Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Wednesday, Jürgen Klopp told reporters that Southampton’s league position belies the threat they pose to the Reds.
“I think they are eighth in the form table since he’s in – the last 15 games at least,” Klopp claimed.
The 16th-placed, south coast side have hit form recently with back-to-back wins and an 18 point haul since the start of the year after appointing Ralph Hasenhüttl in December from RB Leipzig.
“The analysis was very interesting because it doesn’t look like a team who fight for the league [status]. They look confident, they do what they do and they stick to it. Even the games they lost were rather unlucky.”
It seems that the German believes the Saints’ league position is deceptive.
After drawing with Burnley and losing to Cardiff and Arsenal in February, Southampton beat Fulham, were unlucky to lose 3-2 to Manchester United, and come into this one off the back of wins against Tottenham Hotspur and Brighton.
We play Southampton on Friday night
— Anything Liverpool (@AnythingLFC_) April 3, 2019
At Melwood, Klopp praised the policy at St Mary’s and Hasenhüttl’s new role at the club: “I have to say, the job he is doing since he’s there is incredible.
“He’s brought the young players in, academy players. It’s good, of course, but in the situation when he came in, it’s pretty brave as well. It’s a good side, it’s a really good side. We know about that.
Our boss knows the Austrian from his time in the Bundesliga was full of respect for the job he’s doing at Southampton. Reminiscing, the Reds boss said, “I think years and years ago we made our coaching licence together, our badges”.
“Since then I know him and I knew him before as a player. You have to say with Ralph, he did it the hard way. He started in the third division, so League One here in England, successful, then [the] Championship [equivalent] in Germany and was as successful and then to Leipzig. He was really successful, built something there and now he’s in England.
“That’s a proper career. So far he’s shown that, as a manager, the first job doesn’t have to be AC Milan or something. It’s really possible that if you have a good idea about football, if you are busy, ambitious, then a lot of things can happen.
“That obviously happened to him and I’m happy for him about that because he’s a really good guy – funny as well.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him, but it’s not between him and me. The two teams will be out there and that’s good.”
It will probably go under the radar but as long as Liverpool avoid defeat against Southampton on Friday, we’ll have secured Champions League football for the third successive campaign.
Really goes to show the amazing job Klopp has done since arriving.
— Anfield Edition (@AnfieldEdition) April 3, 2019
There will be no time for any Freundschaft between the two, and there definitely isn’t any friendship between the two clubs after we poached their best talent.
Saints will be hosting the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mané on Friday night as we look to grab the three points and take them back up north.