'The best': Ralph Hasenhuttl makes claim about Leeds
Ralph Hasenhuttl has suggested that Leeds United may be the best side in the Premier League physically ahead of Tuesday’s meeting with Southampton – in comments reported on the Saints’ official website.
Leeds have emphatically silenced who doubted them earlier this season. Many anticipated that the side would be unable to maintain their levels throughout the campaign.
However, the Whites have been in outstanding form in the final stages of the season. They have lost once in their last nine, and they have won their last two by an aggregate score of 7-1.
They travel to the south coast this evening knowing that a win will guarantee a top-half finish for Marcelo Bielsa’s side. And ahead of the game, Hasenhuttl outlined where the Saints may be unable to match Leeds.
“I think the last result, 3-0, was maybe a little bit too high,” he said, as reported by the club’s official website. “I think the difference was not that big, especially in the first half we had also opportunities to score and finally didn’t and then the momentum was on their side I think.
“We have developed our game. It was a very tough game there, because the pitch was very slippery and we had some issues with injuries and so on. It’s a tough side, physically the best in the league maybe, and we are also an energetic team and we have to fight for the points.”
TBR View: Previous meeting will motivate Saints
As Hasenhuttl notes, they did threaten to cause Leeds problems in the reverse fixture. Jannik Vestergaard missed a brilliant chance early on and Nathan Tella was initially awarded a penalty before replays showed that he had thrown himself to the ground.
The Saints are also on a better run themselves. They have won their last two games 3-1. And they have not lost at home since mid-March.
And having lost the previous game, they will be desperate to prove a point against the team Hasenhuttl believes to be amongst the best physically in the league.