This weekend, 17th place Southampton host 5th place Tottenham Hotspur as both sides bid to claim the all-important three points.
The Saints are currently languishing just above the drop-zone, whilst The Lilywhites are four points ahead of Arsenal (music to their ears) but three behind both Chelsea and Liverpool. A win here will make a challenge for the much coveted 4th spot much more interesting. As for the hosts, the only option is to win if they’re to continue their quest to remain in the top flight.
The last time the sides met was on Boxing Day, with Mauricio Pochettino’s side recording an emphatic 5-2 win with Harry Kane scoring a hat-trick. They’re on a good run of form of recent, having notched four wins in their last five.
Not much praise for Mauricio Pellegrino’s side on the other hand, as they’ve only racked up three points (three draws) in the last five games and haven’t won since beating Everton 4-1 at home in late November.
Pellegrino has confirmed that Japanese international, Maya Yoshida is the only injury concern. Other than that, the rest of the squad is fully fit.
The centre-half missed the controversy-filled draw at Vicarage Road through injury, but he’s been making steady progress in the week.
Pochettino voiced that he’s not sure whether Hugo Lloris will play. He went on to say that the goalkeeper will need to be assessed. He concluded this subject matter by saying that he thinks Lloris is suffering from flu or a virus (nothing too serious, I hope).
The former Southampton boss quashed suggestions that defender Toby Alderweireld could be back within a week.
“Next week? I think they are not right. Maybe today if all is ok with him then tomorrow he can integrate himself in some exercise with the group and a little bit step by step build his fitness to be available again. Tomorrow, but if all is ok with his scan today.”
The Argentinian is said to be pleased to have Alderweireld back, as well as Harry Winks and Danny Rose. He continued on by voicing the importance of having players fit for selection in such a busy period.
Since the South Coast outfits promotion in 2012, they’ve only taken four points from the North London club which came from a draw in April 2015 (home) and a win in May 2016 (away).
On form, they’re exceptionally poor (little wonder why they’re just above the relegation zone), but having said that, don’t rule out a shock to the system!
I’d go for a textbook 3-1 win to Tottenham Hotspur and especially with the form they’re in, it’s hard to not see goals coming!
Here are the highlights from the last encounter: