By Scott Taylor
Michael Beale’s Liverpool Under 21s are back in action tomorrow night as Southampton are the latest team to face the young Reds at Anfield. His side were last in action on 26 September when they narrowly lost 4-3 to leaders Manchester City Under 21s, so the Reds’ youngsters will be looking to bounce back in style in front of the Anfield faithful.
Liverpool currently lie in fifth place in the Under 21 Premier League with seven points from their opening four games. Despite picking up their first defeat of the season last time out, the Reds are only four points behind Manchester City and the top, with two games in hand over Patrick Vieira’s side. Southampton are just one place behind their opponents in sixth place, picking up seven points from their opening five matches, which includes two wins, a draw and two defeats.
The Saints have been on a bad run of late, losing to Tottenham and more recently Everton, but bounced back with a 2-0 victory over Norwich in their last encounter. Martin Hunter’s won’t be hoping for a repeat when they face another Merseyside club tomorrow night.
One of the last times the two sides met was on the opening day last season, where Southampton edged out the Reds at the Kirkby Academy as they won 4-3. Before that it was a much tighter affair as Kirsztian Adorjan cancelled out Vergard Forren’s opener in a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s.
Even though I has been tight, the Reds will be looking for their first win in three matches against their South Coast counterparts, but it will be tough and there are a few Southampton players to look out for in the game tomorrow, live on LFCTV.
One of the men to watch for Southampton would be Ryan Seager, who has scored four goals in the four matches he has played this season, and in doing so scoring 50% of their goals this season. As well as Seager, look out for players such as Omar Rowe, who made an impact in the last time the two sides met with his brace in the seven goal thriller. Rowe was again involved in the Southampton goal in the previous meeting, as his corner was met by Forren to give Saints the lead.
There is a bunch of players to look out for in the Liverpool line-up. One of those is Sheyi Ojo. Ojo, 17 stunned spectators in Liverpool’s 4-0 win at West Ham as his creativity was clear to sure with two goals in the victory. As well as Ojo, look out for experienced Under 21 players Jordan Rossiter and Cameron Brannagan, who both have first team experience with the former scoring a 35-yard goal inside ten minutes on his debut against Middlesbrough last month.
Unlike Liverpool, Southampton have played with a similar side all season, and are expected to do the same tomorrow night which makes their starting XI a lot easier to predict.
Predicted Liverpool XI: Lawrence Vigouroux; Ryan McLaughlin, Lloyd Jones, Kevin Stewart, Joe Maguire; Jordan Rossiter, Jordan Lussey; Ryan Kent, Cameron Brannagan, Sheyi Ojo; Samed Yesil.
Predicted Southampton XI: Cody Cropper, Niall Mason, Jason McCarthy, Will Wood, Josh Debayo, Jake Flannigan, Jake Hesketh, Ryan Seager, Josh Sims, Omar Rowe, Sam McQueen.