Southampton will face record eight-time League Cup Winners Liverpool football club on Wednesday night at St. Mary’s stadium for a place in the last four of this year’s edition. Ronald Koeman’s Saints have had a steady if not spectacular start this campaign, with 5 wins, 5 draws and 4 defeats in 14 games, they have accrued 20 points and sit 10th on the league table. One of their more impressive victories of the season came in the League Cup when they tore lower league opposition MK Dons to shreds in a 6-0 rout followed by a hard fought win against Aston Villa. They will go into this game on the back of a defeat at the Etihad Stadium yet with this being a home tie and the fact that Liverpool will be playing their third game in seven days, they should fancy themselves on Wednesday against Jurgen Klopp’s travelling Reds.
Liverpool have gone through a managerial change this season that, by the looks of it, is working wonders and has punters flocking to www.netticasino24.info and other gambling platforms to back them for a top four spot this season.
Jurgen Klopp has stepped into this side and has transformed the style with the Reds playing with a bit more swagger and purpose than they did in the last 12 months. Impressive away victories at Chelsea and more notably at Man City and the way the did it hasn’t gone unnoticed and have paved the way for Liverpool to slowly climb that table. The Reds now find themselves in sixth position, just 4 points off fourth placed Arsenal and a good win in Europe in midweek will give them enough confidence going into the League Cup game on Wednesday. Jurgen Klopp did win a good number of trophies in his time with Borussia Dortmund and he, above all, would be motivated enough, to take it to the opposition against Southampton. Not to forget, their last trophy came in 2012 and it was League Cup won under the stewardship of Kenny Dalglish.
Graziano Pelle missed the trip to the Etihad due to suspension and should return to the starting line-up in midweek. Jose Fonte is a doubt for the match after suffering a knock on his knee against Man City on the weekend, while forward Jay Rodriguez remains sidelined until January.
Liverpool’s England pair of Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson returned to the squad in the 1-0 win against Swansea and could even make a return to the starting 11 on Wednesday. Philippe Coutinho was rested for Swansea with a hamstring injury, but Klopp has said that he is confident the Brazilian will feature.
Southampton possible starting lineup: Stekelenburg; Yoshida, Caulker, van Dijk, Bertrand; Wanyama, Romeu; Long, Ward-Prowse, Davis; Pelle
Liverpool possible starting lineup: Mignolet; Clyne, Skrtel, Lovren, Moreno; Milner, Lucas, Henderson; Ibe, Sturridge, Firmino
Liverpool’s last visit to Southampton ended in a 2-0 win for the visitors in February.
The Saints denied Klopp a first home win in charge of the Merseysiders as the teams drew 1-1 at Anfield in the Premier League, in October.
The last time the pair met in the League Cup was during the 2002-03 campaign – when Liverpool went on to lift the trophy – after the Reds beat Southampton 3-1 at Anfield in the third round.
Key Men Comparison
Dusan Tadic (Southampton) v Martin Skrtel (Liverpool)
Dusan Tadic has one again showed why he is one of the most important players in this Southampton side scoring 3 goals and 3 more, in 13 appearances. He has created the most number of chances from open play in this campaign for the Saints with 36, including the 3 assists. With Pelle in decent scoring form, it’s Tadic who links midfield and the Italian forward who likes to play on his own up top, doing damage in the final third with quick and precise passing. He could play a vital role in disorganising the Liverpool defence which has looked good so far, under the German boss.
As I touched on before, Klopp has massively improved Liverpool’s work at the back, they are more organised now, defend as a unit alongside the midfield and basically know what they are doing which was not the case under Brendan Rodgers. Skrtel has been an important cog in that engine and his performance at the Etihad showed what he can do, on his day, which is why he should be crucial for Liverpool, on Wednseday especially, with this being an away game and Southampton are expected to keep the ball for longer periods.
I do think Liverpool will win on Wednesday, despite this being a tough game for pretty much any side in England. In fact I feel Liverpool are going all the way this year in this tournament.
Southampton 1-2 Liverpool