Mauricio Pochettino and his Tottenham side will be looking to end a miserable run of games to begin a new chapter against a travelling Southampton side.
Player uncertainties and inconsistent form have headlined Tottenham’s last few weeks. Mauricio Pochettino will want to solve these problems immediately. Tottenham are winless in their previous three games in all competitions. Their inconsistent and sloppy start to the season compounded with a midweek Carabao Cup defeat to League Two side Colchester, which highlighted Spurs’ problems.
The North London side went into the midweek fixture on the back of a morale-sapping defeat to Leicester City in the Premier League, which now places them 7th on the table. Spurs have only gathered eight points from the opening six games, and Pochettino knows well this slump needs to stop for his side to challenge the top order.
Their opponents, Southampton, have also endured a somewhat inconsistent start to their league season. The Saints, unlike Spurs, won their Carabao Cup clash with Portsmouth in midweek, after they lost to Bournemouth on the last Premier League matchday. Before that loss, Southampton had been on a decent run of form, winning two of their previous three games, including a draw against Manchester United.
Ralph Hasenhuttl will be hoping to take advantage of Tottenham’s recent problems to inflict further issues on the North Londoners. Whether Southampton will be able to get a win or a draw in London, it would still represent a good day for the Saints.
Team News & Tactics
Pochettino will be able to call upon many of his senior stars for this game after he left out many from his lineup against Colchester. Pochettino will likely be revamping the entire lineup. Hugo Lloris, who missed the last few games due to the birth of his daughter, is set for a swift return to the lineup. Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose and Serge Aurier are all set to be back in the side.
Harry Winks and Tanguy Ndombele are set to form a midfield partnership, as they are understood to be Pochettino’s preferred combination. The uncertainty around Christian Eriksen’s future might well have to be put aside, as Pochettino is likely to select the Danish star ahead of others to inject creativity in his attack.
Son Heung-min and Erik Lamela are also set to form a part of the attack alongside Eriksen. Harry Kane is set to return upfront after being rested for the midweek encounter. Lucas Moura and Dele Alli are likely to be options from the bench.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Aurier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Ndombele, Winks; Lamela, Eriksen, Son; Kane
Hasenhuttl will be without Moussa Djenepo, while Alex McCarthy is a significant doubt for this game. The manager could set up a 4-3-3 formation, something that worked during their Carabao Cup encounter in midweek.
The likes of Angus Gunn, Jannik Vestergaard, and Sofiane Boufal are the candidates to make the cut after not featuring in the midweek win against Portsmouth. Cedric Soares and Ryan Bertrand are the candidates for the full-back slots while Jan Bednarek and Vestergaard will form the central defensive unit.
James Ward-Prowse, Oriol Romeu and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg will lineup in the middle. Danny Ings will take his place on the left side of attack, with Boufal on the right. Che Adams is likely to be the preferred central striker for Southampton.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Gunn; Soares, Vestergaard, Bednarek, Bertrand; Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Hojbjerg; Boufal, Adams, Ings
- Tottenham Hotspur have won seven of their last eight home Premier League matches against Southampton (W7 D0 L1).
- Southampton are looking to win consecutive Premier League matches against Tottenham for the first time since winning three in a row between January 2003 and March 2004.
- Tottenham versus Southampton will become only the second Premier League fixture to be played in five different stadiums (Wembley, White Hart Lane, Tottenham Stadium, St Mary’s, The Dell).
- Tottenham have lost 10 of their 24 Premier League games so far in 2019, their most in a single calendar year in the competition since 2014 (12/38).
- Of ever-present sides over the two seasons, only Brighton (13), Watford (12) and Bournemouth (11) have lost more Premier League games this year than Spurs.
Player To Watch
Among the inconsistencies and loss of form surrounding Tottenham at the moment, the most significant problem Spurs have is in front of goal. Harry Kane being the torchbearer of scoring goals for the club, has somewhat gone off-road this season. The striker needs to get back among the goals for Spurs and start performing at his best in the league.
Additionally, Kane is often perceived to be Tottenham’s leader. Amid all the uncertainty surrounding other established stars, the England striker needs to bring that side of him out and needs to set an example and further amplify his own words of keeping personal ambitions aside for the club’s objective this season. The best way to do that is by scoring goals.
Tottenham 2-0 Southampton
Tottenham’s current run of form might be a cause for concern. But, Spurs have the quality in them to bounce back in a strong way, and this may result in a good victory for the North Londoners this weekend. Pochettino will look to make the right changes to his side, which may help Spurs collect all three points.
The prediction is not to say that Southampton cannot spring a surprise against the North London club. The Saints have, in the past, shown their capabilities against big sides, but doing it against a wounded Spurs side seems unlikely. Expect Spurs to win this one comfortably and take charge of their fate in the Premier League.