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Football | Barclays Premier League

Southampton trio face boyhood heroes

There will be three Liverpool fans at Anfield for the match against Southampton on Saturday who will be desperately hoping the Merseyside club lose.

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins, midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin and striker Rickie Lambert are happy to admit they grew up supporting the club they will be battling to upset at the weekend.

Adkins, who was born on Merseyside and was a youth player at Anfield, is excited about returning to his old stomping ground while for "scouser" Lambert, Saturday's clash is one he has had marked on the calendar for some time.

Southampton have had a difficult start to life in the Premier League and are third from bottom after 14 games, but they face a Liverpool team struggling to convert possession into points.

"It will be good to go there," Adkins told reporters. "I was a schoolboy at Liverpool. I had the option to stay there before I decided to go to Tranmere Rovers.

"Obviously they're going through a transition at this moment in time, but it is a game that we'll look forward to as we do every single game."

Schneiderlin, who grew up in Northern France, is looking forward to testing himself against his midfield idol Steven Gerrard, whose dynamic displays for the Reds convinced him to buck the trend and support Liverpool rather than Manchester United.

"When you watch football on TV in France, you had to choose between Liverpool and Manchester United," he said on the club website (www.saintsfc.co.uk).

"Six-or-seven years ago, everyone chose Manchester United but I chose Liverpool because I loved Steven Gerrard as a player.

"I will treat him like any other player on Saturday. I just want to confront him and see what I can do against him. He's one of the best players in the world, and that's who I want to play against in every game. It's my job to keep the other midfield as quiet as possible."

Southampton's top scorer Lambert has a tattoo of a Liver bird, a symbol of the city which is on the club's crest, on his shoulder.

"I've tried my best not to put any attention on it, but it has been at the back of my head," Lambert said.

"It has come round now so I'm really looking forward to it."


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