22 Feb 2015

Redknapp: 'I don't expect' £16m LFC star to start against Southampton. Problem?

After three goals in assists in three games, and improved performances to boot, Mario Balotelli is pushing for a place in Liverpool's starting line-up, but is he likely to make the breakthrough for today's Premier League clash with Southampton?

According to ex-Red Jamie Redknapp, it's unlikely. Speaking to Sky Sports on Saturday, he mused:

"I hope the Balotelli thing hasn't caused a problem, but I don't expect him to start in this game".

Redknapp is probably right. Starting Balotelli (who cost Liverpool £16m in the summer) will almost certainly entail changing the 343 formation, and there's no sense in doing that just to accommodate one player.

Balotelli will probably have to make-do with super-sub status for the rest of the season, though everything is perfectly poised for him to make a big impact against his former club, Manchester City, next week.

Hopefully, the script is already written: Balotelli's form improves; he scores a few goals, and then hits the winner against City, thus completing his Anfield redemption.

Will it turn out this way? Who knows, but if Balotelli helps the Reds win the next three games, I'm sure a lot of fans will be very forgiving about his middling form earlier in the season.

As for today's game, Redknapp erred on the side of caution:

"I'm going to go for a 1-1 draw. It's going to be really tight. I like the way they [Southampton] play, Mane has the pace to run beyond teams, and Fonte is a leader. Last season, everyone thought it was Lovren, but it's him".

Liverpool have beaten Southampton 3-0 and 2-1 in the last two Premier League games, but this is different Saints side, now, and it's going to be tough to get a result, especially after playing on Thursday night.

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64 comments:

  1. Middling form earlier in the season? Jaimie you scoundrel, he was awful!

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  2. Rightly or wrongly, I think Mario will probably have to make do with super-sub status for the rest of his Liverpool career. As you say, there's no point in changing a winning system to accommodate one player who may or may not turn up on the day.

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  3. To win today we certainly need to play much better than we did on Thursday. Sturridge needs to stop hogging the ball so much and look for his team mates. We didn't have that creative spark in midfield.

    Going for a 3-1 to Soton.

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  4. Nicolas Chamberlain1:24 pm, February 22, 2015

    If we lose today we will not finish in the top 5.
    Its do or die today. Southampton is a very decent side but nothing special.

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  5. Jaimie, still nothing regarding the free add?

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  6. Most people have not admitted it but Ibe has been our spark in the past few games. He was influential in two of three goals against Spurs and won the pen against Beskitas. He has cause a lot of problems. I feel either Lallana or Marko should get the nod ahead of Coutinho as when he is not on 100%, it is like playing with ten men.

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  7. I feel that this system is close to useless when there is no adequate DM to protect the defenders. Lucas is so pivotal in a formation like this as he provides the balance making it a 4-man defence, allowing Hendo and the wing-backs to go up. Otherwise, Hendo stays back, wing-backs are circumspect and defence is under pressure. We saw it against Everton and to an extent against Besiktas. The only other capable player to perform that role is Emre and it is even better as he is already part of the defence.

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  8. We could go above Spurs today. They're losing. Yippee

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  9. We can close the gap on manu, Totenham, and Southampton. It's about the pressure and the confidence. If we don't believe we can win sitting in a chair, than I hope our players are nothing like some of our fans... Not trying to start a quarrel with anyone but I don't understand Liverpool fans predicting we will lose..

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  10. Other teams will drop points for sure. If we keep on winning games, we will make it.

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  11. I am waiting until the team comes out. I we see Allen in the team sheet, there will be no point in predicitons.

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  12. there is no reason that Liverpool cant win this game, Southampton are not a bad team but they are not that great. If we play as we did against Palace we will win.

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  13. Pen missed in the last min, but they tapped in.. I wanna eat my arm...

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  14. Draw good result for us but feel sorry for bubble blowers .....

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  15. Who cares? We win.. We go above them.. I could not care about Spurs or West Ham.

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  16. Too true we 've got to stay focused now concentrate on winning all OUR games and not worry about what the others are doing MUST WIN this pm

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  17. I hope you're just being humerus :-)

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  18. Super Mario's Super Sub status is working ..... Why change it ?

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  19. With Sterling and Ibe together we will win pens BIG TIME !

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  20. While we continue to either not lose and or win I can't say that the formation is near to useless. In fact it is of great use. Better with Lucas for sure but even without it is much better than anything else we have used this season including last seasons diamond.

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  21. I think Lovren will come in and Can will be push forward to take over the DM role.

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  22. If Ilija Dujovic is in the starting line up,I still think we'll win..

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  23. Same here. I don't understand that one bit.

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  24. It's all part of the story. If Spurs had won we would not have gone above them so there lies part of the point. Having buffers helps in the long run. I don't really understand people who are not keeping an eye on other results tbh.

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  25. They are barely scoring and we have been doing OK defensively. I can't see how you could come up with that scoreline at all.

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  26. You'll have to shoulder the blame if he does!

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  27. Obviously we must be wary about other results but we have to focus on the task at hand. If we cannot believe we can win and have to always fall on others failings, what is the point of competing. yes, Spurs drew. That is great but we have to go out there and win our game and trust ourselves that the others will screw up.

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  28. We need others failing though don't we? If we win and they win they nothing changes. I understand the players having a focus on their own game but we as fans only watch. And the league table is one of the things we watch.

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  29. Till now we have not been tested against a pressing team without Lucas. Without proper protection, we become too defensive and less confident. We saw against Everton how our creativity fell once Lucas went off. Even with Gerrard, at least he has the quality to spray it to the attackers from tough positions. But, still, it will properly and cohesively work only with Lucas or Can.

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  30. A few teams have tried pressing us in certain areas with varying but at best middling success. Spurs being the main culprit. Henderson doesn't show his ability enough sometimes but he does have enough to spread the ball. Perhaps it doesn't work as well but it can work well enough.

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  31. I am pretty scared for today. Saints are rested and reading their forum, their fans are looking up for it. They want revenge for us buying their players. It will be a hostile atmosphere and we are fatigued from EL. We have to give it our all.

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  32. Put emra can in Allens position defence if midfielder and put Lovren or toura in defence i hope Allen doesn't play otherwise we will be playing with ten men he doesn't do nothing can't defend can't score passes the ball backwards gets pushed off the ball Easley he's not tall enought or got the strength to go in with headed challengers either I think joe Allen needs to get sold at the end of the season he's takes that extra place on the bench or in the team wen we could get someone from the academy who would do a better job like Texiera who scored two fantastic goals for Brighton yesterday he looks good but no Brendon will probley give him away at the end of the season like he did with suso who I reckon going two be work class in three years he reminds me of David silva but Brendon goner keep the welsh xavi as his pet

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  33. Just hope we don't have any Europa League hangover

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  34. I'd like to see Can In midfield eventually but for a game of today's importance I dont think we should disrupt the defence. Also might not be the best fixture to reintroduce Lovren

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  35. All talk about Balo but how bout Rickie?

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  36. Agreed, results elsewhere have doubled the importance of today's result

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  37. Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Lovren, Henderson, Allen, Markovic, Ibe, Lallana, Coutinho, Sterling - Is this a joke?
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    Retweet

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  38. Looks like a really bad one...

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  39. Bye Bye Top 4? They are going to smoke us.. He decides today is the game to rotate.. I am baffled.

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  40. Crazy Studge not starting ? No Moreno .... Loren n Allen Oh dear !

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  41. You are in for a surprise.. A pleasant one..

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  42. And ?
    We have Sterling,Coutinho,Lallana,Ibe,Markovic
    we can carry passengers if there is any

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  43. Let's hope we are all smokin the same as you ;-)

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  44. WTF!!! is this the line up?

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  45. I love you optimism mate.. Never let it die.

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  46. Stop overacting Rodgers has to manage Sturridges games .
    Sakho is injured nothing wrong calling another 20m cb at the place he made his name.

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  47. Must win game what is he playing at

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  48. So what would you do?
    Sakho is injured , Lovren is better then Johnson and Toure .
    Sturridge has to be managed

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  49. no idea ...wheres DS Moreno sakho?...are they injured have I missed something

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  50. Sakho injured but no Studge, South' don't concede gaols

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  51. Sakho is
    the other two have small knocks

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  52. hard to see them conceding without DS..i thought Balo would have been a good shout to start if BR was planning to rest DS

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  53. I can see the tactics now already... Keep it right . First half second half bring on sturridge and balo for lallana an markovic and go for it...

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  54. Good options on the bench if not scoring, Sakho a huge miss in a game like this

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  55. yeah he was man of the match in a couple of games already so people are actually admitting it..

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  56. so ibe is our wing back ?

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