot of congestion with teams in this area of the table.
Southampton have scored 31 times so far in the league this season, an average of 1.29 goals per game. Defensively, they've conceded 42 times, an average of 1.75 goals per game. This is somewhat surprising considering they're doing quite well at the moment.
In their previous 5 league games, Southampton won 3, drew 1, and lost 1.
Head to Head
In the previous 10 meetings between the clubs, Liverpool won 5, Southampton won 3, and there were 2 draws. It's worth noting, however, that Liverpool won the previous 5.
Following their victory over West Ham on Wednesday, Liverpool have now played the same number of games as everyone else. At this stage, they're 19 points clear and are almost certain to be crowned champions.
Of course, there is no room for complacency but Klopp's side have shown no evidence of that so far anyway. As a bonus to this, there are also other records to be broken. Manchester City's record 100 points is well within Liverpool's sights and so is Arsenal's invincibles tag.
Liverpool will look to dominate possession here and, as Southampton concede more than they score, they'll be expecting to put at least a couple past them. Clean sheets have seemingly been easier to come by, too, and that's a record that Alisson and the defence will want to keep going if possible.
On the injury front, Origi may be a doubt as he came off with what appeared to be a little muscular issue against West Ham. That could pave the way for a starting place for Minamino in the front three. Milner, Lallana, and Shaqiri have a chance to return here but are likely to be on the bench at best. Mane misses out here but the good news is that he'll be back just after the winter break.
Strategically, Liverpool need to just do what they've done all season. Play to their strengths and be patient. If Southampton decide to give it a real go, there will be opportunities to catch them on the counter-attack.
Southampton are having a really good spell of form at the moment and that's majorly down to the clinical nature of Ings in recent weeks. The ex Liverpool forward will be keen to score on his return to Anfield and the likes of van Dijk and Gomez will be trying to make sure that doesn't happen.
Strategically, Southampton need to find a balance in this game. They will expect to be under pressure from Liverpool for large parts of the proceedings, but they can't afford to just sit back and hope because Liverpool tend to find a way to make something happen with that approach.
Likewise, committing too many players forward could cause major issues with the Liverpool counter-attack. Southampton need to find some way to keep the ball and, when they do, need to avoid wasteful passes. Getting the ball to Ings whenever possible is likely the best route to a positive result.
Southampton are no pushovers right now but the momentum is certainly with Liverpool at the moment.
With home advantage, a chance to go 22 points clear ahead of Manchester City's difficult game on Sunday, and the fact that the players can give their all, knowing that there is a break after this game leads me to think Liverpool could win this one comfortably.
- Over 2.5 goals at odds of 1.6 or above is of interest.