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Jurgen Klopp expecting fierce contest against “well organised” Southampton

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Speaking to reporters during his pre-match press conference on Friday, Jurgen Klopp praised the progress Southampton have made under Ronald Koeman.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 17, 2015: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Kloppaganda)

Liverpool welcome the Saints to Anfield on Sunday, with Klopp expecting a tough afternoon following his side’s Europa League exploits against Rubin Kazan.

The Reds have just two days to prepare before their next Anfield outing, and Klopp believes Southampton represent fierce opposition, praising Koeman’s “well organised” outfit.

“We started to analyse Southampton this morning. We were together for an hour I think, I know much more about Southampton,” he said.

“We have to look at the players after an intense game, but we know their strengths.

“They are well organised and try to press high with six players, so maybe you can find a way.

“We can play football, but if not we can play long balls—that’s what they do.

“If not they have [Graziano] Pelle!

“[It is] a good thing to do to give him the ball. A good physical player but very technical.

“They are in good shape. They were close to a victory against Leicester.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 17, 2015: Liverpool's Christian Benteke celebrates scoring the first goal against AFC Bournemouth during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp welcomes a striker with similar attributes to Southampton‘s Graziano Pelle to his side for Sunday’s clash, with Christian Benteke likely to feature following his substitutes’ appearance against Rubin.

The Belgian hit the post with low, curling effort in the second half at Anfield, and will be looking to impress his new manager at the earliest opportunity.

Benteke will be joined by Roberto Firmino in Klopp’s thinking for Sunday, with the Brazilian also returning from injury to appear against Rubin, while Daniel Sturridge could miss out.

Klopp described the Benteke and Firmino as “two important options for Sunday.”

However, the German wouldn’t be drawn on whether he was considering fielding two strikers against Koeman’s side, saying “I don’t know if we play with two on Sunday, but it’s an option.”


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