Liverpool host Southampton in the FA Cup fifth round at Anfield on Wednesday. The Reds top the Premier League table and lifted the Carabao Cup on Sunday. Saints sit fourth in the EFL Championship, some five points off automatic promotion spots.
Jurgen Klopp’s team have lost just once in 16 matches in all competitions and just twice in 26 Premier League matches. They sit a point clear of Man City in the league table. On Sunday, a late goal with several youngsters on the pitch brought a 1-0 Carabao Cup final victory over Chelsea.
Before that, the goals were flowing for the Reds. They beat Chelsea 4-1 in the league before a 3-1 defeat at Arsenal. With 11 goals scored in the next three matches, they put that setback behind them. Burnley were defeated 3-1, Liverpool won 4-1 at Brentford and last midweek saw a 4-1 home victory over Luton.
Liverpool Team News
Jurgen Klopp has around a dozen players missing. Alisson won’t play any part in the goal and Diogo Jota misses out in the attack. Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez are also expected to be missing up front.
In midfield, Thiago Alcantara, Stefan Bajcetic, Dominik Szoboszlai, and Curtis Jones were out. Ryan Gravenberch and Wataru Endo have now joined them. Trent Alexander-Arnold is also injured. There could be starts for youngsters Jarell Quansah, Bobby Clark, James McConnell, and Jayden Danns.
Liverpool are in a very determined mood and will want to reach the next round of the FA Cup.
Having said that, Klopp is not going to risk players with injuries as the Premier League is a match higher priority and they will have one eye on the weekend match vs Nottingham Forest.
It’s been a strong season for Russell Martin’s team. They sit fourth in the Championship and have a shot at automatic promotion. Having lost to Middlesbrough in September, they went 25 matches without losing in all competitions. After a 5-3 home win over Huddersfield in round 30, Southampton sat second in the table with a game in hand over Leeds.
The wheels have come off since then. A 3-1 loss at Bristol City preceded a 2-0 win at West Brom. Their last two matches have ended in defeats. Saints were beaten 2-1 at home by Hull City and 2-1 at St. Mary’s by Millwall on Saturday.
Southampton Team News
Experienced winger Ryan Fraser picked up an injury in the loss to Millwall and will play no part for the next four weeks. Samuel Edozie is expected to take his place on the left flank.
Young right-back Juan Larios is out injured and so is striker Ross Stewart. Coach Russell Martin may rotate his side with striker Adam Armstrong and winger Kamaldeen Sulemana getting starts in the front three.
It’s not clear how much Saints will care about the FA Cup. They need to focus on getting back to winning ways in the Championship.
Expect a possession-focused and attacking outlook as that is the only way Russell Martin knows how to play.
Liverpool have won 11 of their last 13 matches
Liverpool have kept 1 clean sheet in 8 matches
Liverpool have scored 28 goals in their last 8 matches at Anfield
Southampton have scored in their last 30 fixtures
Southampton have lost 3 of their last 4 matches
On paper, Liverpool should win. However, a dozen injuries mean this could be a close encounter. We should see the Reds progress even with a handful of youngsters selected.
Best Bet: Both Teams to Score + Over 2.5 goals at 1.76
Alternate Bet: Liverpool win and both teams to score at 2.65
Goalscorer Tip: Cody Gakpo to score anytime at 2.25