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Liverpool kicks off three on the road with big NBCSN test at hard-to-predict Southampton

Feb 27, 2014, 10:05 AM EST

It was a hugely disappointing defeat for Steven Gerrard and Liverpool. Getty Images
  • Liverpool’s last win at St. Mary’s came in 2003
  • Southampton have 1W-2D in last three at home
  • Reds are unbeaten in Premier League during 2014

Liverpool’s race for the Premier League title begins a crucial three-match stretch away from Anfield when it rolls into St. Mary’s for a goal-promising bout with Southampton on Saturday. (Watch live on NBCSN at 12:30 p.m. ET or online via NBC Sports Live Extra).

Despite the Reds great mark in 2014 — their only loss was the Cup tie against Arsenal — there’s plenty of work to be done if they want to make believers out of PL viewers. Explosive on offense with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool isn’t exactly defending well. It’s been nearly a month since the Merseyside Derby, which was its last clean sheet.

Meanwhile the Saints continue to be maddening for prognosticators, evidenced by their 3-1 loss to red-hot West Ham. Southampton sits one point behind eighth-place Newcastle despite a three-match losing skid by the Magpies, and five points behind Manchester United and Everton.

There’s no shame in their inability to maintain a hot start to the season, but it’s the manner in which they’ve failed to do it. Looking at the schedule, you can easily pick out head-scratching moments like 2-2 draws against Stoke City and Sunderland. Those missed points are looming large.

Southampton’s nabbed two of three matches against Liverpool since their promotion in 2012, one of those a 3-1 win at St. Mary’s last year. Could it happen again this weekend?

WATCH LIVE ON NBCSN AND ONLINE VIA NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA

What They’re Saying

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet: “Every single individual in the squad is very important for us. We’re happy that Dan and Johnno came back into the squad at the weekend. Lucas and Mama are working really hard to get back, with the others as well. I’m sure we’ve got the squad to get through the last games of the season.”

Saints defender Dejan Lovren: “”We are really happy with where we are right now but I think we can do much better and we have a lot of games still. We want to finish in the best position that we can so I hope it will be the sixth place, for the Europa League. That would be an amazing place for us and we can achieve it. We need to win, we need to take every point, every possible point now, for the next games but I think and I believe, like the others, so we can.”

Prediction

Liverpool won’t be caught off guard at St. Mary’s, a building that hasn’t hosted a Reds win in three successive visits (They last won 1-0 in 2003 on a goal by Emile Heskey). The goals could be plentiful in this one, and perhaps the home supporters could swing a point Southampton’s way. We’ll call it Southampton 2, Liverpool 2.

  1. zxlaa - Feb 27, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    The Reds will prevail……

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