So, with only four teams left, Liverpool were faced with three clear tiers of potential opposition; likely relegation victims Hull City, tough Europa League contender Southampton, and archenemy Manchester United. Fans will always have different preferences, but in the end, the Reds drew the intermediate alternative and will face Southampton over two semi-final legs.
Soton made easy work of a second-string Arsenal side in the quarter final on Wednesday night, and have yet to concede in the competition despite only facing Premier Leeague opposition, beating Crystal Palace and Sunderland in previous rounds. The Saints have proven a defensively impressive side under manager Claude Puel, as evidenced by their third-ranked league defense, as well as the fact that they held Liverpool's impressive offense to a scoreless draw in the teams' league clash two weeks ago.
With Man Utd drawing Hull in the other semi-final, this sets up a mouthwatering potential final between two arch rivals, but the Reds will do well to not look beyond their south coast adversaries in the upcoming bout, as Puel will,have his side pulling out all the stops in order to advance to the finals, and his side looks built to handle themselves over two legs.
There will of course be reunions of varying approval, as Liverpool's starting eleven is likely to contain four former Southampton players, some of which left under acrimonious circumstances.
The first leg will be played at St Mary's Stadium on January the 10th or 11th, with the return leg at Anfield scheduled two weeks later. Regardless of whether Southampton advance in the Europa League or not, the round of 32 does not take place until February, and will not have any impact on their schedule in January.