Southampton v Liverpool Betting Tips: Visitors to profit from a high-scoring first leg
This second EFL Cup semi-final looked like it would be quite finely balanced a few weeks ago. Now however, it looks like it will only be swinging one way.
Southampton had been on a good run until a few weeks ago, but they’re currently without a win in four, losing their last three league matches before only managing a 2-2 draw away at Championship Norwich City. The Saints are still in the Premier League’s top-10 but will need to improve drastically to maintain such a position. However, this League Cup competition gives them a good chance of winning some silverware this year. It has hardly been an easy journey for Southampton in the EFL Cup having had to dispose of three Premier League sides on the way to this semi-final.
Claude Puel’s men had been known for their defensive reliability in the earlier part of the campaign but now that solidity has seemingly disappeared with no clean sheets in their last five, conceding an alarming 11 in just four games. The fact that they lack goals, combined with this sudden defensive slump, is the main reason why The Saints have slipped down the league with just 19 scored in 20 games.
Home form has usually been so reliable for Southampton but they have now lost their last two at St. Mary’s Stadium. However, in the League Cup they have an excellent record on home soil with seven wins in eight matches.
Liverpool had been on a fantastic run having recorded four wins on the bounce but they have come down from cloud nine a bit recently with two consecutive draws, firstly in the Premier League against Sunderland before failing to see off League Two side Plymouth Argyle at Anfield in the FA Cup. Having said that, the Reds will still feel they have a good chance in both competitions as well as the League Cup.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are of course famed for their goalscoring exploits and intense pressing game. However, although they played a weaker side against Plymouth on Saturday, the Pilgrims showed that if you are defensively resolute then you can achieve a result, even at Anfield.
Apart from a couple of goals let in at Sunderland (both of which came from the spot), Liverpool have been a lot more solid at the back in recent times with just one goal conceded in the last six games – excluding that 2-2 draw against the Black Cats.
As you would expect from a top side, the Reds are pretty good on the road with just two losses in 13 trips away from Anfield. Furthermore, they have won their last six away League Cup games, including an emphatic 6-1 victory over Southampton in December 2015.
It will certainly be interesting to see what sort of teams these two field for this match on Wednesday. Even though we are at the semi-final stage, I get the feeling we will see slightly weakened teams take to the pitch St. Mary’s Pitch.
Firstly, I think you have to back a Liverpool win here as Southampton’s usually reliable home record has now gone off the boil whilst Liverpool, who should welcome back most, if not all, of their main attacking players, look a very confident side on their day. At odds of 7/5, the visitors are worth backing to regain that winning feeling.
If you want something with more flexibility then ‘Over 2.5 Goals’, at 11/10, also makes for a decent bet here. As previously mentioned, The Saints defence has been rather rocky in recent matches – against a Liverpool attack who’re capable of scoring goals against pretty much any side, they might just crumble. On the other hand, Liverpool, when put under pressure defensively, are not the surest at all so goals all round is certainly a possibility here.
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