Southampton v Liverpool - Wednesday 19:45, Sky Sports 1
Jose Fonte will play no part in Wednesday’s EFL Cup semi-final first leg after handing in a transfer request last week. And though speculation over the Portuguese defender’s future is more of a hindrance than a help, it shouldn’t detract too much from the excitement of Southampton bidding to reach their first League Cup final since 1979.
Over the past 11 seasons, 13 teams have started the first leg as outsiders at home and eight of them have won. It’s not a startling statistic but it’s enough to believe there might be value in the 13/5 available on the home win at St Mary’s. In the event of a one-goal defeat, Liverpool would still expect to take care of business under the lights at Anfield.
And therein lies a crucial point as to why Saints should be shorter - not bigger - than the 12/5 chalked-up for the Premier League tussle at this venue back in November, which finished 0-0. Should they edge ahead at any stage, the priority for Jurgen Klopp’s men isn’t necessarily to restore parity as soon as possible, rather ensure that no further damage is done. A narrow defeat is no disaster.
With that in mind, take the 10/1 available on the Southampton 1-0 correct score. It might be slightly counterintuitive to side with Saints on the back of three straight Premier League defeats but after they messed up their Europa League campaign, this is now the competition that makes or breaks their season. And seldom do the top teams ever get an easy ride at St Mary’s.£10 Free Credit and a £500 Deposit Bonus