By support

9th Jan, 2017 | 2:47pm

Key defender to miss Liverpool clash against Southampton

By Harvey Byrne

Southampton manager Claude Puel has confirmed that centre-back Jose Fonte will not feature in his side’s clash against Liverpool in the League Cup on Wednesday.

It was revealed last Thursday that the 33-year-old club stalwart had asked to leave the south coast club after failing to meet an agreement on a new contract.

This led to the Portugal international being left out of the Saints’ 2-2 draw with Norwich on Saturday and Puel has now told that Fonte will miss his side’s first leg in the cup semi-final.

This will be a major blow to the Southampton defence with Maya Yoshida considered much lower quality to club captain.

Fonte has been at the club since 2010 and has been one of the few consistencies in the Saints’ impressive rise from the English third tier.

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He has also played in 19 encounters in all competitions this season and the Euro 2016 winner alongside Virgil van Dijk helped keep a clean sheet against the Reds in the 0-0 draw in November.

Liverpool will now now see Fonte’s exclusion as an opportunity to put themselves in a good position heading into the second leg at Anfield.

The Merseyside giants have not struggled for goals this campaign and in the league they are the highest scorers with 48 goals from 20 fixtures.

In other Liverpool news, Jurgen Klopp has dropped this goalkeeper selection hint ahead of the clash.