Updated 10:32 PM EDT, Wed, Jul 28, 2021

Capital One Cup Quarterfinals: Steven Caulker to Lead Southampton's Defence in Game Against Liverpool

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Defender Steven Caulker is expected to lead the Southampton's defense without the team's missing captain, Jose Fonte, for their game versus Liverpool on Wednesday.

The Capital One Cup quarterfinal match will happen at the St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Hampshire.

ESPN said Fonte exited Saturday's loss at Manchester City after he sustained a cut on his knee and needed stitches. This also rendered him unable to play on Wednesday, thus the need for Caulker to replace him and lead the team.

Aside from the Portuguese player, Southampton will also be playing without Jay Rodriguez, Fraser Forster, and Florin Gardos, as per Eurosport.

According to ESPN, this will be the perfect opportunity for the English footballer to prove his promising skills which has already awed manager Ronald Koeman.

"I was very pleased how Steven came onto the pitch and did a great job against City and he will start. Maybe Steven is as strong as [Christian] Benteke, if he plays. And that's not a problem for Steven because he is physically a strong defender and has the confidence to start," Koeman told ESPN.

The manager added that this is a great chance for Caulker to showcase his talent on the field.

"I'm not a manager who changes a lot if the team is doing well, but always the question to the players is when they get the chance, you have to take it. That's also the reason after Saturday that I said to Steven he will start," he noted.

As for their strategy in trying to defeat the Liverpool team, Koeman told The Guardian that it will have to do with understanding the German's pressing game.

"We know Liverpool likes to press and if you beat the press then you have a lot of options and possibilities. We showed that in the second half against Manchester City and that's all about ourselves," he added.

Meanwhile, ITV said that Liverpool will start with goalkeeper Adam Bogdan, who was the player chosen as the regular number one in the entire competition. The team will also welcome back Lucas Leiva, who served a suspension, as well as Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson.

Midfielder, Philippe Coutinho, is also expected to return to Liverpool for Wednesday's game, as per Sydney Morning Herald. He was not able to play for the team since late last month because of a hamstring injury.

Liverpool Manager, Jurgen Klopp, said that they can see that Coutinho is fit to return. "I saw him in the dressing room and he looks good. I'll have to talk with him tomorrow - I think he's ready for Southampton," Klopp added.

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