Typically when making betting predictions, there are numerous factors which go into the melting pot before we can generate an informed opinion as to how the action is going to pan out.
With EFL Cup encounters, we also have to add another into the mix: which team wants it more?
The reason we say that is because Liverpool, with immeasurably bigger fish to fry in the Premier League, are probably going to be less motivated to win here than Southampton, currently tenth in the league and with little chance of a high finish or getting relegated. For the Saints, this game and the second leg could be the biggest of their season.
We saw at the weekend that Jurgen Klopp is perhaps going to put cup ambitions on the backburner – he named the youngest starting eleven in Liverpool’s history in the 0-0 stalemate with Plymouth, and while that match gave him a chance to rest key figures don’t expect many of them to come piling into the squad for this contest: the Reds travel to Old Trafford on Sunday in what is a crunch game for so many reasons.
Can the Saints take advantage? Unfortunately, their form suggests not having lost their last three matches in the league and suffering a frustrating 2-2 draw with Norwich in the FA Cup on Saturday. The injury to Charlie Austin has seriously scuppered their campaign, and the decision of club captain Jose Fonte to publicly hand in a transfer request has not helped either. It is unlikely the Portuguese defender will ever pull on the red-and-white shirt again.
So, there’s plenty to turn us off both teams here, but who will ultimately prevail?
Southampton vs Liverpool Betting Tips: Match Winner
There really is little to choose between the two sides, and without knowing the starting line-ups at the time of writing making an accurate forecast is tricky. Smart punters will let the team news dictate their selections here.
Southampton will undoubtedly want to win this match more than Liverpool, especially in front of their own fans, and will be desperate to take a positive result to Anfield for the second leg.
We have no idea of the Liverpool starting eleven that Jurgen Klopp will select – surely Manchester United away on Sunday will take precedence, and as we saw in the FA Cup his fringe players aren’t necessarily adept at winning games without the support of the big boys. Whatever Klopp’s attitude to the EFL Cup may be, it is unlikely that James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip – all struggling with injury – will play here.
But of course it is hard to really get behind the Saints given their current form and off-field woes, and so the draw at 9/4 (William Hill) is the most sensible investment.
Southampton vs Liverpool Betting Tips: Side Bets
While Southampton are struggling in front of goal without the reliable Austin, they can at least take solace from the fact that Liverpool’s defensive record on the road – 16 conceded in 11 starts – is not befitting of a potential Premier League champion. Assuming Klopp doesn’t name his strongest side here, the Reds could be vulnerable once again.
The blackballing of Fonte doesn’t help the Saints at the back either; he has been a colossus for them at times this season. Maya Yoshida is an able deputy but not on the same level, and surely one or more of messrs Sturridge, Origi, Firmino, Lallana and Wijnaldum will start here. So, Both Teams to Score (8/11 with Betfred) is our big play here.
Other than that, there’s not much to work with unfortunately. We can add the Southampton +0.25 Asian Handicap to our playbook at 17/20 (bet365) though, which ensures a profit whether the Saints win or draw here.
The Draw (9/4 with William Hill)
Southampton +0.25 Asian Handicap (17/20 with bet365)
Both Teams to Score (8/11 with Betfred)