Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool aren't favourites for Southampton semi-final

Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool aren't favourites for Southampton semi-final

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp doesn't believe his side are the favourites over Southampton for their EFL Cup semi-final first leg on Wednesday night and says the reverse tie being at Anfield will only be an advantage if they do well in the first 90 minutes.

Charlie Malam

Jürgen Klopp dismissed any idea that Liverpool are favoured to beat Southampton over two legs to reach the EFL Cup final as he called it an equal opportunity for both sides.

The Reds journey south to face the Saints in the first of two semi-final encounters as they go in search of a second berth in the final at Wembley Stadium in as many seasons under Klopp.

It would also be the third final in just 15 months for Liverpool under Klopp, having also reached the Europa League final back in May - though they lost there and in the capital against Manchester City last February.

But though the German and his squad will hope they can be lucky at the third opportunity this year, the manager insists his side cannot come into this thinking that they are clear favourites.

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Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Klopp said that it "would be nice" for Liverpool to "go to the final" but added: "Are we the favourites against Southampton? Whoever says this has not [got] a real idea about cup competitions."

He explained that if that was the case then "in the last few years the finals all over the world always would have been the same teams involved", insisting that Sevilla against Liverpool was not "the expected final" in the Europa League last season because "everybody expected" the La Liga side but not his Liverpool team though they "were there" and "deserved it."

Klopp also insisted that there "is not more pressure" on Liverpool than Southampton because it is "an opportunity for both teams", insisting that he doesn't think "about missed chances" having lost his last five finals, because it is "always a new day, always a new chance, [and] always a new final."

He continued: "I said to the lads last year that it will not be the last final we will be involved in after Basel. This will be the first chance for us to prove this, so let's try it."

Home advantage only important if we do well in the first leg, says Klopp

Liverpool travel to the south coast to face the away leg first, with the return leg at Anfield in a fortnight, but Klopp insists that will only be an advantage if his team do well in the first meeting.

Asked about the bonus of playing away from home first, he said: "It depends on the result of the first game! It should, but we don't have a lot of advantages in two-leg cup competitions.

He admitted than before the drew "nearly everybody" would want to play at home in the second-leg, but warned it won't be a "decisive advantage" unless they first perform at St Mary's.

"We can't think about the second game in this moment," Klopp added, declaring that Southampton will be "pretty ambitious in this tournament" because the final is "a big thing" and a "real and proper final at Wembley."

Klopp said that his side have "had this experience once before" but feel like they "missed a little bit there" in losing out to City.

Looking forward, he suggested that there are "probably a few people" who are hoping to see Manchester United face Liverpool in the final, but insisted there are "another two legs to go" before then.

Klopp hoped that the final isn't Hull against Southampton, although said it "would be deserved" if it was, before saying: "It's difficult, but we are ambitious too and that's what we showed all the time. So let's try it again."