The Capital One Cup plays host to what should be a fantastic tie on Wednesday night as Southampton face Liverpool in the quarter finals at St Mary’s. The clash involves record eight time winners Liverpool against the Saints a side who have never won the competition but were beaten in the final in 1979.
Southampton will be looking to use this competition as an objective to improve on their Premier League form which has been somewhat inconsistent so far. Ronald Koeman’s side are struggling to produce the same form they did last season with only two wins two draws and two defeats really summing up what their campaign has been like so far. The side from the South Coast come in to this one after their second league defeat in a row saw them lost 3-1 at the Etihad on Saturday to title chasing Manchester City. This together with a shock and disappointing 1-0 loss at home to Stoke a week before leaves Koeman’s side 10th in the table. Southampton entered this competition in round three as they eased past Championship side MK Dons 6-0 this was followed up by a 2-1 defeat of struggling Aston Villa in round four.
Liverpool last won this competition in 2012 although they may be targeting a top four finish and Champions League football a trophy would certainly not be turned away at Anfield. The mood at the Club has been lifted in recent weeks and was much needed too after the appointment of Jürgen Klopp who recently took charge in October and will see this competition as a great opportunity to claim his first silverware in England. Klopp has lost just once in his ten games since taking over has guided the Reds to fantastic away victories over current Champions Chelsea and Manchester City. The Reds recorded a 1-0 win over Swansea on Sunday thanks to a James Milner penalty, in this competition Klopp got his first victory in round four as a Nathaniel Clyne strike was enough to see off a brave Bournemouth side. Prior to this in round three ex Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers saw his side defeat Carlise United on penalties at Anfield in an intense tie.
Southampton defender Jose Fonte is a doubt for the tie after a knock to the knee in the defeat at Manchester City. Jay Rodriguez remains unavailable until January, while Graziano Pelle could return from suspension to take his place up front with Shane Long moving in to a more wider role.
Liverpool could hand starts to both Daniel Sturridge & Jordan Henderson after the pair came off the bench in Sunday’s win against Swansea. Phillipe Coutinho and Lucas could also start with Lucas available again after a suspension and Coutinho poised to return from a hamstring injury.
Kick off: 7.45pm
Possible Starting 11s.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Lovren, Moreno, Lucas, Milner, Henderson, Ibe, Sturridge, Firmino.
Southampton: Stekelenburg, Yoshida, Caulker, Van Dijk, Bertrand, Wanyama, Romeu, Davis, Ward Prowse, Long, Pelle.
Written by @JCLFC94