St Mary’s Stadium
Southampton and Liverpool meet this weekend, separated by five league positions and 17 points – the Saints are secure in 9th, 15 points clear of the relegation zone but having lost ground on those above them since sitting 3rd in November, whilst the Reds sit 4th, with a 6 point cushion to 5th and just 4 points behind leaders Chelsea. Mauricio Pochettino’s side endured a difficult December but the rot has stopped during recent weeks and they have taken 8 points from their last five – the visiting Reds are the league’s form side under Brendan Rodgers; unbeaten in eight and having taken 13 points from five matches. Saints supporters have every reason to be relaxed at this stage of the season, well clear of the drop-zone and with only Newcastle United in touching distance –the most optimistic within their ranks however, may harbour ambitions of European qualification. The travelling Merseyside support have reason to be more bullish about their ambitions –February typically heralds wistful feelings and a lament of challenges passed amongst Reds but with just a 4 point deficit and no distraction beyond eleven league games, the mood is different in 2014. Southampton enjoy over two games of immunity from positions below them and could move above Newcastle United into 8th this weekend. Liverpool too are safe from threats from behind and can move above League Cup Finalists Manchester City this weekend (albeit owing to games in hand) leaders Chelsea are a point too far out of reach but 2ndplace Arsenal could be overtaken on goal difference during a weekend that could really intensify the pressure amongst the top-four.
Match Preview continued at http://www.theredmentv.com/blog/p/15135
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