Liverpool know only a win will do against Southampton on Tuesday if they want to take the Premier League title race to the final day of the season.
Original article published 29 August 2022
Manchester City's 2-2 draw at West Ham on Sunday means the Reds still have a chance of overtaking Pep Guardiola's side at the top in the final week of the campaign and they can move a point behind the leaders with victory at St Mary's.
An away win, on offer at 2/5, would then mean Liverpool could still clinch the title if they beat Wolves on Sunday and Aston Villa either draw or beat City at the Etihad at the same time.
It remains an unlikely scenario but Jurgen Klopp's side, fresh from winning the FA Cup on Saturday, will want to ensure they at least do their bit and take it into the final day while keeping their hopes of landing an unprecedented quadruple alive in the process.
Making an argument for anything other than a Liverpool win on the south coast is difficult considering what's at stake but with tiredness and injuries to take into account, it may be more a case of the Reds grinding out the necessary victory rather than witnessing a free-flowing attacking performance from them.
The Merseysiders have won six games by a single-goal margin this term, including the last two away dates at Newcastle and Villa, and a similar victory by one goal at St Mary's looks good value at odds of 3/1.
After losing key men Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk to knocks, Klopp's men looked leggy the longer the Cup final went on against Chelsea so some changes are anticipated for the trip to the south coast.
Salah and Van Dijk seem unlikely to play but Kostas Tsimikas, who scored the winning penalty at Wembley to win the FA Cup, Curtis Jones and Roberto Firmino are among the players pushing for starts, while midfielder Fabinho remains out with a hamstring injury.
Klopp's side have won 14 of their last 16 Premier League games to keep themselves in the title hunt and have picked up maximum points on six of their last seven away trips with the draw at City last month the only away-day blemish in that run.
Saints, on the other hand, have lost seven of their last 10 league games and have gone down in four of their last five at home to further suggest the outcome will be a Liverpool victory.
Ralph Hasenhuttl's side have had a frustratingly inconsistent campaign and results have noticeably tailed off in recent weeks when it became clear they were unlikely to be involved in the relegation scrap, settling instead for an uninspiring bottom-half finish.
They did manage to hold City to a 1-1 draw at home, though, in January which should serve as a warning to Liverpool, while they memorably beat Klopp's side in this fixture last season 1-0. Another Saints victory this time, which would confirm City as champions, is available at 13/2 with the draw 4/1.
Goalkeeper Fraser Forster and midfielder Stuart Armstrong are both doubtful for the home side so Alex McCarthy is on standby to come in in goal while Tino Livramento is absent after recently undergoing knee surgery.