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|Match Result and Both Teams to Score
Southampton have been poor of late and the Reds should be able to win by two goals or more without too much difficulty.
Back Liverpool with a -1.5 handicap (+105)
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At half-time of Manchester City’s meeting with West Ham United on Sunday, Liverpool must have been feeling very happy indeed. A brace from Jarrod Bowen gave the Hammers a 2-0 lead at the interval. If it had stayed that way, Liverpool would be just three points behind City going into the final week of the season.
In that scenario, a win against Southampton on Tuesday would see Jurgen Klopp’s side go level – and perhaps even ahead on goal difference – with the reigning champions.
Alas, it was not to be. City came out strong in the second period. Jack Grealish halved the deficit with a deflected strike less than four minutes after the restart, and a Vladimir Coufal own goal levelled the scores not long after. City could easily have won the game, but Riyad Mahrez saw his penalty comfortably saved by Lukasz Fabianski.
Liverpool are now in the realm of needing a favor from City’s opponents. No matter what happens at St Mary’s on Tuesday or when Wolverhampton Wanderers visit Anfield this weekend, the Reds need Aston Villa to take points off City on the final day. If Pep Guardiola’s side were to triumph in that encounter, the Premier League title race would be over and City would be the champions of England for the fourth time in five years.
Of course, that does not mean Tuesday’s rearranged fixture is insignificant. If Liverpool were to lose, the trophy would be City’s. Similarly a draw would almost certainly hand the prize to Guardiola’s team, if not yet officially. Liverpool will also view this contest against an out-of-form Southampton side as an opportunity to boost their goal difference, just in case that comes into play in gameweek 38.
A 2-0 victory over Norwich City at the end of February left Southampton in ninth place. That win formed part of a run in which the Saints lost just two of 13 matches. A top-half finish would have been a fine achievement for a side that lost two of its key players last summer in Danny Ings and Jannik Vestergaard. But in recent weeks, things have gone downhill for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men.
Southampton have won only one of their last 10 matches. Since the start of March, only Watford have collected fewer points than the side from the south coast. A section of the club’s fan base chanted for a change of manager during last weekend’s 3-0 defeat by Brentford. There is a feeling at St Mary’s that Hasenhuttl might have taken the club as far as he can, and it would not be a surprise if he is not in charge at the beginning of 2022/23.
Southampton are safe from relegation, but they might not be if some of the teams below them had picked up more points in the last few weeks. They have been stuck on 40 points for three weeks and could still finish as low as 17th. After Tuesday’s fixture, they will finish the season against a Leicester City side that have picked up form again. Southampton, you feel, would happily end the campaign now.
Liverpool won the FA Cup on Saturday, beating Chelsea on penalties after a 0-0 draw following two hours of soccer. The Reds have now won two trophies this season, having also overcome Chelsea in the League Cup final back in February. They are through to the Champions League final and are still in contention for the Premier League title. By any measure, this has been a brilliant season for Jurgen Klopp’s charges.
Yet there will still be a sense of frustration around Anfield if Liverpool do finish second. They could not have done much more in the second half of the season: in 2022, they have only dropped points against Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.
In hindsight, a failure to beat the likes of Brentford, Brighton & Hove Albion and Leicester City in the first half of the campaign is where their title bid has fallen short.
Still, there is no shame in narrowly missing out to this Manchester City team, and Liverpool should take the title race to the final day. Southampton will struggle to contain a team which has scored in all but one of their Premier League matches this term, especially as they have kept a clean sheet in just one of their last 10 encounters. Back Liverpool to win by at least a two-goal margin.
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|Southampton vs Liverpool Information
|Southampton vs Liverpool
|St Mary’s, Southampton, England
|Tuesday, 17 May 2022, 2.45 PM EDT
|How to watch
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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