LIVERPOOL boss Jurgen Klopp insisted it was a “joy to watch” Saints in action and described Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men as “a well-tuned machine”.

The Anfield manager welcomes the south coast outfit to Merseyside tomorrow (8.15pm), looking to get revenge on a Saints side who beat last season’s champions 1-0 back in January.

Both sides have endured their struggles in relation their respective ambitions since the turn of the year.

But Klopp insisted he had a lot of respect for the way Hasenhuttl sets up his team.

Speaking about Saints ahead of the sides’ battle, Klopp said: “We played there obviously when we lost the game.

“We didn’t play that bad – we couldn’t really finish situations off, which is a little bit of the story of the season.

“But that game was incredibly intense.

“They defend with all they have, they attack with all they have – that’s a well-tuned machine, a pressing and counter-pressing machine. That’s tricky.

“They are always very lively. It’s all set up in a specific way and everybody knows exactly what he has to do, these kind of things.

“I think it’s a joy to watch Southampton games. Maybe they didn’t win often enough as well because that’s why they are in the position they are.

“But the football they play is at least always a very lively version of our wonderful game and I like that.”

Quizzed on how to stop Saints, the former Borussia Dortmund boss replied: “To be prepared hard for their defending – their midfield press, especially.

“We have to play in the right spaces because with their 4-4-2, all predictable passes they defend really well.

“You have to be from time-to-time unpredictable, that’s really important, you have to be cheeky as well, brave.

“You have to be ready for their counter-press. If they lose the ball they go with all they have to win it back.

“We know how that works, we’ve tried to do that from time to time ourselves but there’s no perfect thing in football – in this case, thank God.

“If you outplay these counter-pressing situations, if you are calm enough in these moments, clear enough, good enough, then you have more space than other moments.

“You have to create from different angles on the pitch because, again, their system plays clear. How can you get between the lines? How can you break lines? That’s very important.

“There are a few proper football questions but we had now a full week to prepare as well, so hopefully we can see that.”