- Football - England - Carling Cup
Probable starting lineups:
Forster, Soares, Van Dijk, Yoshida, Bertrand, Davis, Romeu, Hojbjerg, Redmond, Long, Tadic
Karius, Clyne, Klavan, Lovren, Milner, Ejaria, Emre Can, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Sturridge, Firmino
Southampton and Liverpool will play the first-leg match of the semi-finals of the EFL Cup. I expect an efficient match, however I think that Southampton are closer to the victory at St Mary. There are four reasons for my pick. The first is connect with Liverpool. The Reds form isn't at desired level and Liverpool failed to win on the last two matches. They dropped two important points at Stadium of Light playing just a 2:2 draw with Sunderland, while on Sunday failed to beat fourth-tier outfit Plymouth playing just a goalless draw at Anfield.
The second reason is connect with Liverpool again. Their best scorer Sadio Mane is with Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations. His absence is a huge handicap for Klopp. Mane is the key player in the squad. He has nine goals and four assists so far in the Premier League. According to me, Mane is irreplaceable. That's not all, few more players are struggling with injury. Klopp announced that Coutinho, Henderson, Matip and Milner have recovered, but it is clear they are not 100 percent ready. It is not impossible that most of them will be saved for the upcoming derby with Manchester United on Sunday.
The third reason is connect with Southampton. They are not in perfect form at the moment, but Puel know how to play against the favorites. Don't forget Southampton won 2:0 against Arsenal in the previous stage of this competition, won 2:1 against Inter Milan in UEFA Europe League, while stayed unbeaten at the Emirats playing an 1:1 draw with Manchester City.
The fourth reason for my pick is connect with the last mutual results. The match against Liverpool in the Premier League in November finished with a goalless draw. The Saints won 3:2 in March, coming from 2:0 behind to stun the Reds. I believe they are able to upset Klopp once again.
|10/01/2017 10:06, read 501 times