MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Southampton
The Reds welcome Southampton to Anfield on Wednesday evening as they look to break a poor run of form and turn their 1-0 deficit around. Liverpool's recent loss to Swansea created major damage to their already dwindling title hopes. With the Saints semi-final followed by an FA Cup tie with Wolves then Chelsea in the league... Jurgen Klopp certainly has his work cut out.
|Image via 90min.com|
A Nathan Redmond goal is all that separates the two sides in this semi-final and whilst Southampton put on an impressive performance at home, whatever form the Reds are in, you'd be a fool to bet against them at Anfield in such an important match.
The last time the two sides met prior to this league cup draw was in November 2016. A game lacking in action at St Mary's ended 0-0. The Saints last trip to Anfield was in October 2015, another draw, this time 1-1 with Benteke bagging the Liverpool goal and Sadio Mane finding a late equaliser then being sent off shortly afterwards.
In the last ten matches between the sides in all competitions Liverpool have won four while Southampton have also picked up four wins. The two draws remaining were the games discussed previously.
Joel Matip has finally been cleared to play after FIFA couldn't decide what their own rules were but it's not clear whether the defender will feature on Wednesday. There are also concerns over the fitness of Jordan Henderson who picked up a knock against Swansea.
The latest news at the time of writing is relatively positive for Southampton however Virgil van Dijk may not be ready for the game.
Depending on the team put out by Klopp, Liverpool should walk away with a place in the final on Wednesday night. First of all because they now have a massive point to prove. Some people may not wish to admit to the levels of complacency from the team against Swansea but I for one agree that the Reds sometimes take their position for granted, they simply cannot afford to do that against Southampton with a final at stake.
Secondly, because on paper and with the type of players we have available the Reds should be beating Southampton under Klopp at home, if they don't, then something is wrong. As many have pointed out we're in need of more depth (doesn't look like we're gonna sign anyone though) but while I agree we need more options and there are areas we need to strengthen I don't think anyone can deny the amount of options we have in attack?
At the final whistle of the first leg I was 100% confident that we'd turn the tie around however what has unfolded since then has fed some doubt into my mind.
It should be a very interesting game either way. Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!