Schadenfreude is a weird thing. Finding joy in other’s misfortune comes with it’s own strings and feelings of guilt, but when it comes to an anticipated semi-final match... it can be justified. Kind of. Liverpool are due for the second leg of their clash with Southampton in the coming week, hoping to overturn the 0-1 lead the Saints currently hold when they travel to Anfield, and may have been handed a boost.
Sunday the Saints battered current league champions Leicester 3-0, but not without their own casualties. Briefly rumored Liverpool target Virgil Van Dijk had to be taken off in the 55th minute with an ankle injury and is now a doubt for the travel north.
"He could not continue the game. We will see for the next games. I don't know if we can recover him,” Southampton manager Claude Puel told the media following the match. "I hope we can have Virgil of course because he is our captain and he's an important player. Of course, it will be better to recover Virgil for this game."
Van Dijk proved to be a major problem for the Reds in the first leg, effectively containing much of the attack before Nathan Redmond put Southampton ahead. With the sale of Jose Fonte to West Ham on Friday as well, the Saints will be feeling a little more cautious, defensively.
On the other side, the Reds will be glad to see not only the missing men in the opposition, but the return of Joël Matip to action will be a welcome sight come Wednesday. After featuring briefly off the bench against Swansea, the defender also performed well in the recent U23 clash against Ispwich, and could be a starter against the Saints.
So Reds fans may try to take more comfort in the return of Matip, over the injury of Van Dijk. Maybe.