Blogs & Opinion


David Jones:

Most Popular Posts:

Southampton v Liverpool: Similar styles proving successful, says David Jones

David Jones - David Jones Posted 27th February 2014 view comments

There are striking similarities between Southampton and Liverpool: two of the most exciting teams in the Premier League who meet on Saturday both still with lofty ambitions intact.

While Southampton are eyeing a top six finish, Liverpool sit just four points off the summit; just reward for the scintillating football both teams favour which has captured the imagination of so many neutral observers.

Blocked: Southampton one of the few teams to shutout Liverpool this season

Blocked: Southampton one of the few teams to shutout Liverpool this season

Both are led by hugely ambitious and still young men: Brendan Rodgers, the affable Irishman with a ruthless streak who demands his team play with panache; and Mauricio Pochettino, who inspires great dedication from his young team, won over by his passion and intelligence.

Both base their game on unsettling opponents with the speed and ferocity out of possession, winning the ball back high up the pitch and breaking in numbers at lightning speed.

Both teams are flush with English talent. This must be Roy Hodgson's favourite fixture.

David Jones
Quotes of the week

This was best demonstrated by Southampton at Anfield way back in September and they remain the only team to win there; only once since then have Liverpool failed to score.

Both teams are also flush with English talent: six of the two teams' starting XIs last week are available to Roy Hodgson for whom this must be his favourite fixture.

The stats are interesting, too.

While Southampton average slightly more possession - 58% to Liverpool's 53% - Liverpool have slightly more shots on goal - 17 per game compared to the Saints 14. Barely anything in it.

But they both average 24 throw-ins, six corners, Liverpool make one more tackle per game - 22 to 21 - and they've conceded roughly the same amount of goals.

Goals

The one major difference is going forward, where Liverpool leave their South Coast rivals - and most of the Premier League - trailing in their wake.

Rodgers side are the league's top scorers with 70 so far: just one short of their total for last season, and already 23 more than in 2011-12 with Kenny Dalglish at the helm.

Staggeringly 46 of those goals have come in the first half of games which is already a Premier League record.

Of course Southampton don't possess two players as devastating as Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez, who've scored more goals than the Saints between them: 41 and counting.

Though it's worth remembering that Sturridge cost Liverpool less than Southampton paid for Dani Osvaldo, whose stay at St Mary's was startlingly short.

The SAS are Europe's most dangerous strike partnership this season - only Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema at Real Madrid get close - and worryingly for the rest there could be more to come.

While Sturridge has scored in Liverpool's last eight games, Suarez has hit his longest barren spell of the season.

It's four games since he found the net and, even more worrying for his next opponents, there remains only one Premier League side he hasn't scored against ... Southampton.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

Merson's predictions

Paul predicts wins for Chelsea, Man City, West Ham and QPR and a pair of draws on Super Sunday.

Man City v Crystal Palace live

Follow our live text commentary from the Barclays Premier League clash between Manchester City and Crystal Palace.

Wenger: How I signed Sanchez

Arsene Wenger says it was Arsenal's consistency and style of play that convinced Alexis Sanchez to choose London over Liverpool.

Live transfer updates

Follow our live blog for the latest on the futures of Diego Godin, Ravel Morrison, Ron Vlaar and Fabian Delph.

Saturday football live

Get team news, score updates, video and analysis from the Premier League and beyond all day.

Features

Tyne-Wear Derby: Ex-Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback is now a Newcastle favourite following his summer move

Tyne-Wear Derby: Ex-Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback is now a Newcastle favourite following his summer move

Former Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback has quickly won over the Newcastle fans and could be a key figure in the Tyne-Wear derby, writes Adam Bate...

Premier League questions: Can Brendan Rodgers silence his critics? And will Villa Park be Man Utd's haven again?

Premier League questions: Can Brendan Rodgers silence his critics? And will Villa Park be Man Utd's haven again?

With another huge weekend of Premier League football ahead of us, we ponder 10 questions that will be answered by Monday evening...

Five classics

Five classics

Liverpool v Arsenal is a fixture steeped in history and with the pressure on both bosses ahead of their Super Sunday clash, this weekend’s meeting could be another one to remember.