Liverpool will be looking to finish the Premier League season on a high when they face already-relegated Southampton at St. Mary’s Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Despite having made a shaky start to the campaign, Jurgen Klopp’s men have secured European football thanks to an impressive late-season surge, which has seen them chalk up a 10-game unbeaten streak in the league.
Following draws with Chelsea and Arsenal, Liverpool notched seven successive victories – scoring 20 goals in the process – before playing out a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa last weekend, courtesy of Roberto Firmino’s 89th-minute equaliser.
Better still, the Reds have only lost two of their previous 17 Premier League encounters, picking up 11 wins along the way, and they have also suffered a solitary defeat in 19 home league games this season.
Once again, Mohamed Salah has been the star of the show at Anfield this term, racking up 30 goals and 15 assists in 50 appearances across all competitions, while newcomers such as Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo have provided useful attacking support.
At the opposite end of the table, the Saints find themselves seven points adrift at the bottom, meaning the club’s 11-year stay in the Premier League will end on Sunday.
It would not be unfair to say that Southampton have endured a season to forget, losing 25 of their 37 league games while scoring just 32 goals, with Ralph Hasenhuttl, Nathan Jones and Ruben Selles all trying – and failing – to steady the ship.
Intriguingly, the majority of Southampton’s struggles have come on home soil this season. Having won only two of their 18 matches at St. Mary’s, the Saints possess the worst home record in the Premier League.
To make matters worse for Southampton, they have lost 10 of their previous 12 home league games, failing to score in six of those defeats, so it is hardly surprising that Selles’ side find themselves in such a predicament.
Liverpool claimed a 3-1 victory over the Saints back in November, meaning Klopp’s men have lost only one of their last 13 Premier League meetings with Southampton.
Given that Southampton have managed to win just two of their previous 18 league encounters with Liverpool, the hosts will struggle to sign off with a positive result this weekend.
In terms of team news, Southampton will be without the injured quartet of Romain Perraud, Armel Bella-Kotchap, Mohamed Salisu and Juan Larios for the final game of the season, while Che Adams is a doubt for Sunday’s clash.
Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara, Naby Keita, Calvin Ramsey and Stafen Bajcetic will also miss the final match due to injury. Keita has already played his last game for the Reds, while Roberto Firmino, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will also leave the club in the summer.
Expert Insight: Having won seven of their last eight league games, in-form Liverpool are expected to make light work of lowly Southampton, who are already preparing for life in the Championship following a hugely disappointing campaign.