Southampton vs. Tottenham Hotspur: Preview and Predictions

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Christian Eriksen of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates with teammates after scoring his sides fourth goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Everton at Wembley Stadium on January 13, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Christian Eriksen of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates with teammates after scoring his sides fourth goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Everton at Wembley Stadium on January 13, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Southampton will be looking for revenge on Sunday, when Tottenham make the trip down from Wembley to St Mary’s.

The meeting between the two earlier in the season (less than a month ago) saw a Harry Kane hattrick and a 5-2 demolishing of Mauricio Pellegrino’s men. For Southampton, the defence may as well have not turned up that day. There looked like no organisation, no bravery and no leadership and Spurs needed no further invitation.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side are playing some good football this year, however find themselves outside the Champions League places, behind Man City, Man United, Chelsea and Liverpool. Harry Kane is, once again, banging in goals and is currently the league’s top goalscorer with 20.

However, the three sat behind Kane often do no get the credit they deserve. Heung-Min Son, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen are a big reason as to why Spurs are playing good football.

The way in which they interchange and swap without what seems like much communication makes it very difficult for teams to defend against. With 36 goals and assists between them, the defensive midfielders and defenders will have to be on the top of their game to stop them.

Related Story: Half-season review - Jack Stephens

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 02: Shane Long of Southampton looks on during the Premier League match between Southampton and Crystal Palace at St Mary’s Stadium on January 2, 2018 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 02: Shane Long of Southampton looks on during the Premier League match between Southampton and Crystal Palace at St Mary’s Stadium on January 2, 2018 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images) /

But defensively, Tottenham are very sound too. Former-Saint Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and new boy Davinson Sanchez have formed a formidable three at centre half with pace, strength and physicality.

The fullbacks are been, arguably, Spurs’ surprise performers this year. With Kyle Walker gone to City and Danny Rose wanting to leave and being injured, Spurs had to call on two players who had previously been fringe players. Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier have both thrived in the wing back role. The ability to get up and down the wing has led them to picking up seven asissts between them with Davies picking up two goals as well.

In terms of team news, Alderweireld, Winks, Rose and Hugo Lloris all look set to miss the game and in the Saints camp Maya Yoshida is only new concern for Pellegrino after he suffered an injury against Watford. Charlie Austin is still sidelined.

Why Spurs will win

Their array of attacking talent and ability to push sides aside with ease will give them the best possible chance against a Southampton side out of form.

More from Saints Marching

A few more goals from Harry Kane would probably mean a victory for Spurs as the lack of goals from the Saints this season is unlikely to change against a solid Tottenham defence.

Why Saints will win

I’m not going to lie, this isn’t an easy question to answer.

There’s not many other reasons than pure hope. However, a good performance at Old Trafford gives me a little bit of hope going into the game. If Saints can shut out Spurs the way they did against United, they give themselves the best possible chance. Pellegrino will need to not go for the win, but take it if we get a chance to do so.

Predicted line-ups

Southampton

Goalkeeper: Alex McCarthy

Defence: Cedric, Jack Stephens, Wesley Hoedt, Ryan Bertrand

Midfield: Oriol Romeu, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, James Ward-Prowse, Sofiane Boufal, Dusan Tadic

Forward: Shane Long

Spurs

Goalkeeper: Paulo Gazzaniga,

Defence: Serge Aurier, Jan Vertonghen, Davinson Sanchez, Ben Davies

Midfield: Moussa Dembele, Eric Dier, Heung-Min Son, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen

Forward: Harry Kane

Verdict

Southampton 1-1 Spurs