Hasenhüttl expects energetic battle with Leeds


Ralph Hasenhüttl expects supporters to witness a particularly energetic game at St Mary's on Tuesday night, as his Southampton team goes up against a Leeds side that he believes may be the best physically in the Premier League right now.

Saints will be looking to earn a third consecutive victory when they host Marcelo Bielsa's squad, following on from the 3-1 wins over Crystal Palace and Fulham in the past week.

But Hasenhüttl knows it will be a difficult challenge to replicate that result once more.

"Against this team it will definitely be tough, because if you want to create a chance you have to run a lot and cover a lot of distance and sprint a lot and to get behind them is not so easy, but finally there are also chances and it will be important for us to have a very good gameplan," said the Saints boss, whose team lost 3-0 when the clubs met at Elland Road in February.

"It's a very energetic style [they play with]," he said.

"I think the last result, 3-0, was maybe a little bit too high. I think the difference was not that big, especially in the first half we had also opportunities to score and finally didn't and then the momentum was on their side I think.

"We have developed our game. It was a very tough game there, because the pitch was very slippery and we had some issues with injuries and so on. It's a tough side, physically the best in the league maybe, and we are also an energetic team and we have to fight for the points."

With fans returning to St Mary's for the first time since December, Hasenhüttl is hoping they will also witness a positive change in his team's play.

"I think since the last time we played in front of a full stadium, the changes in this nearly one-and-a-half year were massive in our game," he said.

"We play completely different football now. We were only against-the-ball oriented, but now we are a much more possession-oriented team and it's a completely different way of playing football in the moment for us."