Southampton will be without their captain Jose Fonte for as Liverpool visit them at St. Mary’s Stadium in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-final on Wednesday.
Fonte, 33, had submitted a transfer request last week and Saints boss Claude Puel has indicated that he will not be including the defender in his team until after the transfer window closes.
For Liverpool, key playmaker Philippe Coutinho is set to return after nearly seven weeks out with ankle ligament damage, while captain Jordan Henderson misses out because of a heel injury.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is expected to include a number of first team players for the trip to St Mary’s.
Last weekend, he fielded the youngest Reds line-up in history for Sunday’s FA Cup third-round tie with League Two side Plymouth, but the club’s youngsters struggled to impress as they were held to a goalless draw.
Klopp says his side’s disappointing FA Cup display does not mean they are under greater pressure to perform against Southampton.
“There is no more pressure on us,” he said. “It is an opportunity. It is always a new day.”
“I said to the lads last year it would not be the last final they would be involved in and this is the first chance to prove this.”
Prediction: Southampton (0) – (2) Liverpool
- Liverpool defeated Southampton by 6-1 at the same venue in the League Cup quarter-finals last season.
- When they last met in November, both sides drew 0-0 at the same venue in the Premier League.
- Southampton never reached the League Cup final since a 1979 defeat at the hands of Nottingham Forest.