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Southampton-Liverpool Preview

(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

It's been somewhat of a roller coaster season for Liverpool through the first couple months. Inconsistent results have seen Jurgen Klopp's boys drop as low as ninth in the table, but they appear to be hitting their stride again as the festive period approaches.

Their next chance for three points comes Saturday against Southampton at Anfield.

The Reds (5-4-2) are unbeaten in six of their last seven Premier League matches and consecutive victories over Huddersfield Town and West Ham United prior to the international break have seen the club jump back into the race for Champions League spots with 19 points.

Last time out, the Reds attack jumped on West Ham early thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah and Joel Matip inside the opening 25 minutes. The second half saw Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Salah score to wrap up a 4-1 win over the Hammers at Olympic Stadium.

The club's main attacking catalyst, Philippe Coutinho, has missed the last two matches and been restricted to just nine appearances for the Reds this season, but the Brazilian was quick to credit his time with the club for facilitating his rise as one of the league's most feared No. 10's.

"I have become stronger here in every way," Coutinho told Goal. "When I first came to England, there was so much to adapt to and learn. It was a completely different experience for me, but also a challenging, exciting one.

"Every year, I've felt like I've taken more on and become better, more complete and mentally prepared - not only with football but life in general. I have never wanted to settle, because I know that improvement is something that doesn't stop. There are always new things you can pick up and many ways to develop. I'm happy with how much I've grown, but I'm not finished yet.

Southampton (3-4-4) are winless in five of their last six Premier League matches and find themselves in 13th place on 13 points. Last time out, the Saints dominated possession against Burnley, but failed to capitalize and succumbed to a 1-0 loss thanks to Sam Vokes' late strike.

Still, recent history is in favor of Southampton as the Saints are unbeaten in their last five meetings with Liverpool across all competitions.

However, the Saints will be short-handed when they make the trek to Liverpool as midfielder Mario Lemina will miss out with an ankle injury.

"(He) was training well, much better than before," manager Mauricio Pellegrino said. "But he will not be ready to play Saturday. We look at his problem three weeks ago and he's improved a lot since then. But it is too soon to put him on the pitch."

Updated November 16, 2017

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