Two teams that are battling to regain some form and force there way into the Europa League recognition by finishing seventh in the Premier League table or better come face-to-face as Southampton play host to Tottenham Hotspur in what is sure to be an exciting and exhilarating contest.
LAST TIME OUT
AFC Bournemouth 1-3 SOUTHAMPTON
Everybody loves a derby clash, and we were rewared with a a great game of football in the South Coast derby between AFC Bournemouth and Southampton. Nathan Ake put the hosts in front, before England left back Ryan Bertrand equilisedsoon after. The return of jay Rodrifuez, who has been plagued with injury over the past year was a welcome sight, and he managed to notch a brace to complete the 3-1 win, meaning Southampton scored as many goals in this game as in their last seven Premier League games combined.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2-1 Burnley
In what was expected to be an easy rise for Spurs, turneed out to be a difficult contest. And when Ashley Barnes put Burnley in the lead early in the game, many associated with Spurs began to fear they could actually lose this game. However, a couple of England internationals saved Spurs from embarasment as midfielder Dele Alli soon equilised before left back Danny Rose got tyhe eventual winner, meaning the Lilywhites hopes of a top foru finish are still alive.
Despite Rodriguez helping himself to a brace against the Cherries, the former Burnley frontman looks set to start on the becnh due to his lack of match fitness, meaning Nathan Redmond and Shane Long will start up front in the Saints only significent in the Starting XI.
Belgian centre half Toby Alderweireld is a doubt for the game, but should be fit enough to start. Vincent Janssen, too, has been declared fit. However, Argentine midfielder Erik Lamela is still sidelined.
KEYS TO THE GAME
The Kane effect
Ever since the start of last season, striker Harry Kane has represented Spurs with distinction and has provided some important goals for the club. On Wednesday, he will face Southampton, but Kane has scored with just two of his 17 shots in the Premier League since November 26th and one of these goals was a penalty. Can he arrest this lack of killer edge?
Kyle Walker’s infuence
With Tottenham having an extensive attacking outlet at the helm, they need players who will provide a plethora of assists, with Christian Eriksen being the main man for that job. However, becssue Spurs are so attacking, full backs Danny Rose and Kyle Walker play like wingers. Both fullbacks assisted Eriksen in a 3-0 win over Hull, whilst Walker grabbed another assist and Rose a goal against Burnley. Can they continue to inject their side with creativity?
Fraser Forster form
The fundamental aim for climbing up the table is to keep as many clean shees as possible. The main reason why Southampton qualified for the Europa League was because of Fraser Forster’s impeccable form. The former Celtic shot stopper has kept a clean sheet in 40% of his Premier League matches for the club (26/65) and conceded only 54 goals since joining Southampton in August 2014. Despite his blunder against Crystal Palace, he’s a top class ‘keeeper and Southampton’s hopes rest with him.
PREDICTION: Southampton 1-2 Tottenham
Southampton’s 2-1 win over Spurs in May ended a run of seven Premier League games without beating them. After six successive away defeats to the Saints in all competitions, Tottenham are unbeaten in their last four games against them on the South Coast, however, the Saints haven’t conceded a home goal in five hours and five minutes of Premier League football. Nevertheless, Spurs claim three points in this game by a 2-1 scoreline.
Do you think Spurs will be able to claim all three points? Let us know in the comments.