Southampton vs Liverpool: One side stronger in five key categories

We look ahead to Liverpool’s trip to Southampton this weekend.

Southampton host Liverpool this weekend in an intriguing clash between two sides firmly in the race for a top four spot in the Premier League.

The Saints currently occupy the final Champions League qualification spot, whereas the Reds are four points behind in seventh but on a superb run of nine league matches without defeat.

Over the course of the season to date, Ronald Koeman’s men have accumulated more points, scored more goals and conceded fewer, therefore it would be fair to say they have been the superior team.

However, ahead of the clash HITC have decided to go deeper and reveal exactly where the St. Mary’s side have got the better of the Merseysiders this season in a number of key categories.

  Shots on Target %Goal % vs Total ShotsKey PassesDribbles Completed %Tackles Won %Aerial Battles Won %Error Lead To ShotPass Completion %Appearances
Liverpool 32.4 9.0 296 56.3 75.5 49.6 16 83.0 25
Southampton 34.6 11.4 263 48.7 80.1 50.2 4 80.5 25

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Sunday’s hosts are seemingly just more effective in five of the eight categories we analysed.

The Anfield outfit have taken more shots and created more chances via key passes than their upcoming opponents, yet the Saints’ strikers are more clinical and have a higher scoring percentage per shot.

As an attacking force, Brendan Rodgers can count on a number of players of the highest quality and there is little surprise to see them come out on top in successful dribbles and pass percentages.

However, defensively they have been suspect this season whereas the Saints currently boast the best back line in the Premier League.

Aside from conceding the least, they average a higher percentage of aerial battles won and tackles completed – 80.1% in comparison to the Reds’ 75.5% - and commit far less errors.

While these stats will mean little come 4:15pm on Sunday, it at least gives Rodgers some answers to his team’s early season struggles and serves as a reminder of the good work Koeman has done at St. Mary’s.

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