The first leg of the EFL Cup semi final between Southampton and Liverpool goes off on Wednesday night at St Mary’s. The two clubs have already met on the south coast this season in the Premier League when they played out a 0-0 draw. So the Saints have been one of the few sides to have actually managed to blank the powerful Reds attack this season and they are going to need to be at their defensive best against against the Anfield crew on Sunday night.
Southampton have to try and land some kind of advantage here to go to Anfield with in the second leg and defend. They won’t want to have to go up north having to try and chase the tie. But the Saints are winless in their last four games now across all competitions and their defence has been crumbling with eleven goals shipped in their last four games played. So will they be able to hold tight and keep the Reds at bay?
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was clearly targeting this game as he sent out a youth side to compete with Plymouth in the FA Cup on the weekend at Anfield. The big guns will be recalled for the trip to Southampton in midweek of course and that means that likes of Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino are likely to get plenty of looks in on goal during the 90 minutes of the first leg. Liverpool have the kind of attacking power and options that can tear defences apart as we have seen this season so often.
So what will we see? Will it be a tight cautious first leg affair in midweek, or will we see an open game with both sides taking on a positive approach to trying to draw first blood in the two-legged semi final? The winner of the Hull and Manchester United tie will be waiting for the winner of this one in the Final at Wembley, the first chance of landing some silverware this season.
There is a great promotion running on the EFL Cup semi final over at Bookmaker Betfair that punters can enjoy. Just go and place a pre-match single of the First, Last or Anytime goalscorer market on the game and if your players goes on to score a second goal in the game then you will get paid out at double your original odds! The maximum qualifying stake is £10 and the winnings will be paid out in cash at the normal price and then the double odds payout will be received as free bets.