League Cup Semi-final Preview – Southampton vs Liverpool

January 11, 2016 19:45pm

St. Mary’s Stadium

Recent Form (All Competitions):

Southampton: DLLLW

Liverpool: DDWWW

Southampton will have to beat the League Cup’s most successful team ever if they are going to progress to their first cup major final in 14 years. The two-legged match kicks off at St. Mary’s Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Saints come into this game on the back of a four-game winless streak, including three Premier League defeats and a draw in the FA Cup. Standing in their way of their first League Cup final appearance since the 3-2 defeat to Nottingham Forest in 1979 are the team that knocked them out in last year’s edition of the competition. On that occasion, the Reds ran out 6-1 winners on the South Coast at the quarter-final stage.

Claude Puel was not in charge for that game but will certainly be looking to avoid a similar score-line this time round. He will be boosted by the fact that he guided his side to a 0-0 draw when the teams met at St. Mary’s in the Premier League back in November. They come into this game on the back of a 2-2 draw at Norwich City in the third round of the FA Cup – a result that broke a run of three-straight defeats.

Sofiane Boufal, Charlie Austin, Jake Hesketh, Matt Targett and Jeremy Pied are the only confirmed absentees for the home side.

Meanwhile, Liverpool will be looking to reach the final for the second year running under Jurgen Klopp. With eight trophies to their name, the Reds are the most successful side in the history of the tournament. Their last win came back in 2012, when Kenny Dalglish’s side beat Cardiff City via a penalty shootout following a 2-2 draw.

With the second leg to be played at home, Jurgen Klopp’s men will start as clear favourites for this game and will be keen to take an advantage back to Anfield. They fielded their youngest ever starting XI when they were held 0-0 at home by Plymouth in Sunday’s FA Cup clash.

Klopp is looking for his first trophy since arriving at Anfield, having already led the team to two major finals. Since beating Southampton last season, the Reds have won three away games in this competition without conceding a goal. However, all of those games came against lower league opposition.

There are still doubts surrounding the fitness of several key players including James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Joel Matip and Philippe Coutinho, while Sadio Mane is representing Senegal in the African Cup of Nations.


Liverpool certainly seem to have an affinity with this tournament and Klopp will see this as the perfect opportunity to grab his first cup as Liverpool boss.

The Saints have a decent scoring record at home, having netted in all but two of their last 26 home encounters. However, they have not scored more than one in any of their last six.

With a second leg at Anfield still to come, the home side may need to show more attacking intent than usual and that could lead to an open game. With that in mind, this game should suit the visitors.

You can back Liverpool to win and Both Teams to Score at 15/4 with Betfair.

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