Southampton: New Coronavirus suspension to see four games postponed

Southampton will see four more of their Premier League fixtures postponed after the Coronavirus suspension was extended on Thursday.

A joint statement from the FA, Premier League, EFL and womens professional game – along with the LMA and PFA – revealed that the football season will be able to finish beyond 1st June if needed and said that matches will not resume until at least 30th April.

This means that the number of matches Saints will need to rearrange dates for comes to six after this enforced break in the season and previous fixtures that needed a new date.

Last Saturday’s meeting with Norwich was the first to be called off as the new measures were put in place to try and combat the Coronavirus pandemic.

The next game that Saints were due to play was an away meeting with Watford, which was scheduled for 4th April but will now potentially be played during an extended campaign stretching to June.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – MARCH 07: Ralph Hasenhuttl, Manager of Southampton looks on prior to the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Newcastle United at St Mary’s Stadium on March 07, 2020 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Manchester City were then supposed to be arriving at St Mary’s the following week of the 11th April before consecutive away trips to Everton and Manchester United before the end of the month.

Saints’ home meeting with Arsenal is also without a date after the Gunners’ progression into the next round of the FA Cup past Portsmouth.

The lengthening of this suspension also means that Saints Women will see all but one of their remaining games rescheduled, Saints Under-23s will need new dates for two of their games and Saints Under-18s will be waiting to play the final three games of their season.

Overall, this could lead to a pretty packed schedule come the time that games start to be played again.

However, this break could also have some significant positives for Saints.

The situation isn’t too great currently with players and staff working from home given the high chance of infection.

The health of everyone involved with the club, including the fans, is the most important thing at the moment and this will be at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side had hit a sticky patch in their season though and could benefit from an enforced delay to recover fully and work on new patterns of play once they return to training as a group.

Hasenhuttl did hint at a change of system in his pre-match press conference ahead of the postponed Norwich game last week but that may have been down to some players not being available for selection rather than anything else.

A switch in formation might not be the worse thing that Saints could work on though after losing five of their last six games in all competitions since early February.

Next: Saints' current squad valued at £244m by football report
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