Southampton return to St Mary's for the first time since their 9-0 horror show against Leicester in search for their maiden home win of the season.

Ralph Hasenhuttl: 'Southampton have big opportunity to beat Everton'

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  • 2019-11-09 01:10:23 4 months ago
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Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has conceded his side have a huge point to prove as they prepare to return to the scene of their recent humiliation on Saturday.

Saints face Everton in their first game back at St Mary's since their 9-0 horror show against Leicester last month, but steeled by two strong subsequent performances at Manchester City.

Those results have given Hasenhuttl plenty of optimism that they can make the most of the pressure currently afflicting their opponents and seal an overdue first home win of the season.

Hasenhuttl said at a press conference: "After the last home game we want to show that we can do it better.

"This is a big opportunity for us to win, because we have to win. Everybody knows this and the players are very focused.

"We had a very intense game in the last Premier League game against Manchester City. We were close to taking something there and the performance was much better."

Hasenhuttl expects to have a full squad to choose from with the exception of defender Ryan Bertrand, who serves the last game of a three-match ban following his sending-off early in the Foxes fixture.

And he is hopeful winger Moussa Djenepo could figure after he recently made a successful return from a muscle injury.

Hasenhuttl added: "Moussa is one of the only guys who has scored important goals for us so far, so he's a big option for the weekend.

"He gives our a game a new part, which we've missed. He can be a boost for us."

Victory could dramatically change Saints' outlook ahead of the Christmas period, as well as pulling them level on points with opponents who are still searching for their first away win.

"I think they (Everton) know about the importance of the game," added Hasenhuttl. "They have quality up front with Richarlison and a few other guys. It's the Premier League – it's always a tough game."

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Ralph Hasenhuttl: 'Southampton have big opportunity to beat Everton'

How Liverpool could line up against Manchester City

Liverpool welcome Manchester City to Anfield in the Premier League on Sunday for what is without doubt their biggest game of the season so far.

A win for the Reds, who have not lost a league game at Anfield since April 2017, would take them nine points ahead of the current champions in the table.

Pep Guardiola's side head into the game knowing that victory in Merseyside - something that City have not done in the league since 2003 - would represent a massive psychological boost in the title race.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how Jurgen Klopp's side could line up for this fixture.


POSSIBLE LIV XI v MNC (2)

Out: Nathaniel Clyne (knee), Xherdan Shaqiri (calf), Joel Matip (knee)
Doubtful: Jordan Henderson (illness)

> Click here to view Liverpool's full list of injuries and suspensions ahead of the game.

After receiving a rest during Liverpool's win over Genk on Tuesday, Andrew Robertson will certainly come back into the starting XI to play a key shaping role in Liverpool's attacks.

Over on the other side, of course, will be Trent Alexander-Arnold, whose partnership with Robertson has become arguably the most successful full back duopoly in football at this moment in time, with the pair's collective aggression and capacity to cover ground playing an informative role in how attacks unfold for Klopp's team.

The Liverpool boss must make a decision between Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez over who partners with Virgil van Dijk. Both have different traits: the former has experience and muscle while the other brings mobility and composure.

In a game that will be played largely on the ground - and at remarkable speed - it seems likely that Gomez gets the nod over the Croat.

Klopp will know that the key to winning this game, as he has shown before, is through dominating the midfield, by denying City any platform from which to dictate the pace of the game.

This is why Fabinho at the base of midfield will be considered imperative given the Brazilian's excellent form this season and, more specifically, his impressive capacity to recover possession quickly.

Further forward, captain Henderson will almost certainly come back from an illness to figure as the heart of Liverpool's engine room alongside Georginio Wijnaldum. Although Klopp may be tempted to use Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the aforementioned trio makes up Liverpool's strongest possible midfield.

To state the obvious, the front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah picks itself. Should they truly hit their straps on Sunday, City, as they have done before, may well struggle to cope with the sheer pace of their movement and end up leaking goals.

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How Manchester City could line up against Liverpool

Manchester City travel to Anfield for a Premier League meeting with Liverpool on Sunday in what promises to be the biggest challenge of the season for Pep Guardiola's men.

Defeat in Merseyside would leave the champions nine points behind Jurgen Klopp's side in the table, while a victory would take them to within three points and also lay down an important psychological marker in the title race.

The Citizens head into this game with a poor record at Anfield, with the club's last away win over Liverpool in the league coming in 2003.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how Guardiola could line up for this crucial fixture.


POSSIBLE MNCXI v LIV (2)

Out: Leroy Sane (knee), Oleksandr Zinchenko (knee), Rodri Hernandez (knee), Aymeric Laporte (knee), David Silva (thigh), Ederson (muscle)
Doubtful: None

> Click here to view City's full list of injuries and suspensions ahead of the game.

Guardiola confirmed on Friday that the muscle injury sustained by Ederson in Atalanta had ruled him out of the trip to Anfield, meaning that second-choice keeper Claudio Bravo - sent off during the week - will wear the gloves on Sunday.

Fernandinho is almost guaranteed to start in central defence, with the Brazilian's excellent radar and composure with the ball giving City extra poise at the back, but it remains unclear as to who will partner him.

John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi were used alternately against Southampton and Atalanta respectively, meaning that Guardiola has a tough decision to make - one that will end in favour of the Argentine, if only because he is less likely to produce a defensive mistake in the white hot Anfield cauldron.

Following his heroics in goal on Wednesday night, Kyle Walker will be pleased to return to his more familiar position of right-back, while Benjamin Mendy looks likely to feature on the other side in light of a strong performance against Atalanta.

The role of Ilkay Gundogan, just like the role of opposite number Fabinho, will be crucial for when it comes to exerting control over the game. Klopp will be mindful of the fact that the German has struggled at Anfield in the past.

Completing the midfield will be the potentially lethal duo of Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva, both of whom are capable of pinning Liverpool in their own half. They will be expected to find space and calm in what promises to be a tight and furious midfield battle.

Having missed a penalty in the same fixture last season, Riyad Mahrez will be determined to stamp his authority on this game along with former Liverpool player Raheem Sterling, who is in excellent form this term, scoring 13 goals in all competitions for his club.

Up front, Guardiola looks likely to continue his policy of alternating between Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero, the club's all time top goalscorer and their primary goal threat. The latter has never scored a goal at Anfield; the game on Sunday would represent a brilliant moment to break his duck.

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