Luis Suarez could be banned from facing Saints at Anfield for the second season in a row for a biting incident if FIFA decide to hit the striker with a worldwide ban.
FIFA are currently investigating the Uruguayan forward after he appeared to bite Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during his nation’s decisive World Cup win on Tuesday night.
Suarez has already been banned for biting an opponent twice before, with the last incident, involving Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic earning him a ban that meant he missed the visit of Saints at the start of last season.
With Ronald Koeman’s men due to visit Liverpool on the first day of the forthcoming campaign, Suarez could find himself sidelined again if FIFA find him guilty and opt for a worldwide ban rather than just for international competition.
That could also mean Rickie Lambert getting the chance for an immediate meeting with his former teammates following his £4m move to Liverpool.
There has been widespread condemnation of Suarez following the incident.
Paul Scholes believes a 10-match ban or a suspension for the remainder for the World Cup tournament would not be sufficient punishment for Suarez, pictured.
Former England and Manchester United midfielder Scholes said: “Luis Suarez was banned for 10 games for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in April 2013. That obviously wasn’t enough.
“On Tuesday night, with the biting incident on Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s Group D clash, Suarez embarrassed his club, country and family.
“Banning him for the rest of the World Cup is not enough, because Colombia will beat Uruguay in their next game anyway.”
Scholes thinks Suarez’s behaviour will overshadow his ability as a footballer in the minds of the viewing public.
“He will feel terrible, and the entire incident is such a shame because he’s a tremendous player,” Scholes added.
“But people will remember Suarez now for his biting antics at this World Cup rather than his supreme footballing ability.”