Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has made a comparison between Southampton and RB Leipzig and labelled Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side as “dangerous”.
Saints travel to take on City on Saturday and will be hoping to make an impression in a game where they will not be given many chances for success. However, it appears that Guardiola sees some significant shared strengths between RB Leipzig and the Saints ahead of the weekend.
Speaking after seeing his City team beat Leipzig 6-3 in the Champions League, Guardiola said:
“We will be tired. I know the team from Ralph [Hasenhuttl] is quite similar to the way they play. They are so, so dangerous with good quality and it’s a really important game for us.”
Southampton can learn from Leipzig and previous performances against City
It is clear that Guardiola sees Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton side as a high-intensity opponent who can punish his side if they are not on top form.
Very rarely have Saints come up against a City side not in form but they can certainly learn from Leipzig – the club that Hasenhuttl broke through into top level coaching with and who share the same footballing ideals as the Austrian today.
Leipzig’s 6-3 loss at City saw them create some superb goals but still end up on the wrong side of a heavy defeat. This was very much the same as Saints’ 5-2 loss at City last season, where they worried the hosts at the Etihad but were beaten after world class quality shone through.
Interestingly, Hasenhuttl has already addressed Saints’ pressing plan this weekend when speaking in his pre-match press conference earlier.
He said that the pressing must be right against City otherwise they are very good at playing around the opposition teams who attempt to hassle them in possession, and then went on to say that there is no point in pressing if it is not done perfectly.
Southampton fans can certainly expect their side to have a go at expressing themselves on Saturday but it seems that a perfect performance, and a bit of luck, are needed to get a result at a ground that has not given them many points in the recent past.