Southampton host Liverpool on Friday in a clash which presents the Saints with another huge challenge to overcome in their quest for Premier League survival, although they will fancy themselves to cause the Anfield outfit problems given their own excellent form.
While Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side are going from strength to strength, the uncertain performance registered by Manchester City’s closest challengers last time out indicated that they are not invincible – therein lies the Reds’ singular big weakness, according to Bleacher Report‘s Sam Tighe.
Well, summarising the big talking points ahead of the game, the tactical expert said:
“Liverpool’s greatest vulnerability is their own mental state, how they cope with the pressure of every game being a must-win.
“The stresses of this title race are visible in this team and its performances when things don’t go their way. When opponents sit in and frustrate them, an element of desperation enters both the fans’ voices and the players’ actions.
The impact Ralph Hasenhüttl has had at Southampton is certainly evident in the video below…
“It’s this that Southampton must look to prey on and punish, and given the excellent record against the top six Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men boast (eight points taken, second only to Wolves) one might argue the scene is set for a title-tilting evening.”
Indeed, Jurgen Klopp’s side have almost come undone against sides who limit their counter-attacking potential by sitting back and forcing them to find a way through, while the gaps were there to be exploited by a Tottenham side who surely feel that they should have taken a point at Anfield.
Southampton have the legs to make things difficult for the Reds all over the park and Hasenhuttl has instilled an unflappable discipline in his side, epitomised by the efforts of captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who will run himself into the ground for the badge.
Tighe indicates that the St Mary’s outfit could be able to cut their visitors open in the latter stages when the heads start to go and, if they can execute that game plan to perfection, the title race will have a very different look to it on Saturday morning.