Liverpool take on Southampton on Saturday evening, the hosts still clinging on to hopes of securing Champions League football next season.
Here’s everything you need to know about that meeting at Anfield:
With the season nearing its completion, the Reds chances of securing Champions League football next term are beginning to fade, with seven points now separating themselves and Chelsea in fourth.
While they do have a game in hand on the Champions League finalists as a result of Sunday’s postponed meeting with Manchester United following fan protests at Old Trafford, it would appear that they simply have to win their remaining games to have any chance of sneaking into the top four.
However, amid their recent below-par form, that looks increasingly unlikely, the reigning champions having failed to win any of their last three games in all competitions, including their most recent draw against Newcastle United at Anfield.
That meeting saw Liverpool squander a host of chances, before succumbing to a late Joe Willock strike to add to their mounting Anfield woes, Jurgen Klopp’s side having now picked up just one league win at home since 16 December.
That torrid form on their own patch since the turn of the year has been the major factor in their slide down the table, the Reds having been three points clear at the top of the table at the end of 2020.
Saturday’s game is now simply a must-win to have any chance of securing a top-four spot, although Klopp will once again have to contend without the likes of Jordan Henderson, Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
After a fine start to the campaign, 2021 has been slightly more turbulent for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, with injuries having played their part in hindering their progress.
Following their 3-2 win over Burnley at the start of April, the Saints have since lost three and drawn one of their four games in all competitions, including producing a disappointing display in the 1-0 defeat to Leicester City in the FA Cup semi-finals.
However, after that Wembley frustration, Hasenhuttl’s men were much improved against the Foxes when the two sides met in the league at the weekend, the Saints hanging on for a point despite playing almost 80 minutes at St Mary’s with 10 men.
The home side lost defender Jannik Vestergaard after just ten minutes following a controversial red card dismissal – the suspension having since been overturned – yet went on to take the lead midway through the second half as skipper James Ward-Prowse fired home from the penalty spot.
While Jonny Evans would head home soon after to earn Brendan Rodgers high-flying side a point, the hosts resilience to grind out a result was admirable, particularly with a number of first-choice names currently on the treatment table.
Ahead of Saturday’s meeting with the Reds, Southampton are likely to be without the likes of Oriol Romeu, Ryan Bertrand and Danny Ings, while forward Takumi Minamino is ineligible to face his parent club. Hasenhuttl has already confirmed that former Celtic man Fraser Forster will start in goal in place of Alex McCarthy.
Southampton 1-0 Liverpool, 4 January 2021
It quite literally all ended in tears for the Saints when the two sides last met, but for good reason, as the South Coast club saw-off Liverpool to seal all three points.
The hosts went into the match having failed to win in their last four games, yet took the lead inside two minutes, former Reds man Danny Ings with a sensational lobbed finish over a helpless Alisson.
In truth, the visitors never really got going in the match, the home side restricting them to just a solitary effort on target in what was an unusually tame attacking performance from Jurgen Klopp’s side, with Southampton hanging on for a deserved victory to end the Reds 12-game unbeaten run.
That victory clearly meant a lot to manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, the Austrian sinking to his knees in tears of joy at full-time.
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Fabinho, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Milner, Thiago; Mane, Firmino, Salah.
Southampton: Forster; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Salisu; Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Diallo, Redmond; Walcott, Adams.
Who is the referee?
What channel is it on?
UK and Irish readers can watch the match on Sky Sports Premier League.
What time is kick off?
Saturday 8 May, 20:15 BST
Liverpool – 1/4
Southampton – 10/1
Draw – 5/1