The EFL Cup semi final first legs continue as Liverpool take on Southampton (KO 19:45) tonight with a trip to Wembley up for grabs.
Following Arsenal’s home win over Hull last night, its now up to Liverpool who face a tricky first leg semi final at St Marys Stadium Southampton.
Whilst Manchester United are heavy favourites in their EFL Cup Semi-Final against Premier League strugglers Hull, the other two teams seem to be more evenly matched as Southampton are set to take on Liverpool in what should prove to be a thrilling contest.
Both sides currently sit in the top half of English footballs most prestigious league, and whilst Liverpool may be performing much better as they currently sit in 2nd place, they could not manage a victory over the Saints who held their Northern rivals to a draw back in November.
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Having said that, Southampton have not always been so successful against Liverpool, and potentially will be looking for revenge as Jurgen Klopp’s side smashed Southampton in last year’s EFL Cup 6-1.
So, how will the two teams be shaping up?
Southampton who are set to play the first leg at home will have almost a full first choice selection available to them, despite that of Jose Fonte who manager Claude Puel has revealed he will not be playing following Fonte’s transfer request being handed in.
Other than that, and the absences of Sofiane Boufal on international duty, alongside the injured Charlie Austin, Matthew Targett, Cedric Soares and Alex McCarthy, Southampton have a fully fit first team.
Liverpool also will have almost a full squad available to them, as the Red’s can be grateful that star man Philippe Coutinho is set to make a return in the match alongside Joel Matip, both of whom have been out injured until recently.
The only notable absence is Jordan Henderson, who has been suffering from a heel problem.
Klopp has confirmed he will go with Firmino, Sturridge, Lallana & Can in midfield, with Phillipe Coutinho indeed named amongst the substitutes which will bring a smile to fans of the away side.
With Saints in poor form and Liverpool flying high, Klopp and co. should be hoping to progress to the final over the two legs, but Southampton will need to and will be looking to take something at home if they are to stand much of a chance of progressing.
One to watch: If Coutinho does make a return, the Brazilian will be looking to show off his magic once again, something that could happen if he is fully fit. He starts on the bench tonight but is sure to get a run out as he returns from a long absence through injury.
The away side are 6/4 favourites to win this one, while Southampton can be backed at around 11/5.
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