Southampton vs Liverpool by PatrickBateman
Southampton are on a bad run of four competitive games without a win. Also, they have pretty bad goal difference durign that period - 4:11. In the last game on Saturday against Norwich in FA Cup they were close to victory, but Naismith scored in 92nd minute to make it 2:2. They have only three home losses this season, across all competitons, but two of them being back-to-back in the last days of December. They have been criticised lately for being "boring", and it is clear why, since they are rarely scoring more than one goal per game, which makes winning hard for them. In fact, since the start of November, in fifteen competitive games, they managed to score more than one goal in only four games, with only one of them being in Premier League. However, at home, they failed to score in only two games this season - against Chelsea and Liverpool. They will be without their Fonte who requested transfer, as well as without injured Boufal.
After surprising loss against Bournemouth, Liverpool continue being unbeatable, keeping clean sheet in four out of their last five games, including 1:0 win against Manchester City. On Sunday they played 0:0 against Plymouth in FA Cup, with mixed line-up, which means Klopp will name his strongest squad tonight. Even Coutinho should be back, according to him. In the last Premier League game aganst Sunderland, they only managed to get a point, even though they were up two times, with Defoe cancelling their lead both times from penalty spot. Liverpool will be eager to repeat their last season`s succes when they played in final of this competition, and maybe even surpass it.
Liverpool are favourites for this game, but it is going to be a tough task for them. Southampton have been solid at home the whole season, and will be eager to bounce back after two consecutive home losses. Also, this is semifinal, so motivation shouldn`t be questionable for them, especially because this is their only chance for trophy. Liverpool are also going to be motivated, and they are favourites to reach the final. They probably will eventually, but I wouldn`t back them to win tonight. There have been too many oscillation in their game this season to trust them in a match like this. Considering their stellar attacking record, them scoring here should be natural to expect. Also, Southampton should continue their domestic scoring run, despite Liverpool`s recent good defensive performances. Last game between these two finished 0:0 earlier this season, but I think we will see goals this time, from both sided. Both teams to score.
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