England Premier League 20:00
Monday’s pick of the day comes from St. Mary’s as Southampton host Liverpool in a mouthwatering Monday Night Football clash. Both sides will be going into 2020 full of confidence, after strong starts to the season carried through the festive period, and hopefully into the new year.
The Saints were the people’s favourite during the early weeks of the season, and even spent some time at the top of the table for the first time in 32 years at the start of November. A slight dip in momentum has seen them winless in 4, and with just 2 wins in their last 8. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side are one of several on 26 points from their opening 16 games, and currently sit in 9th.
Their visitors tonight sit just 7 points, but 8 places above Southampton at the top of the league. Liverpool are level on points with Manchester United, but sit above their old rivals on superior goal difference. The champions are unbeaten since their defeat to Aston Villa in October — that’s 12 games — however several draws during that unbeaten run (6 out of 12) have meant they haven’t been able to fully pull away from the pack over the festive period.
Liverpool have won the last 6 meetings between the two sides, and the 2 draws that preceded that run mean that the Saints haven’t won against Liverpool since March 2016. Hasenhuttl will be hopeful of ending that run tonight by keeping all 3 points at St. Mary’s.
Southampton’s results have somewhat leveled off after a superb start to the season saw them grace the top of the table following their 2–0 win against Newcastle in November. They have won just twice since then, and haven’t scored in their last 3 games. With 25 goals from an xG of just 15.9, the Saints were undoubtedly overachieving to some extent.
Their xG/90 of just 1.00 is the 7th worst in the league, and despite the early season momentum, recent performances have seen the results match the xG more accurately. They are without a goal in their last 3 games, and have recorded a total xG over those 3 games of just 1.7 (0.57 per 90).
Liverpool’s 37 goals is the highest in the league, and their xG of 32.00 also leads the way. On their travels, they are averaging exactly 2 goals per game from an xG/90 of 1.84, whilst conceding an average of 1.5 goals from an xGA/90 of 1.52.
Up until last weeks 0–0 draw with Newcastle, Jurgen Klopp’s side had scored in every league game this season both home and away, whilst also bagging 2+ goals in 11 of their 16 games. Their historical dominance in this fixture has seen them score 2+ goals in each of the last 6 meetings with Southampton.
Whilst recent fixture congestion has caused Klopp’s men some problems against the likes of Newcastle and West Brom, they have more than shown their ability to put teams to the sword with dominant performances — just ask Roy Hodgson and Crystal Palace.
Klopp’s side will be depserate to get back into the clinical form we have become so accustomed to, and after 3 recent draws against Fulham, West Brom and — as mentioned above — Newcastle, they will be depserate to send out a message to their rivals.
Medium Risk Tip — LIVERPOOL OVER 1.5 TEAM GOALS @1.57 [4/7]: Klopp’s men drew a blank last week and will be desperate to re-establish themselves as the dominant force in the league. You would expect them to dominate the game despite being away from home. With 2+ goals in over half of their games this season, and 2+ goals in each of their last 6 games with Southampton, they look good odds to grab at least two again tonight.
Higher Risk Tip — LIVERPOOL TO WIN & OVER 2.5 GOALS @2.30 [13/10]: The last 4 games between these two have produced this result, and both sides are averaging over 2.5 total match goals per game. With both teams high on confidence, the game is likely to be an open and exciting one. Southampton will fancy themselves to grab a goal or two at home, and Liverpool will be deadly on the counter when Southampton come onto them.
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