The Reds come into Saturday's game on the back of four consecutive victories, scoring 15 goals in that time and resurrecting their hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League.
And defender Jos is looking forward to pitting his wits against the likes of Daniel Sturridge and free-scoring Luis Suarez in two days' time.
"We like [facing] teams that play football because we are a team that wants to play football ourselves," he told Saints Player
"It's always nice to play someone who is at the top because they have to come here and beat us, so we are up for it.
"It's the same as when Manchester City came here, and the Manchester United game [last September] was also a good game.
"OK, the result wasn't there but we've grown a lot as a team since then. We've got a lot more cleverness and maturity than we did then.
"Now it's difficult for every team who comes here trying to get points."
Hooiveld has started eight of Saints' last nine games, and says he's enjoying being a part of things after an injury-disrupted first few months in the top flight.
And, with Maya Yoshida, José Fonte and Vegard Forren joining him in competing for two defensive spots, he knows he has to stay on top form if he wants to keep his spot.
"If everybody's fit, you have to be on your toes," he admitted.
"If I am out with an injury and the one [who replaces you] does well, then there is no reason to change – but I will try to prevent that.
"I've been unfortunate, I think," added the Dutchman while reflecting on his first half of the season.
"I started in the team and got injured so I was out for a long time, then I came back and haven't really been out since then.
"Last year everything went the right way, and this year everything has gone a bit wrong but it's not like I've been playing badly.
"There's been a few moments that just stick with people, and that's annoying but it's part of it – you have the good part of football and sometimes you have the not-so-nice part.
"It doesn't really get to me. You get some abuse, but that's part of it as well.
"If a goal goes against you then it's always [seen as being] down to the defence, and it will always stay like that. That will never change in football.
"The ones who work behind the scenes know where we have to improve things, and it's not always down to the one who is closest to the ball but sometimes it's them who gets blamed.
"It works the other way round too – the one who scores is the celebrated man, but it's down to the 11.
"You don't defend with four players because, if you do, you might as well not even start playing because you are going to lose.
"I wish I could change that in people's eyes, but unfortunately you can't."