Southampton vs Tottenham Hotspur: Match preview and predicted line-ups
The team currently seventh in the table will welcome the team in fifth on Wednesday in the last of the ‘Boxing Day fixtures’ with the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Toby Alderweireld and Victor Wanyama all returning to their former stomping ground. The Saints have taken just one point from this home fixture since their return to the Premier League in 2012 and will want to turn that around now, 11 years since their last home win over Spurs.
Southampton have had just one defeat in their last six games, winning three of those in the process. A comeback victory over near rivals Bournemouth last weekend will have given a big boost to the Saints going into this game and have shown their defensive abilities as well with just one goal conceded in their last three outings.
Tottenham also had to come from behind to win last time out against Burnley with Danny Rose finding the second half winner. Wins over Hull and Swansea were more convincing but they have appeared to struggle when really put to the test with defeats to Chelsea and Manchester United in recent weeks.
Southampton predicted starting XI Tottenham Hotspur predicted starting XI
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Claude Puel is said to have arrived at the end of his tether with Nathan Redmond’s poor performances of late and will instead favour Dusan Tadic, with Oriol Romeu also returning after suspension and James Ward-Prowse returning having been rested for the derby against Bournemouth.
Toby Alderweireld and Son Heung-Min will return for Pochettino, with Eric Dier and Harry Winks likely to be sacrificed to allow them back into the starting eleven. It will be a more experienced Spurs team than that which faced Burnley at home last time out for the clash at St. Mary’s.
Suspensions and Injuries
Southampton will face lining up without some key figures, such as Jordy Clasie who is out with a groin problem, and top scorer Charlie Austin who has picked up a shoulder injury in Europa League action which is expected to keep him out until April. Matthew Targett and Jeremy Pied are also unavailable whilst Alex McCarthy may not come back to fitness in time to take a place on the bench.
Tottenham will certainly be without Erik Lamela due to his ongoing hip injury, but will give late fitness tests to Vincent Janssen, who is battling an ankle injury, and, more importantly, Toby Alderweireld, who missed the Burnley fixture with a back problem. Other than that, Pochettino should have a fully fit squad.
This match will be a very tough one for both sides. Claude Puel has showed that his team can ground out results against the very best the Premier League has to offer and a draw seems the most likely result, even if Tottenham throw everything at them.
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