Image copyright: Getty Images
2022/23 English Premier League
Southampton v Liverpool
Sunday, 28 May 2023
Kick-off is at 15h30
Liverpool will be looking to secure at least a top-five finish when they close out the Premier League
season with a trip to St Mary's to take on already-relegated Southampton on Sunday, May 28.
The Reds saw their top-four hopes dented with a 1-1 draw at home to Aston Villa last Saturday as Manchester United beat Bournemouth 1-0 to go three points clear of their fierce rivals in fourth place.
United have a game in hand on Jurgen Klopp's side and will secure UEFA Champions League football if they claim victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford on Thursday, May 25.
The Merseyside giants have a fight on their hands just to qualify for the Europa League, with Brighton breathing down their necks in sixth spot only five points further adrift ahead of their catch-up match against Manchester City on Wednesday, May 24.
The Seagulls will be hoping to pounce on any potential hangover suffered by City, who lifted the league title last Sunday after their 1-0 triumph over Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium.
Image copyright: Getty Images
Meanwhile, the Saints' woes continued with a 3-1 reverse at Albion on the same day, which extended their winless streak to 12 games - the last five all ending in defeat.
Their home form has been dreadful and Ruben Selles will attempt to arrest a 12-match sequence without a win at St Mary's, where Southampton have claimed just two victories all season.
Alex McCarthy could be in for a busy afternoon on the south coast as he looks for his first clean sheet of 2022-23. The 33-year-old goalkeeper has had to play second fiddle to Gavin Bazunu following the Irishman's arrival in the off-season but he's started the last five games and will be aiming to keep Liverpool at bay on the final day.
Mohamed Salah has an opportunity to break the 20-goal barrier for the fifth time in six seasons at Anfield. The Egyptian star took a while to get going this term, bagging just three goals in his first 10 games but finally found his scoring boots in March and has netted 11 times in his last 14 outings to make it 19 for the campaign.
In team news, the hosts are without a handful of players as Romain Perraud (ankle), Armel Bella-Kotchap, Juan Larios (both thigh), Che Adams (calf) and Mohamed Salisu (groin) remain unavailable for selection. Thiago Alcantara, Stefan Bajcetic (both groin), Naby Keita, Calvin Ramsay (knee) and Darwin Nunez (ankle) won't make the journey to the south coast.
Selles believes the future is looking bright for the club after academy graduates Dom Ballard and Kamari Doyle made their debuts against Brighton as second-half substitutes, with the duo having been instrumental in the Under-21's promotion-winning campaign.
"I think we have very good players in the Academy," the Spaniard said. "Dom and Kami have been key elements for the title of Premier League 2 with the B team.
"They were working with us, they deserve that first game - their debut - and I think they showed that they are as good as any other can be, and I'm happy that they can stay with us, they could make their debut and hopefully there is more to come."
Klopp admits the Reds weren't good enough for most of the season to secure a berth in Europe's elite club competition, although they gave a good accounts of themselves in the last six weeks to push for a top-four finish.
"I think the whole season is rather a season where we qualify for Europa League than for Champions League. We were for too long not good enough or ourselves," the German said.
"I think we made it pretty exciting. I didn't think that was possible seven weeks ago, the boys did really well in that period. I think our people enjoyed it as well, you could see today they are not angry with us, they are looking forward to a new Premier League season and Europa League season. So do I. I know we have still a game to play."
Head-to-Head (Last Five Premier League Meetings)
Matches - 5
Southampton - 1
Liverpool - 4
Draws - 0
Matchday 38 fixtures:
Sunday, May 28
17h30: Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers
17h30: Aston Villa v Brighton & Hove Albion
17h30: Brentford v Manchester City
17h30: Chelsea v Newcastle United
17h30: Crystal Palace v Nottingham Forest
17h30: Everton v Bournemouth
17h30: Leeds United v Tottenham Hotspur
17h30: Leicester City v West Ham United
17h30: Manchester United v Fulham
17h30: Southampton v Liverpool
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