- Paul Merson predicts difficult game for Liverpool against Southampton
- Reds tipped to be frustrated by the hosts
- Sky Sports pundit admits Liverpool disappointed him last week
- SEE MORE: Lambert: the trait Lallana deserves more credit for
Paul Merson admits he was surprised to see Liverpool give up control of the game to Tottenham in the second half of last week’s 2-2 draw.
The Reds dominated the first period and were worth their early lead, but eased off the pace after the interval and allowed the visitors to carve a way back into the contest.
Jurgen Klopp’s men continued to conjure chances after the break but fell short with an unusual lack of conviction and composure in the final third.
Though Merson is expecting Liverpool to collect all three points against Southampton this weekend, he is anticipating a tough afternoon at St Mary’s.
“I was a bit disappointed with Liverpool last weekend, they were given the runaround in the second half by Spurs and didn’t know what to do,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“In big matches they generally turn up, and I haven’t seen too many teams do that to them.”
“With Southampton, it’s down to results earlier in the weekend. Depending on what happens they might be able to stick 10 behind the ball and go for a 0-0, and it might be a bonus. They had a massive result at West Brom last week. I think Liverpool will win, but it could easily be 1-1.”
It seems convention for teams outside of the top six or seven to adopt a deep and compact defensive line against Liverpool.
That’s not to say it isn’t a wise approach to implement, because it has certainly proven a difficult obstacle for the Reds to breach in recent seasons.
Last month’s 1-0 defeat to Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium served as a perfect example, with Carlos Carvalhal’s men affording Liverpool little room to exploit with their pace and movement.
Southampton will likely set up in a similar way, with the added bonus of more ability in attacking areas to threaten with on the counter.
That said, it’s a game Liverpool boast the talent to prevail in, especially with Mohamed Salah looking likely to score every time he steps out onto the pitch.