As we have seen under Jurgen Klopp, especially last season, Anfield can be a weapon, if used correctly. On the biggest occasions, especially (but not limited to) under the lights, the crowd can rattle opposing players, and almost guide Liverpool shots into the back of the net by sheer willpower alone.
Southampton isn’t going to be one of those famous Anfield nights (or, in this case, afternoons). But that hasn’t stopped Kloppo from trying to get just a bit more out of the famous Kopites.
“The game from Tuesday night, in an empty stadium, we have no chance to get a point,” Klopp said in his pre-match press conference. “That’s the truth. The people make the difference.
“Now we have to show that we can switch between competitions. Famous, famous European nights, yes, but the boys deserve a brilliant atmosphere, and that’s what we need against Southampton.
“Could we create the best atmosphere of all games? That would be cool! Okay, we play at 3pm, maybe after half-time at least it could be dark and then we have kind of a ‘European night’ if we want, so let’s do it. Let’s play the best game.”
Even Klopp knows he’s stretching. Please lads? It’ll be a bit dark after the half?
Regardless, his point is that the players are effected by the crowd, and that works both ways. When Anfield is rocking, it feels like the boys in Red can’t possibly lose. When it’s dead, it feels like dropping points is all but inevitable.
It was also an opportunity for Klopp to reiterate his one-game-at-a-time mentality.
“I remember when people spoke to me about the next seven games, two or three weeks ago, and nobody mentioned Southampton. That was funny!
“We have to show Southampton how difficult it is to come to Anfield, that’s the job to do.”
Southampton might not be a sexy fixture. It’s not PSG on a European Night. It’s not all-conquering Manchester City in a couple of weeks. But it is an important three points. And if supporters want those home ties to mean more come April and May (even against the Southamptons of the world), they’ll need to take care of business this afternoon.