Opposition View: Liverpool

By SFC Media time Fri 17 Nov Liverpool v Saints
Photo by Getty Images | Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp is targeting revenge on Saturday after Southampton nearly contrived to scupper Liverpool’s hopes of a top-four finish last season.

Fraser Forster saved James Milner’s penalty in a goalless draw the last time the two sides met at Anfield in May.

The teams went head to head four times last term, including the two-legged League Cup semi-final, with Saints keeping a clean sheet on all four occasions.

“They were all different games and we don’t use them for the analysis, because Southampton’s team has changed and our team has changed,” Klopp said.

“I don’t care how long it’s been since we scored. I know it will be difficult again to win against Southampton, but it’s still possible.

“It’s obviously not a friendly game because there is a special relationship between Southampton and Liverpool – we have given them a lot of money for a few players.

“I think Liverpool always paid a fair price, but last year I still remember the situation around the penalty, which looked really strange and not particularly fair.

“I don’t forget the last game with a very decisive situation for us. They didn’t need the points, but it felt like somebody created stories so that they were really spurred on, like Forster with the penalty.

“I think it’s a good moment to strike back.”

Fraser Forster saves a penalty during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield, Liverpool. Photo by Matt Watson/SFC/Digital South.
Fraser Forster saved James Milner's penalty to earn Saints' fourth successive clean sheet against Liverpool last season

Liverpool scored ten goals in three games in the week leading up to the international break, defeating Huddersfield, Maribor (both 3-0) and West Ham (4-1).

“It doesn’t mean we are going to score four again,” Klopp reasoned. “What we knew before and what we know now is that we have to improve defensively.

“We have to protect ourselves better, which we did in those three games. We didn’t give them a lot on the counter-attack, which is very important for a dominant side.

“That’s what we have to do again, but Southampton is a different team – I think they are fourth in the table for possession, which is quite impressive.

“They haven’t got too many points so far, but they probably still feel good in their situation and feel confident. It’s our job to make them feel less confident during the game.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Mohamed Salah of Liverpool comforts Sadio Mane of Liverpool after he reacts to being sent off during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Etihad Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Former Saint Sadio Mané has been in and out of the Liverpool side due to suspension and injury this season

The Liverpool boss hopes to have ex-Saints pair Sadio Mané and Adam Lallana available again after injury, while captain Jordan Henderson is fit to return.

“With Sadio we have to wait – we will see today,” he added, speaking on Friday. “Adam is back in training, but only for three or four days. 

“It’s fantastic that he’s back and he’s lost nothing, but in the next few weeks we have games every three days and we’ll need him, so there is no rush.”

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