Charlie Nicholas states prediction for Liverpool v Southampton
The former Arsenal midfielder is backing Liverpool to beat Southampton 3-1 on Wednesday night
Charlie Nicholas is backing Liverpool to use the anger and emotion of the Anfield crowd to get past Southampton in the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final.
The Reds are trailing 1-0 from the first leg at St Mary’s after Southampton forward Nathan Redmond scored a first-half winner on the south coast following a dominant performance from the home side.
Liverpool have struggled to find form under Jurgen Klopp this year and the Reds suffered a surprise 3-2 defeat by Premier League strugglers Swansea City at the weekend.
The 18-time English champions have won the League Cup more time than any other English club and Liverpool lost to Manchester City on penalties in the showpiece last season.
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the second leg at Anfield on Wednesday night, former Arsenal midfielder Nicholas issued his backing for Liverpool.
“People will look at what Swansea did and think Southampton are a far better side so have a good chance, but the sign of a big side is that they produce a big reaction to that sort of result.
“Philippe Coutinho has more minutes under his belt and Roberto Firmino is back in the goals, while Joel Matip, who is Liverpool’s best central defender, will surely come in to shore up their defence.
“Rather than bring in Daniel Sturridge or Divock Origi, I think they should play Lucas and shift everybody up the pitch.”
Nicholas added: “I will imagine Virgil van Dijk will struggle to make it, although Southampton keep that close to their chests. You rarely see a player come off on Sunday and play on Wednesday.
“If Southampton get through the first 25-30 minutes then they’ve got a chance, but I just think Liverpool are going to come out of the blocks with the anger and emotion of the Anfield crowd behind them.”
Liverpool are in fourth place in the Premier League table but 10 points behind current leaders Chelsea.