Southampton vs Liverpool starting teams: Coutinho returns from injury as neither manager pulls any punches

Southampton host Liverpool this evening in the EFL Cup semi-final first-leg.

Both sides will likely see this as their most realistic chance at winning silverware this campaign. It would be Jurgen Klopp’s first at Anfield, what some would see as the first of many. If they are able to defeat Liverpool over the two legs, it’d be the first time Southampton have reached the final of the League Cup for 27 years.

The Saints are without their captain Jose Fonte tonight after the Portuguese handed in a transfer request. Sofiane Boufal also misses out with a knee injury.

Jordan Henderson is sidelined with a heel injury, but Philippe Coutinho makes the match-day squad for the first time since sustaining a knee injury in November.

Claude Puel has pulled no punches with his starting eleven, naming a full strength side, with Virgil Van Dijk taking the armband in Fonte’s absence. Klopp will have one eye on his side’s clash with Manchester United at the weekend, but a cup semi-final is no time to be resting players.

Here are how both sides line up:

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