Southampton’s manager Ralph Hasenhüttl has thrown down the gauntlet in his latest comments to Sky Sports.
The Austrian told Sky Sports that his side have nothing to fear against the Reds on Friday night with his side walking out at St Mary’s on the back of three wins in their past four games.
“How they play is a perfect example of a physically strong team combined with the technical qualities, speed and good organisation, so you can think about why it is so hard to win against his team – only one team has done this and that is Manchester City,” Hasenhüttl admitted.
“This does not mean we are frightened, we are not afraid of walking out on the pitch.
“We know that we are playing at home, we know that we have the crowd behind us and they are pushing us, that’s for sure.
“Then you never know, there is a chance for us to turn the table and if we have this chance we have to be prepared for it and take something [from the game].”
The former RB Leipzig manager might be taking it a step too far, however. Of course, on their day, any team in the Premier League can take their chances and get a result, but this one might be bridge too far.
In his own words, we’ve only lost one game all season and defeat is still very much an acquired taste for us. If the Saints come flying out the traps on Friday night they might live to regret their misplaced confidence as we pick them off on the break.
Jürgen Klopp heaped praise on the Saints boss and was quick to highlight the fine form of the south coast side in his pre-match conference. The two managers have history together, something Hasenhüttl also referenced: “I know him as a very honest guy.
“He knows me for a very long time, although I don’t think we played against each other very often.
“We did our coaching badges together, and we played against each other. It was a long time working together.”
There will be no time for friendly reunion at St Mary’s though. Hasenhüttl’s words will be actioned on the pitch against Southampton – they’re at home and they’re up for it, but we’ll exploit that.
There are no easy games, especially not when we’re chasing a league title, but we’ll put the fear in them on Friday night.