Southampton welcome ex-manager Mauricio Potchettino’s Tottenham Hotspur to St.Mary’s on Saturday in a game which is arguably the best chance the Saints have had in beating the Argentine’s side at home for a couple of seasons, maybe even since we’ve been back in the big time…
Spurs haven’t had the best of affairs in the league over the past few weeks after almost losing the North London derby after Arsenal were awarded a penalty late on (of course it was missed and Tottenham earned a point) but also losing at Burnley and Chelsea in the last fortnight.
This does seem to be a mere blip, however, as Potchettino and his team deserve immense credit for the season they’ve had so far, especially when you consider the fact that no players have come in over the two transfer windows.
Still firmly in the chase for Champions League qualification, Tottenham do have a lot to play for with Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea all breathing down their neck.
And it’s been in the Champions League that Tottenham have enjoyed their most recent success with two victories over Borussia Dortmund in the last-16 of the competition.
A stunning second-half performance at Wembley from Tottenham saw the German side beaten 3-0 and Tuesday’s 1-0 victory at Signal Iduna Park, making the scoreline 4-0 on aggregate, confirmed their place in the competitions quarter-final stage.
We were desperately unlucky to not get anything against Manchester United last weekend after a fantastic performance that hopefully can be used as a positive on Saturday to pick up a point or maybe even three!
Ralph Hasenhuttl will again be without Danny Ings and Mario Lemina who’ve been allocated extra time to get back to full fitness and, with this three-week break, they should be ready to return at the end of the month.
That means that it’s most likely that Hasenhuttl goes with the same starting line-up for the third game in a row after impressive displays against both Fulham and Manchester United in the last two games.
As for Tottenham, Harry Kane has been back fit for a few weeks now and has scored three goals in his four games back from injury.
Dele Alli could return for Spurs after almost two months of being out of action. However, Harry Winks is a doubt for Saturday as the midfielder has picked up a hip injury.
The obvious one. Kane’s goalscoring record against Southampton is a significant worry for Saturday’s game as the striker has scored six goals in his last four appearances against the Saints. Having played a handful of games now, he looks to be back in shape and has already started getting in amongst the goals once again. Stop him and we will be in for a more comfortable affair.
For me, one of if not the most underrated player in the league this season. His commitments to his native South Korea led to his involvement in the Asian Cup. During his absence, Tottenham struggled to break down sides, proving that the scale of Son’s influence on this team is unrecognised and doesn’t receive the necessary plaudits. The winger also has a good scoring record against Southampton and may prove to be the key to unlocking the Southampton defence.
Again, another player who could prove to be Spurs’ powerhouse when it comes to the goals. Eriksen has been a bit more quiet than usual this season but still possesses the necessary talent to create a pass or two that completely takes our defence out of the game. The fact that Kane is back in form also helps Eriksen as it means that there’s more quality to supply to. His long-range shooting will also be an issue, especially as we’ve struggled to close players down at times this season; space is the last thing we want to give the Dane.
Last Five Results
Manchester United 3-2 Southampton – Premier League
Southampton 2-0 Fulham – Premier League
Arsenal 2-0 Southampton – Premier League
Southampton 1-2 Cardiff – Premier League
Burnley 1-1 Southampton – Premier League
Borussia Dortmund 0-1 Tottenham – Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg
Tottenham 1-1 Arsenal – Premier League
Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham – Premier League
Burnley 2-1 Tottenham – Premier League
Tottenham 3-0 Borussia Dortmund – Premier League
I think this could prove to be a very entertaining game. Two sides who’ve proven to possess decent quality up front lately and, with the performances of late have gone for both sides, I’m going to go with a draw, which won’t be a bad result for us and will also be Tottenham’s first of the season!