Ronald Koeman has revealed Jose Fonte will be miss Southampton's Capital One Cup quarter final against Liverpool on 2 December, with the club captain failing to recover on-time from an injury he sustained against Manchester City. The Dutchman added that he did not expect many more changes to the line-up despite the Saints having a Premier League match with Aston Villa just three days later.
Fonte has started all league matches so far this season, but was replaced by Steven Caulker in the 36th minute at the weekend after sustaining a cut to his knee.
Koeman said after the game he expected the Portuguese defender to be OK for the visit of Liverpool. But speaking in a press conference prior to the match, he admitted that the League Cup encounter has come a little too early for his captain.
"José is not fit for tomorrow," Koeman was quoted as saying by the club's official website. "He still has the cut above his knee with the stitches and we are hopeful that he can play this Saturday but tomorrow is too early.
"There are no other updates about injuries – the same team, the same squad probably for tomorrow's game."
Southampton secured a 1-1 draw in their Premier League trip to Anfield earlier this season and the boss is confident of getting another good result in the cup. Koeman is expected to deploy a solid line-up despite the game being the second of three games in eight days for his side.
"I think it's not so difficult about tomorrow's game, because you play against a big team," he said. "It's a lot of attention to everybody and everybody likes to be involved in that game and that's OK, we know we are physically well, we don't have a lot of injuries and we have competition, and we are prepared for tomorrow."