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Liverpool logo
FA Cup | Fifth Round
Feb 28, 2024 at 8pm UK
Southampton logo

3 - 0

Koumas (44'), Danns (73', 88')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Manning (79')

Preview: Liverpool vs. Southampton - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's FA Cup clash between Liverpool and Southampton, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

With the quadruple progress bar 25% complete, EFL Cup winners Liverpool switch focus back to the FA Cup on Wednesday night, when Southampton arrive at Anfield for a fifth-round showdown.

The Reds return to their Merseyside base on the back of an enthralling 1-0 extra-time success over Chelsea in the EFL Cup final, while the Saints were beaten 2-1 by Millwall in Saturday's Championship affair.

Match preview

General view of Liverpool players and staff celebrating winning the EFL Cup with the trophy on February 25, 2024© Reuters

Seven pieces of silverware had already been carefully placed into the Liverpool cabinet since Jurgen Klopp inked his first Reds contract, including a sixth Champions League crown and inaugural Premier League title, but the departing German hailed Sunday's EFL Cup beating of a timid Chelsea the most "special" honour he has won in his managerial career so far.

Klopp's admission came after 120 minutes of unmissable action on the Wembley soil, where yet another final between Liverpool and Chelsea would seemingly be decided from the dreaded 12-yard mark, only for Virgil van Dijk to come up with the captain's contribution of all captain's contributions, heading in the cup-clinching goal 118 minutes in.

Already without a full XI of stricken players and seeing two more enforcers depart on crutches, a decimated Liverpool - who ended the match with a handful of teenage academy products on the field - may still be licking their wounds of their Wembley warfare, but nothing that can quell the jubilation of a record-extending 10th EFL Cup success.

The celebrations among Klopp's crop must die down in a matter of hours, though, as Wednesday sees Liverpool bid to go beyond the fifth round of the FA Cup for just the second time in the last nine seasons; on the only previous occasion that they have done so since 2015, the 2021-22 crown travelled home with them.

Arsenal and Norwich City have already succumbed to Liverpool's FA Cup excellence this year, and the beating of Chelsea also represented a fourth win on the bounce across all tournaments for the Premier League leaders, who ended a seven-game run without a clean sheet by keeping Mauricio Pochettino's meek men at bay.

Southampton manager Russell Martin on February 6, 2024© Reuters

Liverpool's elation conflicted with Southampton's deflation during the final weekend of February, as Russell Martin's men slumped to a third defeat from four Championship matches - and their second successive home loss in the division - when Neil Harris's Millwall travelled south on Saturday.

Four days on from Hull City's 2-1 success at St Mary's, Southampton went down by the same scoreline thanks to Japhet Tanganga and Zian Flemming's efforts either side of a Che Adams header inside the first half, leaving Martin's men five points adrift of the automatic promotion places.

Amid their second-tier struggles, Martin has professed that a midweek FA Cup tie - let alone one away to Liverpool - is the last thing that his side needs at this moment in time, but thanks to their beatings of Walsall and Watford, the latter coming via a replay, the Saints cannot escape their knockout duties at Anfield.

After two successive progressions from the fifth round in 2020-21 and 2021-22, Southampton fell at this stage to giant killers Grimsby Town in the 2022-23 edition, but Adams's consolation effort versus Millwall at least saw the Saints extend their exceptional scoring sequence to 30 consecutive matches in all tournaments.

Not since a 3-0 win for Liverpool in the 1989-90 edition have these two sides clashed in FA Cup circumstances, and Southampton memorably held the Reds to a pulsating 4-4 draw in the last knockings of the 2022-23 Premier League season, but each of their last six Anfield battles has seen Klopp's team emerge victorious.

Liverpool FA Cup form:

Liverpool form (all competitions):

Southampton FA Cup form:

Southampton form (all competitions):

Team News

Liverpool's Ryan Gravenberch is stretchered off after sustaining an injury on February 25, 2024© Reuters

Winning the first domestic honour of the season certainly came at a significant cost for Liverpool, who saw Ryan Gravenberch leave the Wembley field on a stretcher owing to an awful challenge from Moises Caicedo, and Wataru Endo was also seen departing on crutches after the game.

All of Mohamed Salah, Dominik Szoboszlai and Darwin Nunez - who was filmed running amok during the celebrations - also failed late fitness tests and were not part of the matchday contingent on Sunday, leaving Klopp to concede that he may struggle to field a full XI for the midweek tie after their gruelling Wembley effort.

Stefan Bajcetic (calf), Thiago Alcantara (muscle), Ben Doak (knee), Joel Matip (knee), Trent Alexander-Arnold (knee), Diogo Jota (knee), Alisson Becker (hamstring) and Curtis Jones (shin) make up the Reds' definite absentees, and only the latter might be back in action before next month's international break.

Speaking of players leaving on crutches, Southampton's on-loan Newcastle winger Ryan Fraser required such aids after sustaining a knee problem in the first half of his side's loss to Millwall, and Martin has already ruled the Scotsman out of the fifth-round affair.

Fraser joins Ross Stewart (muscle) and Juan Larios (unspecified) in the St Mary's infirmary, and the visiting manager cannot call upon David Brooks to deputise for his teammate; the Bournemouth loanee is cup-tied on account of representing the Cherries earlier in the tournament.

Samuel Edozie and Kamaldeen Sulemana should therefore be drafted back into the attacking line out wide, but unlike Brooks, fellow Bournemouth-owned man Joe Rothwell is eligible to play and could be a contender to freshen up the midfield pack in the possible absence of Flynn Downes.

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

SM words green background

We say: Liverpool 2-1 Southampton

The handful of Under-21s players who ended the EFL Cup final will likely be called upon to start Wednesday's game for Liverpool, who will be far from their scintillating best owing to injuries and fatigue, which the Saints would do well to capitalise on.

Southampton do not arrive at Anfield with the wind in their sails, though, and while it may be a slog, we still have faith in Klopp's ravaged Reds to prolong their quadruple dream.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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