It has been a shaky start to 2017 for Jurgen Klopp’s men. They are yet to pick up a Premier League win, let go of a one-goal lead against Manchester United and suffered an unexpected loss to Swansea last week. This, alongside a disappointing 1-0 loss to Southampton in the League Cup a few weeks ago, has probably forced some Liverpool fans to end dry January a couple of weeks early.
The first leg of this semi-final could have ended 3-0 or worse had there been a more clinical finishing option for the then-home side. They must find goals this evening if they want to get to Wembley next month.
Saints will go through to the final this evening if they hold Liverpool to a 0-0 draw, or if they win. So best believe there’s a good chance they will roll that bus right onto the pitch at Anfield and stick the handbrake firmly on.
Back in November at St Mary’s, Claude Puel made light work of holding the then free-scoring Reds to a goalless stalemate. With Liverpool’s creativity in front of goal seeming a little lacklustre of late – perhaps missing Sadio Mane or a fully fit Phil Coutinho – under 2.5 goals seems a very tempting option.
Despite their dry patch recently, it should be remembered that this was the side hammering four, five, and six goals past Leicester, Hull and Watford respectively. Coutinho has been back from injury for a couple of weeks now, and after signing a new contract today could provide them with a much-needed attacking boost.
Virgil van Dijk is also reportedly set to miss the game this evening and could be out for up to three months after sustaining an ankle injury. The Dutchman has been a real talisman in defence for Puel and has been attracting plenty of attention. This should be something Klopp can take advantage of this evening.
By far The Reds’ greatest player in their Swansea defeat last week, he scored their two goals of the game playing in a central role, where he looked much happier and very impressive.
At the moment, it looks as though if a Liverpool player is going to score it’s going to be him. The Brazilian has netted nine league goals in all competitions alongside three assists, and looks decent value here.