Liverpool v Southampton: Reds to make another fast start
Southampton are the next team to try and stop an unstoppable Liverpool side, and despite their fine away record, Paul Robinson is expecting more Red domination.
Liverpool v Southampton Saturday February 1, 15:00
The new invincibles?
Following Liverpool's win in their game in hand on Wednesday, they head into the weekend's fixtures with a 19 point lead at the top. Only one team have been able to take a point off them this term, and they haven't been beaten in the league since a narrow 2-1 defeat at the Etihad on January 3rd 2019.
It doesn't get much more impressive than that, and when you consider that they have got to two Champions League Finals in a row - winning the latter - this Jurgen Klopp Liverpool side has to go down as one of the greatest in the club's rich history.
Despite the more than healthy lead at the top, Klopp still won't entertain talk that the title race is over. Therefore, considering that the first team aren't back in action until Norwich away in a fortnight's time, I fully expect him to play his best available XI.
Sadio Mane will be missing, which obviously weakens the side, but he absence at West Ham didn't stop the Reds from completing a comfortable 2-0 win, and Divock Origi has excelled whenever he has been called upon.
Saints' faith in Hasenhüttl paying off
It is hard not to admire Ralph Hasenhüttl and his Southampton players as when they were being beaten 9-0 at home by Leicester, he was odds-on for the sack and they were odds-on to be relegated.
That defeat was a mere three months ago, but they start the month of February sitting ninth in the table and still in the FA Cup. Their turnaround has been quite remarkable, as the 9-0 wasn't a one-off loss, they had been beaten in three of their previous four league outings.
Danny Ings has been the stand-out player since though, as the former Liverpool man has 14 league goals to his name this season - 11 more than in his whole spell at Liverpool. He will be desperate for another Anfield goal on Saturday.
Another quick start for Liverpool
Clearly it comes as no surprise that the hosts are the hot-favourites to win this game, and I wouldn't argue against the 1.29 on offer being a smidgen too big.
They have won their last 19 league matches at Anfield, and they haven't been beaten since April 2017. The Saints are strong travellers, and they actually come into this game on the back of four straight away wins - including trips to Stamford Bridge and the King Power.
A fifth win for Southampton can be backed at 14.50, but there must be better 14.50 shots out there on a busy day of sport. The draw is 6.20, but again, that doesn't exactly jump off the page at me, as Liverpool appear to be pretty unstoppable at present.
The bet I do like however, is Liverpool to be winning at half time and at full time. It's a shade below evens at 1.90, but it would have landed in 11 of their 12 at Anfield this season, and they have faced better teams than Southampton during that period.
Unders trend to continue
Goals are expected in this game, as Over 2.5 is trading at around the 1.60 mark, while Under 2.5 is 2.62.
I think that the latter is definitely the value bet at those prices, as Liverpool have seen their last four in a row at home go Under 2.5, and they kept clean sheets in all four.
Southampton have been scoring goals away from St Mary's, but two of their last four have also seen Under 2.5 backers collect, and for all of their improvement, they are up against the team who have conceded eight fewer goals than any other Premier League club.
It is obviously far from a certainty, but at 2.62, I'm willing to take the chance.
Key Opta Stat
Liverpool have won their last five Premier League games against Southampton, scoring 13 goals and conceding just two in this run.