Football - Saints hope to end Liverpool run

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino is hopeful of bringing Liverpool's unbeaten start to an abrupt halt.

PA Sport Report

Brendan Rodgers' side sit atop of the Barclays Premier League after four matches, following wins over Stoke, Aston Villa and old foes Manchester United.

Monday's 2-2 draw at Swansea ended that winning start sequence, although Daniel Sturridge managed to net in a fourth successive league match.

The in-form England international will be looking to continue that streak at Anfield on Saturday, although a shoulder injury will denied him service from former Southampton target Philippe Coutinho.

"We're very much aware that Sturridge is an awesome threat," the Saints boss said.

"He started off the season quite well, can change the game on his own, but our main concern is blocking the connections from Steven Gerrard and other midfield players.

"We know Coutinho will probably be out of this game, but we need to take care of that midfield to make sure the balls don't go through to Sturridge.

"It's clear that they are a very powerful side and Anfield is a great stadium to play in.

"It will be a great place to perform, to do well in and actually try to get the three points."

Saints will need to overcome their shyness in front of goal in order to take anything back from the north west.

They have failed to score from open play in the league this season, with new signing Dani Osvaldo yet to gel with talisman Rickie Lambert.

"It is not the main aspect that worries me because we have offensive players that can actually score goals," Pochettino said.

"I am happy because we have created many chances in the games that we've played and I know that the goals will come sooner or later.

"It's something that doesn't worry me because I'm more concerned with how the team is playing."

Pochettino has laughed off speculation that Osvaldo was struggling to settle in Southampton, while rejected the notion that Lambert, a dyed-in-the-wool Liverpool fan, has been distracted by his England heroics.

"I think he's very much 100 per cent focused," the Argentinian said.

"He's focused on scoring goals.

"After the game against West Ham he was angry, as any striker would be because he didn't score a goal to actually get the win for the team.

"But he's happy in the sense that the team created chances and that he's on the right path to scoring goals.

"I don't think he needs rest. I think the bread and butter of any striker is to actually score goals and that hasn't been happening, so he's concerned about that but he's on the up and creating chances and the team is on a good run.

"Defensively the team has been solid at the back and offensively as well the team has been good, so overall we are keeping a good run and are looking to score the goals eventually."

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