Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has claimed his side’s clash with Liverpool tomorrow night is their ‘Champions League final’ and insisted he’ll do everything he can to prove the Saints can be ‘competitive against a top team’.
Jurgen Klopp’s side defeated the south coast outfit 4-0 at Anfield in the reverse fixture earlier this season, and despite the Austrian expressing his determination to impact the title race once again after already picking up two draws against Manchester City this term, his respect for the Liverpool boss is clear.
“We all know Jurgen and how strong he is and you can be sure that he doesn’t give up the chance for winning the league, for sure. This is still the title that is the most countable for everybody because it’s the hardest to get,” Hasenhuttl told the press (via Liverpool Echo).
“For me it’s even harder to be over 38 games in the Premier League consistently on the top, than to win the Champions League sometimes. Even if he says it’s tough for him to go for all four, I know he will do everything to win this game on Tuesday to give himself a chance on the last day.”
Three points are imperative for the Reds tomorrow to ensure that the Premier League title race continues until the final day of the season.
City currently possess a four point lead over Liverpool at the top of the table, but tomorrow’s game at Saint Mary’s is the visitor’s game in hand on Pep Guardiola’s side and means they can cut the deficit to one point before the final set of league fixtures on Sunday.
We welcome Wolves to Anfield whilst Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa visit the Etihad at the same time.
The Saints boss has claimed ‘everybody is electrified’ by the ‘fantastic’ Premier League title race.
Hasenhuttl said: “I think it is fantastic for the Premier League to have such a close title race. Everybody is electrified from this battle and we are now part of this duel. We have done our job this season against Man City with two points. They lost four points against us in the title race.
“Against Liverpool, the first game we lost, so now it’s up to us to show again that we can be competitive against a top team. For me, it’s one of the most difficult games to prepare for because of the flexibility of the opponent and the unbelievable offensive qualities they have.
“We have shown against the top teams that we can achieve something very big – and this is what we will need on Tuesday evening. It’s our Champions League final, if you want. And we are going for this with everything we have and the team that is on the pitch is the team that will do everything to make them proud.”
Following our FA Cup final victory over Chelsea at the weekend, we’re expecting Klopp to make a number of changes from the side that was victorious at Wembley.
Jamie Carragher has admitted that he’s expecting the German boss to rest Mo Salah and Virgil van Dijk but that remains to be seen.
No matter what XI the boss selects, let’s hope we have enough to earn all three points and head back up north with it all to play for on Sunday.