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

FA Cup live

Live updates on Rochdale v Stoke, reaction to the fifth-round draw and all the latest breaking news in our rolling blog.

Live transfer updates

Get all the latest news and gossip, with Danny Ings set to stay at Burnley and Arsenal's deal for Gabriel Paulista edging closer.

FA Cup fifth-round draw

Bradford’s reward for knocking Chelsea out of the FA Cup is a fifth-round showdown with either Sunderland or Fulham.

Live: Rochdale v Stoke

Follow our live text commentary of Rochdale's clash with Stoke in the FA Cup fourth round.

Gabriel granted work permit

Arsenal's deal for Villarreal defender Gabriel has moved a step closer after the Brazilian was granted a work permit.

Features

Capital One Cup: Will the semi-final be a catalyst for Jose Mourinho's Chelsea or Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool?

Capital One Cup: Will the semi-final be a catalyst for Jose Mourinho's Chelsea or Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool?

With the tie between Chelsea and Liverpool in the balance after a 1-1 draw in the first leg at Anfield, Adam Bate looks at why Jose Mourinho and Brendan Rodgers won't underestimate the importance of Tuesday's Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge...

Arsenal transfer target Gabriel Paulista: We profile Villarreal’s Brazilian defender

Arsenal transfer target Gabriel Paulista: We profile Villarreal’s Brazilian defender

Arsenal are in talks with Villarreal over a deal for defender Gabriel Paulista, but who exactly is the much talked-about Brazilian?