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Liverpool lead the Premier League on New Year’s Day for the third successive season, a feat that no side has achieved since the turn of the century, though it’s not the established lead that they would have hoped to have or even many thought they might have, with Man United able to go level on points should they win their game in hand.
It’s undoubtedly the Reds’ away record that has been their Achilles heel this season as they’d sit ninth in a table based solely on away results.
They’ve won just two such games this year and that will certainly be playing on their mind going into this game against a side who have proven they can cause some damage.
Only Norwich has a worse home record than the Saints last year, though here’s been a drastic change this season with only Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City and Everton proving better on home soil this season than Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, and with the re-emergence of Danny Ings, they might just fancy their chances against the champions here.
Southampton +1 Handicap
The Saints also have a great recent record against top-six sides at the time of playing, losing just one of their last nine such matches, a run that includes wins over Leicester, Spurs, Chelsea, and Man City, as well as this season’s Everton and Aston Villa sides, so they’re certainly worth getting onside, especially considering their points per game increases 18.75% when Ings is in the starting lineup since he joined the club.
While Liverpool have won this fixture for the past three seasons, relevant form would suggest they might struggle here, and the handicap looks the best way to get the hosts onside.
Danny Ings To Score Anytime
Ings is the joint top scorer this season from those who have played less than 1,000 minutes, with only Tammy Abraham matching his tally of six, and he’ll certainly be the biggest threat for the hosts here.
Only Sergio Aguero had a better goals per minute ratio than the Englishman last season, while he scored in half his home matches against top-six finishers last season, including this fixture and we’re happy to get behind him to do so again.