Because of an unfortunate Steven Gerrard slip, Liverpool will not start this season as kings, but as an ambitious prince.
Dejan Lovren and Ricky Lambert - Adam Lallana is injured - will have to face their former team-mates for the first fixture of the season. With the Croatian defender, and former Sevilla left-back Alberto Moreno, Liverpool should avoid conceding the 50 goals this year that, more than a slip, took the title out of their hands. With former Benfica player Lazar Markovic and also older, more experienced versions of young stars Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho, the Reds have a shot in the title race.
For Southampton they are a side transformed, led by new boss Ronaldo Koeman. New signings Ryan Bertrand from Chelsea, former Celtic’s keeper Fraser Forster and ex-Inter Milan Saphir Taider are likely to play
KICK-OFF: Sunday, 4pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Southampton 0 Liverpool 3 (Suarez, Sterling, Gerrard), Premier League, March 2014.
Liverpool 0 Southampton 1 (Lovren), Premier League, September 2013.
Southampton 3 (Schneiderlin, Lambert, Rodriguez) Liverpool 1 (Coutinho) March 2013.
Liverpool has an average of 1.54 goals against Southampton.
Last year, Southampton’s goal was scored by Dejan Lovren, with an assist from Adam Lallana, now two Liverpool players.
Southampton, which finished 8 had a best defence last year (46) than almost champions Liverpool (50).
Liverpool to win: 1.35
Southampton to win: 5.0
TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at 4pm