MATCH PREVIEW: Southampton V Liverpool
|Image via telegraph.co.uk|
With Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson back in contention it will be interesting to see whether Jurgen Klopp includes the players in this important fixture. Injuries however mean the Reds will still be unable to call upon Mamadou Sakho and it is unclear as to whether Philippe Coutinho will return.
For Southampton, they are without Jose Fonte after he picked up a knee injury against Man City. Despite this blow, Koeman has no other injury woes to contend with in the run up to this game.
The last time the two sides met was in October this year. The league game ended 1-1 thanks to goals from Christian Benteke and Saido Mane, the latter of whom got sent off just four minutes after his 86th minute equaliser. The Reds last visit to St Mary's ended well with Coutinho and Sterling securing a 2-0 win. We only have to travel back to 2013 though to find a win for the Saints at home after they beat us 3-1 in March of that year.
Over the years Southampton have picked up some decent results against the Reds and another strong season from the southerners sees them sitting 10th in the league table just three points behind Liverpool.
Southampton's current form in the league indicates they have won two out of their last six fixtures whilst Liverpool have recorded three wins. To add to this, the Saints come into this league cup quarter final having lost their last two fixtures in the league.
In the third round Southampton put an impressive six goals past MK Dons and recorded a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa in the last 16. For Liverpool a 1-1 draw with Carlisle had to be settled on penalties and the Reds were extremely lucky to progress, the round of 16 saw them beat Bournemouth 1-0.
- If Liverpool progress it will be their third time in the semi-finals within the last five seasons.
- Southampton have been knocked out in only two of their last 14 home games in the League Cup.
- Benteke has scored in his last two games against the Saints, both in the league.
I'm genuinely quite excited for this game, it is after all a quarter final even if you're not a big fan of the League Cup, I challenge you to find me a Liverpool fan who doesn't want Klopp to be given the opportunity of leading his side to some silverware.
It will be a tough task for Liverpool who didn't look convincing against Swansea at the weekend. The positive of course, in a strange way is that this match is away from home. The Reds have been more confident on the road so far this season and Klopp's tactics seem to compliment away games perfectly at present.
If I put any bets on tomorrow I'll more than likely have something on a Skrtel goal but as for the scoreline I'm feeling optimistic and will punt for a 3-1 Liverpool win.
Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!