Southampton will be aiming for their fourth successive home Premier League victory in a significant clash against Tottenham, one of their main rivals for a European place.
So good in the weeks immediately following the turn of the year, the Saints’ away form has plummeted of late, a loss of consistency which has now rendered a top four finish highly unlikely. Despite that, they are still playing well and were a little perplexed by their failure to take even a point from their last game at Stoke City.
Morgan Schneiderlin had given his side the lead, and will have nothing to prove to his former manager here. Mauricio Pochettino is likely to get a mixed reception when he takes his position in the away dugout, and will see his defenders undergo a tough examination from Graziano Pelle, whose physicality up front could be the difference.
After two nondescript performances which barely yielded a shot on target let alone a goal, Tottenham were much better as they saw of Newcastle United at St. James’ Park, with Harry Kane joining a fairly exclusive club by plundering his 20th league goal of the campaign on the break in the closing stages.
This intriguing encounter also sees a battle for superiority between two hopefuls for the England left-back position. Danny Rose was called up to the senior squad for the first time recently, but Bertrand has arguably been the most consistent performer in that position this season.
Toby Alderweireld may feature for Southampton after a shoulder injury proved not to be as bad as first feared. Victor Wanyama completes a two-match ban.
Tottenham duo Hugo Lloris and Danny Rose will be assessed after recent injury problems. Kyle Walker is definitely out.
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