LONDON (Reuters) – Southampton have a better chance of scoring against Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday than they did in their 3-0 loss at Burnley on the opening weekend because the Anfield side does not resort to long balls, midfielder Oriol Romeu has said.
Ralph Hasenhuettl’s side struggled to deal with Burnley’s aerial superiority last weekend as the home side scored three times in a 12-minute second half salvo, with long balls being the order of the day to bypass Southampton’s midfield and defence.
“It’s easier for us to play against teams who take more risks and play out from the back. There will be more chances to score against Liverpool,” Romeu told the Daily Echo.
“Burnley didn’t play anything from the back because it was all long balls which didn’t give us the chance to get higher up the pitch.
“The chances will come against Liverpool because they will take more risks and that will give us more opportunities to score goals. Hopefully, we can put them under pressure.”
Southampton will be wary of their record against Liverpool, however. They have lost their last four league meetings having conceded 11 goals and scoring only one.
Southampton started poorly last season, winning only one of their first 16 games to drop into the relegation zone before eventually finishing 16th, but Romeu is confident they will improve in Hasenhuettl’s first full season.
“We are not panicking,” Romeu added. “We need to send the message for everyone to be calm as this isn’t the end of the season. There will be a reaction, I’m sure of that.
“We are all confident that this season is going to be much better, but we just need to follow the way for 90 minutes from the first one until the last one, otherwise it will be tough.
“I hope the crowd can be behind us and give us a boost because we need to react after the Burnley game. We need to do better, we need to get a result.”