Southampton have announced that they will be playing two pre-season friendlies against Cardiff City and Swansea City in late July.
Saints will face the Bluebirds on Tuesday 27th July and then travel to take on the Swans on Saturday 31st July after a five-day training camp in Wales.
With both games set to be towards the back end of preparations for 2021/22, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side will hope to be putting elements of their playstyle together well by that time.
Results in these games are not so important overall but performance levels will need to be high with the Premier League season beginning just two weeks after the clash with Swansea.
Strong pre-season preparations could lead to strong league start for Southampton
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Saints enjoyed a superb start to the 2020/21 Premier League and worked their way up to the top-flight summit at one point. However, injuries during a tough schedule certainly affected them around Christmas time.
Part of their strong early showings might have been the short gap between seasons that they faced. Excellent form in the latter stages of 2019/20 seemed to carry over after August and they certainly hit the ground running for a while.
Things will be a lot more steady this time around and the participation of some players in Euro 2020 may mean delayed returns, but there is the chance of a strong start to fixtures for an entirely different reason this time around.
New signings will have time to bed in and combine with their teammates and the team will hopefully be well-prepared as a unit. With Saints’ pre-season beginning on Monday 5th July, they will have just under six weeks to put everything together.
Clashes with Cardiff and Swansea will put them up against two very solid outfits. Cardiff are managed by the vastly experienced head of Mick McCarthy, whilst Swansea are renowned for playing an attractive brand of football that saw them narrowly miss out on promotion last season.
They are hoping that imminent signing Romain Perraud will be able to take part next week and he could be announced as a Saints player today.