Brendan Rodgers confident ahead of Southampton clash

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Brendan Rodgers is confident that Liverpool will leave St. Mary's with three points on Sunday when his side meet Southampton.

The Reds have been in fantastic form and have lost just one of their last 16 games in all competitions as they look to push for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Southampton currently occupy fourth-place in the top flight and have also been excellent this campaign with manager Ronald Koeman exceeding expectations on the south coast.

As both sides continue the hunt for Champions League football next season, the pair will be desperate to win the clash and full-strength teams will likely be fielded by both Rodgers and Koeman.

And the Northern Irishman feels that Liverpool can hand the Saints their eighth loss in the Premier League and close the gap between the two team's to a single point.

"The games are now being ticked off, and with 13 games to go it would be a big step for us to get the result," Rodgers said in his pre-match press conference, according to Liverpool's official website.

"We respect Southampton and the work that they have done this year.  But we know that we have got the quality and confidence at the moment to go there and get a result.

"If we can get a victory and go within a point, it probably takes us  to where we thought it would be, edging our way towards [the top four] after a really difficult start. That's what we'll continue to do, just step by step.

"They have looked a really established team and this year they have continued to work well. They have found themselves in the top four and deservedly so, because they have played very well and have got some outstanding players.

"We know it's going to be a tough game, but we know that we have the tools to go to any team and win and play well."

Old boys return

Last summer, Rodgers raided St. Mary's and bought no less than three players from Southampton.

Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren made the switch to Anfield, with the latter two costing £20 and £25 million.

Lallana has been the most impressive out of the three in the last six months, The England international has scored four times in 14 appearances for the Reds as well as having three assists to his name and will be looking to bring misfortune on his former side.

Lovren and Lambert on the other hand haven't been as good and failed to settle on Merseyside.

Lovren has no less than six defensive mistakes leading to goals on his record and has very much been left in the dark after losing his place in Rodgers' line-up before the turn of the year.

Likewise, Lambert has spent most of his career at his boyhood club on the substitute bench and been used as an impact player when given the nod. However his performances have been well below what he produced for Southampton in the past two seasons and has netted just three times all campaign.

Tough clash

After their 1-0 victory against Besiktas on Thursday night in the Europa League, Liverpool could not ask for a tougher game than Southampton given the circumstances.

The Reds meet a side who will benefit from not playing in Europe mid-week and will be fresh and well-prepared.

The Saints have lost just three games at home in the Premier League this term and beaten Arsenal and Everton at St. Mary's as well as drawing with Chelsea.

Rodgers' side struggled to a 2-1 victory on the opening day of the season when the two last met however Liverpool have improved significantly from that effort since.

Will Liverpool beat Southampton this weekend? Post your score predictions in the comments below!

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