Puel: The first leg is so important

By SFC Media Tue 10 Jan Saints vs Liverpool
Photo by Matt Watson | Claude Puel

Claude Puel is confident Southampton can put themselves in a strong position heading to Anfield in two weeks’ time, when Liverpool visit St Mary’s on Wednesday night.

The Saints boss hopes his side can be in contention after the EFL Cup semi-final first leg at St Mary’s, with a positive performance against Liverpool required on Wednesday night to do just that.

Saints know they will head to Anfield in two weeks for the decisive second leg, and Puel is full of belief that his side can be in a good position ahead of that game.

“We have to try and make a strong game and get a good result to prepare well for the second game and still have a good possibility to qualify,” said Puel.

“This first game at home is very important. I don’t know exactly what a good result will be, but we have to keep an opportunity for the second game.

“We are ready for a strong game. I think the game against Liverpool in the Premier League was about a strong game in a defensive organisation.

“I think we have to have good control of the game a little more with the ball and possibilities to create chances to score against this team.

“It’s another game and it’s important to see this as a very good opportunity.”

Saints have found the going tough since their defeat to Tottenham Hotspur just after Christmas, but Puel sees this as an ideal opportunity to turn things around.

“It’s a good chance for us after a difficult time since Boxing Day,” he added. “It’s an opportunity just to think about this competition only.

“It’s an exciting challenge for the team, against a great team, but it will be very difficult, we know that.”

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