Southampton and Spurs go head to head today at St. Mary’s, with the game kicking off at 4pm. Southampton are 18th in the table, while Spurs are fifth.
Southampton are in the middle of an awful run of form, and Stoke’s win against Huddersfield yesterday saw the Saints drop into the relegation zone. They have gone ten league games without a win, and are in real danger of going down if their form doesn’t improve. Scoring has been a real problem for them, and 23 goals from 23 games isn’t good enough. Charlie Austin had started scoring, but injury will see him out of action for the next while. Shane Long broke his goal drought, and they’ll be hoping that’s behind him now and he’ll start scoring more. Today will be a real test for them against an in-form Spurs side, and December’s 5-2 defeat to the same opposition will still be in their minds. Only a win is will be enough to take them out of the bottom three, as they’re two points behind Stoke. A win would move them all the way up to 14th though, so that shows just how tight it is down the bottom of the table.
Mauricio Pellegrino said: “We are not happy with our position but in three or four weeks’ time everything can change. It’s part of our competition.
“I feel in our team the spirit is really good and everybody is conscious about what we need. I receive these messages from players every day, and we have to convert these feelings into stats.”
The Saints will be without Charlie Austin for the next while after the striker tore his hamstring. Maya Yoshida could be available after a hamstring strain.
Spurs are definitely the favourites for this one, and come into the game off the back of a big 4-0 win against Everton last week. They’re unbeaten in their last five league games, and have won four of those. They’re looking for a win today to keep the pressure on the top four, and they’ll even move ahead of Liverpool – who play Swansea tomorrow night – with a two-goal win. They’re also keeping an eye on Arsenal, who are just two points behind them after the Gunners’ 4-1 win against Crystal Palace yesterday. I think it’s a real possibility that they’ll get that two-goal win, and I can see Harry Kane getting a couple today. The striker is in tremendous form, and is the league’s top scorer with 20 goals. It’s an amazing record, especially as we’re only 23 games in. A hat-trick today could even see him match Southampton’s goal tally for the season!
Mauricio Pochettino spoke about Southampton, and he told Spurs’ official website: “Sometimes you have these difficult periods but they have a very good squad, a great manager and coaching staff. I’m sure they will be a success.
“It will be a tough game and of course we need to be ready to compete and fight because they need to win as well. We need to win to be close to the top four.”
Spurs will make a late call on the fitness of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who has been ill this week. Toby Alderweireld is making his way back to fitness, and could make the bench today. Danny Rose and Harry Winks are still out.
Spurs should have the quality to bring all three points back to north London today. I’d be surprised if a completely out of form Southampton side got a win today, but going to St Mary’s can be difficult. They’ll be looking to make it as hard as possible for Spurs to play their football, but I can’t see them keeping a clean-sheet. Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and the in-form Son Heung-min will be so hard to keep out, and I think the Saints will need to score at least a couple if they’re going to get anything out of the game today. We’ll see how it goes.
The team news will be out in the next 10 minutes, and you’ll get that here as well. I’ll be watching the game, and you can follow it with me on Twitter. Enjoy the game.