Hasenhüttl expects tight contest with Brighton


Ralph Hasenhüttl is once again expecting there to be little separating Southampton and Brighton when the teams meet this weekend, with the Saints boss feeling there are a number of ways in which the two clubs mirror each other.

Sunday's game at St Mary's is an important one for both sides, with the Seagulls heading into the latest round of matches outside the relegation zone by virtue of goal difference, while Hasenhüttl's men will be hoping to extend the seven-point gap to the bottom three that they currently possess.

Saints won 2-1 when the sides met at Amex Stadium earlier in the season, a result that extended their unbeaten run against Brighton to eight matches. Yet, despite that impressive streak, there has never been much between the teams, with only one of those contests – a 2-0 away victory in August 2019 – being decided by more than a single goal.

"They're a very good side, like always in the Premier League," said Hasenhüttl, who is an admirer of the work being done by Potter further along the south coast.

"They have shown some very good games, an interesting team, with a manager that really likes to play football and has some good automatism in his team.

"It's always a tough game against them, always very tight, and we hopefully can show also our best side, because we will need it.

"I think we will not see that many goal chances. He has also a few injuries, so he was changing his shape in the past now. It shows the quality of the manager to immediately also find a way in being competitive.

"This is a good, organised side, with against the ball some good automatism and with the ball also brave performances.

"They were sometimes a little bit struggling with scoring goals, like we do, but this is normal. In a lot of parts of our club we are very similar I think, and this is the reason why it will be a very tight game."