On Wednesday night Premier League duo Southampton and Liverpool go head-to-head at St Marys Stadium in the semi-final first leg of the EFL Cup.
The home side have struggled of late to pick-up wins and have failed to win any of their last four games in all competitions. In their last outing, the Saints drew 2-2 at Championship Norwich in the FA Cup third round.
The Saints were impressive in a 2-0 win at Arsenal in the last round of this competition, though. Claude Puel’s side enjoyed the better of the clash against a typically under-strength Arsenal in the EFL Cup. The Saints boss has rotated his squad in previous rounds, even at Arsenal, but is likely to field a strong team in this clash.
These two teams clashed in the EFL Cup quarter-final last season at St Marys and the Reds hammered the Saints 6-1 to make it through to the last four of the competition.
Liverpool have enjoyed a strong campaign so far and sit second in the Premier League table. The Reds fielded a very young side against League Two Plymouth in the FA Cup at the weekend at Anfield and drew 0-0. Jurgen Klopp’s side have now drawn their last two games, having drawn at Sunderland the previous weekend.
Klopp’s side recorded a 2-0 win over Championship Leeds United in the last round and the side from Merseyside will be confident of another win in this clash. The visitors are without Senegalese winger Sadio Mane, who is at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho is close to a return, but whether this game will come too soon for him remains to be seen.
Forebet predicts that Liverpool will emerge from this game victorious with a lead to take into the second leg of this tie at Anfield.