It’s been a tough ask for these Liverpool players to come out on top against Southampton in the last year. Jürgen Klopp’s team faced the Saints four times last season without recording a single goal. The Reds were even knocked out of the League Cup last January by Southampton. And the last time Liverpool walked away with a win from this Premier League fixture was February of 2015. But take a wild guess who isn’t especially bothered by this troublesome history.
“All different games, I would say,” Klopp calmly stated. “I don’t remember all of them. We don’t use them to analyze because the Southampton team has changed since we played them. Our team has changed. So, it’s nothing we really use.”
A rivalry has grown up between the two sides in recent years that has mostly stemmed from dealings in the transfer window. But on the pitch, Liverpool v Southampton has been a complicated chess match, where we’ve stared daggers at display after display of 0-0 football.
“It’s obviously not a friendly game,” admitted Klopp, “because there’s a special relationship between Southampton and Liverpool. We gave them a lot of money for a few players. I would say, it was always a fair deal but it looks a little bit like they suffered in different moments. But I think Liverpool always paid a really good price for the players.”
Addressing the lack of goals from his team in these fixtures, Klopp’s recalls a missed opportunity to score from a controversial penalty shout during that fateful EFL semi-final.
“And last year, I still remember the situation around the penalty. It looked like it was really strange, not completely fair.
“So, I don’t care how long we didn’t score. I know it will be difficult again to win against Southampton. But it’s still possible.”
But then James Milner also missed a penalty against them in the league in May. That’s football.™ It’s time to get some from open play. And if Sadio Mané is fit to get back into it with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino up top, if the team can suppress the counter attack from Southampton, if Dejan Lovren has his wits about him, the boys just might do it.
“We have pretty much a full squad,” said Klopp. “We have to make a few choices. Of course, it’s after an international break for both teams. It’s the same. We didn’t have a lot of sessions but we will be well-prepared for this game.”