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Southampton vs Liverpool match preview

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SOUTHAMPTON are now undoubtedly improving under Ralph Hasenhuttl, but probably not rapidly enough to stop Liverpool from boosting their title prospects with a victory here.

The jury had been out on Hasenhuttl’s impact since taking over at Saints in early December until a current run of three wins out of four, interspersed by a last-gasp defeat at Old Trafford, has confirmed the Austrian is most definitely now getting things right.

Although still not safe from relegation, Southampton are moving in the right direction and their win last month over Tottenham showed this is a match Liverpool cannot take lightly.

However, the Reds keep grinding out the victories themselves, as they must do to sustain their hopes of winning the Premier League or Champions League, and last Sunday’s late success against Spurs was absolutely vital in terms of sustaining the necessary momentum.

The worry for manager Jurgen Klopp is that his side have gone from being rock-solid defensively to failing to keep a clean sheet in their latest four wins, but Virgil van Dijk will be ultra-keen to put that record straight on this return to his previous club.

Various bets appeal here and we will base ours around a 2-0 or 3-0 triumph for Liverpool that would keep them ahead of Manchester City in the title race for at least another nine days.

Prediction: Liverpool to win

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