Southampton v Liverpool: Live matchday blog
Liverpool extended their unbeaten Premier League run to 10 games with a goalless draw at Southampton after the international break.
Jürgen Klopp's side created a number of great chances but could not find the net on a rainy afternoon at St Mary's, and had to settle for the point.
Here's how it happened...
JK: "Two things are very important when you play football - the result and performance. The result was not perfect, but the performance was much better than we could have expected when we think about our preparations. I am absolutely OK."
JK: "I'm not happy, but I'm fine."
JK: "We could have scored. Maybe we should have scored. But that's football."
JK: “Not bad first half, much better second half. A good performance against a really difficult side. We had enough chances to win the game, especially in the second half.”
All of the stats from St Mary's...
Southampton 0-0 Liverpool
The visitors are forced to settle for a point from a game they really should have won, given the amount of chances created - especially during the second half. But Klopp's team do extend their unbeaten Premier League run to 10 matches.
Origi is on for Mane.
Four minutes of added time to be played...
Clyne is the latest to go close.
Sturridge's brilliant footwork fashions room to dink a cross from the byline to the back post - the No.2 meets it, but sends his header the wrong side of the other post.
Here comes Sturridge, on for Can.
Southampton bring Reed on for Hojbjerg.
Coutinho is booked.
Into the final quarter of an hour and Liverpool are in total domination of this game - but they do not have the goal they desperately crave...
Another change for the hosts as Rodriguez replaces Austin.
Long is introduced in place of Boufal.
Coutinho picks out a sublime pass to Firmino, free 10 yards from the goal, and the Brazilian contrives to prod his finish off target.
Another chance and another miss.
Mane dummies Firmino's crossfield pass to allow Can to move onto it and drive into shooting territory. His daisy-cutter is wide, though.
The latest odds
These from BetVictor...
Southampton - 22/5
Draw - evens
Liverpool - 17/10
Cedric is booked.
But now it's the Saints in disbelief.
Cedric clips a cross of his own to the back post, where Austin climbs above Clyne and nods a header wide to the left. Phew.
Klopp's side are really mounting pressure here and Matip should perhaps have broken the deadlock, but Coutinho's inviting free-kick to the back post somehow eludes the defender.
Liverpool should lead.
Firmino seizes on an error in midfield, bounds forward and tees up an umarked Coutinho to his left - but the usually unerring No.10 scuffs the shot away from goal as Fonte lunges in to block.
Short-lived claims for a penalty as Firmino goes down in the box trying to reach Can's lofted pass. Replays suggest a tug of his shirt by Van Dijk, but nothing is given.
Wijnaldum kicks off the second half for Liverpool.
The teams are back out for the second period.
Take a look through all of the vital stats from the first half below...
Southampton 0-0 Liverpool
It's goalless at the break, with Klopp's side having had the more promising chances during the opening 45 minutes at St Mary's.
Wijnaldum is not too far off with a punt from yards outside the area in the final seconds of the half.
Again it's a pass in behind for Mane to run onto and this one is the finest yet, from Wijnaldum, but once more Van Dijk is there to slide in and block the final shot.
Coutinho loves a long-ranger, and loves them at St Mary's too, but this low effort from around 25 yards is no threat to the Southampton goal and dribbles wide.
Best chance of the match created by Liverpool.
A brilliantly sharp move - Coutinho to Clyne to Can to Wijnaldum to Mane - ends with Forster tipping away the eventual curler from the ex-Saints man.
Now Coutinho is close to releasing Mane with a direct knock in behind, but Van Dijk recovers to thwart the Senegal forward. Liverpool have attempted that move a couple of times already.
Unlucky, Gini! The No.5 looks to latch onto a precise forward pass from Can into the area, but he can't keep the ball under control as he lines up a strike under pressure from a defender.
Clyne competes for the ball against his former club.
Now Saints' other full-back, Cedric, tries his luck from range - his half-volley swerves harmlessly wide of the the left post, however.
Liverpool have quickly established control of possession in these early stages, with Southampton dropping deep to prevent the visitors from playing any of their attackers in behind.
Analyse this contest as it unfolds with our handy Opta chalkboard below...
The first hint of a chance falls to Bertrand at the edge of the box as a deep cross bounces out kindly for a shot, but his blast is blocked away by Matip.
Nathan Redmond kicks off for Southampton. Come on, Liverpool!
The boss is ready.
We have just realised there has not been a weather update in the blog so far today - please accept our apologies. There's a chill around St Mary's, so we hope the travelling fans have brought coats and gloves!
The warm-ups are done and we're now moments away from the action getting underway on the south coast.
Here's a glimpse inside the LFC dressing room at St Mary's as we await kick-off.
Here’s Liverpool’s starting line-up and subs in full…
Karius, Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Can, Mane, Coutinho, Firmino.
Subs: Mignolet, Moreno, Origi, Klavan, Sturridge, Grujic, Lucas.
So, the team news is in – and it confirms that Philippe Coutinho does start for Liverpool against Southampton to join Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane in attack.
Elsewhere, Georginio Wijnaldum comes into midfield in place of the injured Adam Lallana, while Dejan Lovren returns in defence.
Some pre-match reading for you from LFC Xtra...
Including this man...
Take a look at how the Reds have been preparing for their return to action today with our exclusive training footage from Melwood below.
We'll have the confirmed Liverpool line-up right here at 2pm GMT. Here's what the manager had to say about the injury situation at his pre-match press conference...
And the thoughts of Saints skipper Jose Fonte: “Our opponents this afternoon are obviously in very good form at the moment as they are the league leaders, and they will know that every team will now want to beat them because of that.
“They do, of course, have some players that we know very well, especially in the forward positions. Both Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana were a big part of our success in recent seasons, and they are continuing to do very well, but our job today is to make sure they have to work very hard to get chances.”
Southampton boss Claude Puel writing in his programme notes: “Today sees the visit of a great team and a fantastic manager in Jürgen Klopp. Liverpool have started the season strongly, so it will be up to us to play our game and concentrate on the areas where we can cause them problems.
“It is going to be a very difficult match but we enter these games with real belief in our own ability. We have the quality, the group spirit and the determination and I want to see all those out on the pitch this afternoon.”
Here's how St Mary's looks at the moment ahead of Liverpool's visit this afternoon...
Shouting the odds
That's how BETVICTOR think things stand ahead of kick-off. Take advantage of those odds here.
Emre Can doesn't want to wake up on Monday morning with Liverpool anywhere but top of the Premier League.
If you want to whet your appetite for the return of the Reds' first team, why not watch the U18s taking on Manchester United at the Academy?
That's live on LFCTV right now - and you can watch on LFCTV GO here.
Good morning and welcome to Liverpoolfc.com's live matchday blog for today's Premier League meeting with Southampton.
The Reds are finally back in action after the international break and are looking to defend their position at the summit of the English top flight.
As ever, we'll have all the build-up, team news, every kick and post-match reaction from St Mary's - stick with us for the best coverage!