FA Cup: Liverpool vs. Southampton match preview, prediction, team news, lineups

FA Cup: Liverpool vs. Southampton match preview, prediction, team news, lineups
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FA Cup: Liverpool vs. SouthamptonLiverpool, the EFL Cup champions, return to the FA Cup on Wednesday night when Southampton visits Anfield for a fifth-round matchup, with the quadruple progress bar now at 25%.

The Reds make their way back to their Merseyside home after defeating Chelsea 1-0 in extra time in the EFL Cup final, while Millwall defeated the Saints 2-1 in Saturday’s Championship match.

Since signing his first contract with the Reds, Jurgen Klopp has carefully placed seven pieces of silverware into the Liverpool cabinet, including his first Premier League title and sixth Champions League crown.

FA Cup: Liverpool vs. Southampton match preview, prediction, team news, lineups

However, the German manager is leaving after leading his team to an EFL Cup victory over a timid Chelsea, calling it the most “special” honour of his managerial career thus far.

After 120 minutes of thrilling action at Wembley, where it appeared that another final between Liverpool and Chelsea would be decided from the dreaded 12-yard line, Klopp made his announcement. However, Virgil van Dijk made the most important contribution of all, heading in the game’s winning goal 118 minutes in.

A decimated Liverpool, who finished the match with a handful of teenage academy products on the field, may still be licking their wounds from their Wembley warfare, but nothing can dampen the joy of a record-extending 10th EFL Cup victory.

Already without a full XI of injured players and witnessing two more enforcers depart on crutches.

The joy among Klopp’s group will have to subside in a few hours, though, as Liverpool attempts to advance past the FA Cup’s fifth round on Wednesday for just the second time in the previous nine seasons; the only other time they have done so since 2015 was when they took the 2021–22 crown home with them.

Liverpool’s FA Cup mastery has already claimed wins over Arsenal and Norwich City this season. The Premier League leaders’ victory over Chelsea marked their fourth straight victory in all competitions. 

They also put an end to a seven-game losing streak without a clean sheet by holding Mauricio Pochettino’s meek squad at bay.

Liverpool’s celebrations clashed with Southampton’s depression during the last weekend of February.

Russell Martin’s team lost to Neil Harris’s Millwall on Saturday, their third straight loss at home in the Championship and their second straight loss overall.

FA Cup: Liverpool vs. Southampton match preview, prediction, team news, lineups

After Che Adams’ header early in the first half, Southampton lost 2-1 to Hull City four days earlier at St Mary’s. Martin’s team now sits five points outside of the automatic promotion spots. Goals from Japhet Tanganga and Zian Flemming sealed the defeat.

Martin has stated that a midweek FA Cup match, much less one away to Liverpool, is the last thing his team needs right now given their second-tier struggles.

However, because of their victories over Walsall and Watford—the latter coming via a replay—the Saints are unable to avoid their knockout obligations at Anfield.

Southampton lost at this stage to massive killers Grimsby Town in the 2022–23 season after making it to the fifth round twice in a row in 2020–21 and 2021–22.

However, thanks to Adams’s heroic effort against Millwall, the Saints were able to extend their remarkable scoring run to 30 games in all competitions.

These two teams have not faced off in the FA Cup since Liverpool’s 3-0 victory in the 1989–1990 season.

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Southampton famously held the Reds to a thrilling 4–4 draw in the final round of the 2022–2023 Premier League season. However, in their previous six meetings at Anfield, Klopp’s team has prevailed.

Liverpool FA Cup form:

W W

Liverpool form (all competitions):

W L W W W W

Southampton FA Cup form:

W D W

Southampton form (all competitions):

W W L W L L

Liverpool’s season-opening victory came at a heavy price, as Ryan Gravenberch was carted off the Wembley pitch on a stretcher following a horrific challenge from Moises Caicedo, while Wataru Endo was also observed leaving the stadium on crutches.

Dominik Szoboszlai, Darwin Nunez, and Mohamed Salah—who was captured on camera going crazy during the celebrations—all failed late fitness tests and were left off the matchday squad on Sunday. 

This forced Klopp to admit that, following their exhausting performance at Wembley, he might find it difficult to field a full lineup for the midweek match.

The only Reds player who is certain to miss time is Curtis Jones (shine), Alisson Becker (hamstring), Ben Doak (knee), Joel Matip (knee), Trent Alexander-Arnold (knee), Diogo Jota (knee), Stefan Bajcetic (calf), and Thiago Alcantara (muscle). Only Jones might return before next month’s international break.

Speaking of players departing on crutches, Ryan Fraser, a winger for Southampton on loan from Newcastle, needed this assistance following a knee injury he suffered during his team’s defeat against Millwall. Martin has already declared the Scotsman ineligible for the tournament’s fifth round.

Fraser has joined Ross Stewart (muscle) and Juan Larios (unspecified) at the St Mary’s infirmary. The visiting manager is unable to substitute David Brooks for his teammate since the Bournemouth loanee is cup-tied due to his previous tournament appearance for the Cherries.

As a result, Kamaldeen Sulemana and Samuel Edozie should be drafted back into the attacking line out wide. However, unlike Brooks, Joe Rothwell, a player owned by Bournemouth, is able to play and may be considered to replace Flynn Downes in the middle.

Liverpool possible starting lineup:

Kelleher; Bradley, Gomez, Quansah, Tsimikas; Clark, Mac Allister, McConnell; Elliott, Danns, Gakpo

Southampton possible starting lineup:

Lumley; Bree, Stephens, Bednarek, Walker-Peters; Rothwell, Smallbone, Aribo; Edozie, Adams, Sulemana

Our prediction for this match 2-0 or 2-1 won by liverpool

FA Cup: Liverpool vs. Southampton match preview, prediction, team news, lineups

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