Tottenham are looking to bounce back from their disappointing North London Derby defeat as they take on relegation-threatened Southampton on Wednesday
Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping his team show character when they take on Southampton in the Premier League. Spurs come into this game at the back of a disappointing North London Derby defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates, and the Argentine will be hoping his side gets back to winning ways.
That loss last weekend cost Tottenham a place in the top four, with the Gunner overtaking them on goal difference. But, with Arsenal playing Manchester United at Old Trafford, there might be a chance for the North Londoners to reclaim the fourth spot.
Pochettino, had blamed the congested fixture list for the defeat and the Southampton game comes just two days after the derby. Tottenham have a busy schedule from now till the end of the year as they are set to play another 8 games till the turn of the year, when they take on Cardiff City. However, with a crucial game coming up especially against Barcelona, Pochettino will want his side in top form.
Southampton, on the other hand, sacked manager Mark Hughes in the aftermath of their 2-2 draw against Manchester United. The Saints did produce a good game against the Red Devils. But, no matter how encouraging that result might have been, it wasn’t enough for Hughes to keep his job following a torrid start to the season.
Assistant coach, Kelvin Davis will be the man in charge in the dugout for Southampton against Tottenham, and he wouldn’t have imagined a much tougher fixture to mark this moment. There are talks of Ralph Hasenhuttl taking over the reins at St.Mary’s, and he is expected to be in the stands when the Saints face Spurs.
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Mauricio Pochettino will be without experienced defender Jan Vertonghen for this clash, after the Belgian was sent off against Arsenal. The obvious choice to replace him will be fellow Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld, who sat on the bench during the derby.
Young Argentine, Juan Foyth, though, will continue to keep his place at the heart of the Tottenham defence, with Davinson Sanchez unavailable as well. In addition to Alderweireld, Kieran Trippier and Danny Rose could also return to the side, lining up on either flank in the back four.
The English full-back pairing have had their fair share of injuries this season, and although Rose made a cameo appearance against the Gunners, Trippier is understood to still be closing on a return. Rose though, could start in place of Ben Davies, while Serge Aurier should continue as the right-back.
Pochettino could ring in some more changes in midfield and attack in order to keep his squad fit and firing. Harry Winks and Lucas Moura are among those who are expected to return, with Christian Eriksen and Moussa Sissoko possibly being rested.
Meanwhile, despite playing almost every game, Harry Kane will be expected to lead the line as he looks to continue his impressive goalscoring run against Southampton.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Aurier, Foyth, Alderweireld, Rose; Winks, Dier; Lucas, Alli, Son; Kane
Southampton have a number injury problems ahead of their clash with Tottenham. The list of sidelined players is growing with the likes of Shane Long, Matt Targett, Ryan Bertrand, Michael Obafemi and Danny Ings all unavailable for Wednesday’s Premier League tie.
Additionally, Mario Lemina is also unavailable after accruing his fifth booking of the season against Manchester United.
The absence of Michael Obafemi means Charlie Austin could have a place in the side, with the English striker not featuring in either of Southampton’s last two games. Along with Austin, midfielder Steven Davis could also benefit with a place in the starting lineup.
On a more positive note for the Saints, Stuart Armstrong has been in great form lately, and is expected to start against Tottenham. The attacker, if he is to score against Spurs, will become the first player since Manolo Gabbiadini to score in three successive games for Southampton.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): McCarthy; Stephens, Yoshida, Vestergaard; Valery, Hojbjerg, Davis, Soares; Armstrong, Gabbiadini; Austin
- Tottenham have won eight of their last 10 home games in the Premier League against Southampton, with the previous defeat coming back in May 2016.
- Southampton have only one victory in 12 Premier League meetings against Spurs since returning to the Premier League back in 2012.
- Tottenham have had three different hat-trick scores in the Premier League against the Saints.
- Southampton are winless in their last 12 games in all competitions with their last victory coming back in September against Crystal Palace.
- Southampton have also dropped 33 points from a winning position since last season, the most of any Premier League side.
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Alli has been in good form since returning from his persistent injury problems. The Englishman has ensured Tottenham have kept pace with the other top sides in the Premier League. His performance against Chelsea, in particular, was impressive, although he was quite dismal in the North London Derby.
The midfielder will be looking to continue his form when Tottenham face Southampton, looking to build on his impressive record against the Saints. In his absence, Harry Kane and others had the responsibility of pulling their side through, and Alli now needs to be the man to take some of the burden off the shoulders of Kane when it comes to providing the support act and scoring goals.
Tottenham 2-0 Southampton
Despite their setback against Arsenal, Tottenham are visibly in no shortage of form. Against the Saints, Spurs have the opportunity to get back to winning ways, and they certainly are expected to do that. The likes of Kane, Alli, and Lucas Moura will prove to be too tricky for Southampton’s defenders, who could crumble once again.
Kane, in particular, will be relishing the prospect of facing one of his favourite opponents. Currently managerless, Southampton could have a hard time creating a winning formula, especially against Tottenham.
Southampton have the attackers to hurt Tottenham, although Spurs’ defensive line is likely to hold the fort. Expect a swift Tottenham victory here as Mauricio Pochettino’s men look to keep pace with the top sides in the Premier League.