With Manchester United having put one foot in the EFL Cup final, Liverpool have all the more incentive to reach Wembley by beating Southampton.
Jurgen Klopp should take tonight’s trip to St Mary’s a little more seriously than he took the FA Cup 3rd round draw against Plymouth, and that’s already been evidenced by his inclusion of Philippe Coutinho in the squad.
Klopp will be desperate for his first trophy at Anfield having lost two cup finals, but a resilient Saints outfit stand in his way.
And while Liverpool are favourites for the first leg, Southampton aren’t bad value at 23/10. The mantle of responsibility will no doubt fall on Jay Rodriguez in Charlie Austin’s continued absence, and he’s at 13/2 to score and for Southampton to win in 90 minutes.
On the other hand, SkyBet also have Adam Lallana scoring and Liverpool winning 2-1 at an impressive 35/1, and even if Coutinho returns, it may be up to Liverpool’s other attackers to score the goals as it’s likely the Brazilian may only feature in a cameo appearance.
There are eight places between the two sides in the Premier League table, but there could be very little between them tonight. Liverpool progressed to the semi-finals by beating Championship Leeds, but Southampton are evidently not taking the competition lightly, going all out to beat Arsenal to reach the last four.
Regardless, it’s likely to be a lively encounter, and it’s worth putting money on there being plenty of goals. Although they drew 0-0 when they last met in November, in the two meetings before that, there were a total of 12 goals – though it has to be said, Sadio Mane played a big part in that for Southampton.