Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl is not expecting Liverpool to be tired after their UEFA Super Cup penalty shoot-out win in Istanbul.
The European champions beat Chelsea on spot-kicks after extra-time had failed to separate the two English clubs.Liverpool will be back in Premier League action on Saturday afternoon when they face the Saints at St. Mary’s Stadium.
Hasenhuttl, though, believes Jurgen Klopp’s squad will be more than ready to return to domestic duties and build on their opening 4-1 victory over Norwich.
“I heard the message from Jurgen that he thought we would celebrate, I was happy that they were playing longer – I was happy, but mostly because of the reason I have more pictures to show my players,” Hasenhuttl said at a press conference.
“Last year Liverpool I think they played 13 times in the week and in the 13 times they played at the weekend, they won 11 and drew two.
“This team has so much quality, and Jurgen tries to puts out maybe a little bit of an excuse for the fitness from his players.
“But he doesn’t have to, they have such quality, it is not a problem for them after 120 minutes on the Wednesday to come here and make a good game.
“In modern football and especially with these big teams, they get used to it. We are at the beginning of the season and that does not really mean they are tired.
“I expect the best best possible Liverpool team you can imagine, and we are preparing for this.
“This doesn’t interest me, though, because we want to show a reaction [after losing 3-0 at Burnley]. My players like to show up and that they can be a more difficult opponent than last week, this is the goal we have.”
Hasenhuttl is expecting a response from his squad following their loss at Turf Moor, where they conceded all three goals during the final 25 minutes.
“We tried to push the game away at the beginning of the week. We cancelled the day off, tried to analyse and work in our minds that we can focus on the new game,” he said.
“Now the challenge is big enough so it is useful to take all of the energy we have to focus on this game.”
Hasenhuttl confirmed he has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the Liverpool game, with new signing Kevin Danso also having joined up with the squad earlier this week. The Southampton boss revealed some departures are still possible during the European transfer window, with midfielder Mario Lemina one player having been linked with a move away.
“Most of them maybe on loan, but I think the best thing for the players and for us would be something permanently because it helps both sides more,” he said.
“If we find a package for these three sides, the other club also, then transfers can happen, otherwise they stay here.”