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

Chelsea in good shape for PSG

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is likely to have a strong squad to select from for their Champions League game with Paris Saint-Germain.

'Let's throw some punches'

New Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood says he is planning to install a more attacking approach at the club.

LVG: We must sign a midfielder

Louis van Gaal has confirmed that Manchester United will attempt to sign a creative midfield player this summer.

Live transfer updates

Live transfer news as Louis van Gaal makes the signing a creative midfielder his top priority this summer.

Bony trains with new team-mates

Wilfried Bony has trained with Man City for the first time after winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast.

Features

Tim Sherwood's to-do list: Five things the new Aston Villa manager must make a priority if he is to succeed

Tim Sherwood's to-do list: Five things the new Aston Villa manager must make a priority if he is to succeed

As Tim Sherwood settles into his first day at work as Aston Villa manager, the challenge of keeping the Premier League perennials in the top flight begins.

Pogba? Verratti? Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal wants a creative midfielder but who should he sign?

Pogba? Verratti? Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal wants a creative midfielder but who should he sign?

Only a fortnight after the transfer window closed, Louis van Gaal has set tongues wagging again by admitting that Manchester United need to sign a creative midfielder.

Xabi Alonso impressing at Bayern Munich under Pep Guardiola and eyeing a third Champions League medal

Xabi Alonso impressing at Bayern Munich under Pep Guardiola and eyeing a third Champions League medal

Adam Bate looks at Xabi Alonso's fine form with Bayern Munich and why he can make history this season.