Harry Redknapp returns to Southampton for the first time since leaving his disappointing spell there as manager, which saw the Saints relegated from the Premier League in the 2004-05 season. Ironically, Redknapp returns with a QPR side staring down the barrels of the drop themselves after a horror season.
Redknapp’s arrival to replace Mark Hughes has failed to had the galvanising effect expected at Loftus Road and despite some heavy January spending that saw the club’s transfer record broke twice for first Loic Remy and then Christopher Samba, the Rs timid 0-2 home defeat to Manchester United last week left them rock-bottom of the Premier League with a mere 17 points, a full seven off the drop zone with a weaker goal difference to everyone bar Aston Villa above them.
After making his first start under Redknapp last week, Bobby Zamora has failed to make the match-day squad with an ankle injury, although Remy is fit again to take his place up front. Elsewhere, Tal Ben Haim may miss out with a hip problem, while Redknapp must choose from a myriad of midfield options, which may be missing Esteban Granero after the former Real Madrid man picked up a knock during the week.
Hosts Southampton may have improved under new coach Mauricio Pochettino but the Argentine and indeed the club’s supporters will be aware that they have only won one of their five games since the former Espanyol boss took charge, a run that has left them only three points above the drop zone albeit with a superior goal difference by some distance to the chasing pack.
Pochettino could call upon Jason Puncheon and Gaston Ramirez after the duo were only substitutes for the 4-2 defeat at Newcastle last week, while Jose Fonte is available for selection once again.
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