Southampton v Liverpool: Big names can make the difference for Reds

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The second EFL Cup semi-final sees Southampton host Liverpool, and Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is set to welcome back his top stars.

The German made 10 changes for the weekend’s Emirates FA Cup clash with Plymouth – naming Liverpool’s youngest ever XI – but the League Two outfit held firm in a 0-0 draw.

And now Klopp is set to recall Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana in a bid to reach a third cup final as boss of the Anfield outfit.

And the other big news for Liverpool is that Philippe Coutinho is set to return from injury at St Mary’s too.

The bookies make the visitors 11/10 favourites to win tonight’s first-leg, with Southampton struggling for form of late.

Claude Puel’s men were held by Norwich in the FA Cup on Saturday, and have lost their last three league games.

For all the talk of Virgil van Dijk and Jose Fonte’s talent at the back, the Saints have conceded 11 goals in four games across league and cup.

It’s a run which has thrown some speculation over the Puel’s future at the Saints, although a place at Wembley would surely end those rumours.

Southampton are 12/5 for victory, as is a first-leg draw.

While Klopp has tightened up his Liverpool defence of late, the 2-2 draw with Sunderland suggests there are still improvements to be made.

Coupled with the goalscoring ability at his disposal, backing Klopp’s men to win and both teams to score should prove popular at 10/3.

The league clash earlier this season ended 0-0, but few signs point to a repeat here.

Southampton know they realistically need to take a lead to Anfield, and both teams to score is 8/11, while over 2.5 goals is 10/11.

With Sadio Mane now on Africa Cup of Nations duty, and Coutinho only just returning from injury, Daniel Sturridge has another chance to impress.

The England international has netted four goals from just two appearances in the EFL Cup this term, and leads the first goalscorer betting at 9/2.

Divock Origi is 5/1 to net first, with Shane Long leading the Southampton charge at 6s.

And if you fancy Coutinho to come back with a bang, the Brazilian star is a tempting 5/2 to net anytime.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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