Liverpool will meet Southampton on Tuesday and they look to stay on course in their relatively unprecedented quest for a mind-blowing quadruple after denying Chelsea a second English Cup on Saturday.
Let’s talk a bit about the FA final
The Reds were victorious in a nail-biting penalty shoot-out as youngster, Kostas Tsimikas scored the final kick to hand his team their second title in Wembley this year at the expense of the same old Blues. Captain Cesar Azpilicueta and fan favourite Mason Mount were the fallguys.
It was Liverpool’s anyway during normal time as the elite club had a handful of breathtaking moments that could have gone their way. Tuchel and co were cut to the quick has they had also been defeated by Liverpool in the EFL final barely two months ago.
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Liverpool are firing on all cylinders and are seemingly invincible at the moment. With EFL and FA already settled, the English colossus looks to repeat their successes at Europe’s elite stage and also the domestic league. Helped by a 2-2 draw between Manchester City and Westham, the top two picture will likely be reverted to its original position prior to the 1-1 upset caused by Tottenham two weeks ago; with four points seperating both teams, Klopp and his men will be more than happy to sneak back to a point less than their contestants as the Titanic battle for the domestic league should ultimately climax on Matchday 38 as it had done between both teams in 2019 when City won the title with 98 points compared to Liverpool’s 97.
Southampton, on the other hand, have nothing to lose heading into this tie. The upper and lower boundaries are already sealed against them and the red-and-white striped team will once again be registering as a quotidian member of the topflight next fall. There fore the outcome of this game won’t make much of a difference, perhaps, only to boost their ego and give their fans a well deserved performance. No Champions league football, no Europa league, no relegation-jumprope, just the customary EPL
Liverpool predicted XI:
Alisson, Robertson, Konate, Matip, Arnold, Thiago, Keita, Henderson, Diaz, Mane, Jota
Southampton predicted XI:
Foster, Bednarek, Perraud, Walker Peters, Salisu, S. Armstrong, Redmond, Ward-Prowse, Diallo, A. Armstrong, Broja
When it comes to dicy situations and tight corners like this, it is in the best interest of every tactician to be canny in decision-making. Klopp has to weigh the consequences of putting some players out there on the pitch. With both EPL and UCL still on his radar, the German must be pragmatic about this. Liverpool frontman, Mo Salah who suffered an injury during the FA final will have to watch from the stands in this one. Fabinho and Van Djik join that pack as something even greater and more gruelling than the Saints and EPL lies in wait for the inhabitants of Anfield on May 28.
Klopp has announced the absence of all three of these men as he definitely doesn’t want to jeopardise his European ambitions for Tuesday night’s match. Given ample time to rest, the pivotal trio could be back to donning Red Shirts for their club in the UCL finals where it matters most. Also, Robertson who suffered a minor cramp against Chelsea and had match winner, Tsimikas, take his place, should be back to the starting line-up against The Saints
It must be admitted that Klopp has his back to the wall in this one. Trying to simultaneously steal Mancity and Madrid’s thunder, Liverpool’s season-ending schedule has really been arduous. Three definitive games within the space of a week is no joke including one that spanned an exhaustive two-hour period. Should Anfield win this at The Saints ground, they’d still have to defeat Wolves in another hectic tie which is just four days from now while hoping City don’t overcome Aston Villa.