Both Southampton and Liverpool endured rather difficult afternoons this weekend as they contested in the FA Cup 3rd Round. Southampton failed to get past Championship outfit Norwich at Carrow Road, but did force a replay with a 2-2 draw there. Liverpool’s disappointment will be much greater though as they struggled to a goalless draw at home to League Two side Plymouth Argyle.
The hosts are definitely the more out of form side here though. That draw with Norwich made it four games without a win for Southampton, with the previous three of those all ending in defeat as they struggle to cope without Charlie Austin, who remains injured. To make matters worse, one of his main backup attackers, Sofiane Boufal, has departed for the African Cup of Nations, although the likes of Shane Long, Jay Rodriguez, and Nathan Redmond have been providing cover.
Southampton are generally a difficult side to beat at St. Mary’s though. They have lost three of their 15 games there in all competitions this season, but two of those have come in the last couple of weeks so they might be feeling a little vulnerable.
Liverpool fielded the youngest squad in their history for their tie with Plymouth, and this choice of selection most definitely backfired as the youngsters failed to make it past the parked bus of Plymouth. This forces them into a replay they could have done without as they chase Chelsea at the top of the Premier League, and it also sees them fail to score for the first time since November. Incidentally that match was against Southampton at St. Mary’s and also ended goalless.
This draw did extend Liverpool’s unbeaten streak to seven games in all competitions, but they have only won four of them and have only managed two wins from their last five on the road. This will be a minor worry despite their opponents poor form, and it’s entirely possible that Jurgen Klopp could play for a draw and finish The Saints off at Anfield.
Despite Southampton’s striker troubles they generally do manage to find the net. They have only failed to score in two of their 15 home games this season, but they have conceded six goals in their last two home matches. Liverpool have only failed to score in one of their 13 away games this season as well though, but have conceded in eight of them. This makes odds of 3/4 for Both Teams to Score look good value for money, so I’m backing that alongside a 1-1 correct score predictions at 11/2.
In terms of who will find the net, I think Divock Origi is an excellent shout. The young Belgian has netted three in the League Cup so far and has also scored four Premier League goals, despite only starting five games, so backing him for our anytime goalscorer predictions could be a good move.
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