EFL Cup: Liverpool to put one foot in final with victory against out-of-sorts Saints
Liverpool look set to move a step closer to their second League Cup Final in as many seasons when they travel to St. Mary’s on Wednesday night.
Standing in their way are Southampton, who’ll be seeking revenge for the heavy defeat they suffered at the hands of the Merseyside club last season.
Both sides will look for a much-improved performance here, having both suffered disappointing draws to lower-league opposition in the FA Cup.
Liverpool will be boosted by the news that Phillippe Coutinho is set to make the substitutes bench after a seven-week layoff.
Other positive injury news sees James Milner restored to the line-up following his calf injury, but the game is too soon for Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip.
Jurgen Klopp will be desperate to capitalise on Saints with a win here, and more importantly, an advantage to take to Anfield for the return leg.
Southampton counterpart, Claude Puel, has already confirmed that skipper Jose Fonte will not feature in the squad following a transfer request.
While, striker Charlie Austin and midfielder Sofiane Boufal remain side-lined through injury and will also miss the game.
The Saints are in dismal form in the league, suffering three losses in as many games, but will be spurred on by their cup form so far this campaign.
They’ve already beaten three Premier League teams to reach the last four in Crystal Palace and Sunderland at home, followed by Arsenal away.
Furthermore, fans will be buoyed by the clean sheet they kept against free-scoring Liverpool in the league at home in November.
Of course, the result depends on what Liverpool turn up, with Klopp’s side guilty of some poor defending so far this season.
The German promised to bring more silverware to Anfield, and this seems the perfect starting point.
He’ll have the team fired up for the semi-final, with many players looking to stake a claim for a starting place against Manchester United this weekend.
Perhaps, no more so than forward Daniel Sturridge, who has looked sharp in previous weeks following injury woes and is sure to test the Saints defence.
For these reasons, added to the poor form of Puel’s side, I’ll be backing Liverpool at 2.20 with sportsbet.io.