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Liverpool vs. Southampton Premier League Preview, Pick: Bet the Reds’ Under

Liverpool vs. Southampton Premier League Preview, Pick: Bet the Reds’ Under article feature image
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Clive Brunskill/Getty. Pictured: Mohamed Salah.

  • Liverpool and Southampton will meet on Saturday morning in the Premier League.
  • Where is the best place to find value on this fixture?
  • Ian Quillen has your best bet and analysis.

Liverpool vs. Southampton Odds

Liverpool Odds -420
Southampton Odds +1050
Draw +550
Over/Under 3.5 (+100 / -125)
Day | Time Saturday | 10 a.m. ET
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Liverpool will try to build momentum into the World Cup break with back-to-back league wins, with a match Saturday against a Southampton side that became the fifth in the Premier League to part with its manager this week.

Liverpool have rebounded from consecutive EPL losses to potential relegation candidates with a three-match unbeaten run in all competitions. That includes a crucial 2-1 win at Tottenham Hotspur last weekend that pulled the Reds up to eighth in the table and seven points back of the four automatic UEFA Champions League places.

Southampton have lost two in a row in the league and six of their last nine to sink to 18th, prompting the club to replace Ralph Hasenhuttl with Nathan Jones. The prompt move may owe to the fact it’s still so crowded at the bottom, with only four points separating the Saints from Brentford in 11th.

Liverpool won both league meetings last season. Southampton’s last victory came at home in January of 2021.

Liverpool on the Rebound

The Reds’ 2-1 win at Spurs was a welcome reprieve from a pair of ugly defeats to teams that entered those respective matches in the relegation places.

But a Tottenham defensive error practically gift-wrapped the back half of Mo Salah’s brace in the 40th minute, so it’s still fair to question whether the performance truly represented a turning point in league play.

It’s also a possibility that this version of Liverpool is more successful against opponents more willing to match their attacking impetus. The Reds are 3-1-0 against sides currently in the top four, and 2-3-4 against everyone else.

If there’s a counterargument for Saturday being close, it’s LFC’s home +5.8 xGDiff, the fifth-best in the Premier League. But you can chalk up more than half that to one match: A 9-0 drubbing of Bournemouth in which visiting gaffer Scott Parker seemed unwilling to show necessary pragmatism and was subsequently fired.

Veteran James Milner (concussion) is expected to be available for the first time since his early departure in a 2-0 Champions League victory over Napoli at the start of the month.

Southampton Unlucky So Far?

There are perhaps similarities in Jones’ takeover to that of Jesse Marsch with Leeds United last year.

Both men arrived with similar principles to their new teams’ former high-pressing bosses, but perhaps with greater emphasis on transition and less on possession and passing.

The difference is that, unlike in the case of Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds, the defending of Hasenhuttl’s Southampton teams has been unfortunate more often than poor.

Leeds had allowed opponents 2.0 xG or more on 15 occasions by the time Bielsa was sacked in February. Southampton had only done so twice, but have conceded 24 goals against 17.3 xGA.

It’s unclear how many — if any — tactical changes Jones will implement in his debut, given he wasn’t even in charge during Southampton’s midweek League Cup tie. But he is perhaps more likely to use a three-back system than his predecessor.

Liverpool vs. Southampton Pick

The market keeps pricing in the expectation of regression for Liverpool.

That’s understandable given the squad’s obvious talent level. But if you’re going to do that, you have to do the same for a Southampton side that has very rarely played like one of the three worst teams in the league.

If anything, the analytics are more bullish on a Saints regression. Liverpool’s xGDiff of +3.8 is sixth in the Premier League, only two spots above their current standing in the table. Southampton’s -3.7 xGDiff is 14th, four spots above their current status.

None of this is to advise you to back the Saints pulling off a shock win. But it’s still reasonable to bet against a Liverpool blowout in some fashion.

For me, the best value is playing Liverpool to score two goals or fewer at -107 odds and an implied 51.7% probability.

The Reds have surpassed two goals only twice this season, both against teams that are less likely to be intent on defending than a Southampton side with a new manager. For Jones, even a close defeat would probably be an acceptable result heading into the World Cup break.

The Pick: Liverpool team total under 2.5 goals (-107)

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