It’s a return to Emirates FA Cup action for Southampton, who will be looking to progress to the fifth round over Championship side Blackpool on Saturday. Get set with our Match Pack, in association with eToro…
Southampton vs Blackpool
Emirates FA Cup, fourth round
St Mary’s Stadium
Saturday 28th January, 3pm GMT
Referee: Craig Pawson
Assistants: Daniel Robathan and Mark Stevens
Fourth official: Andre Marriner
VAR: Thomas Bramall
Assistant VAR: Marc Perry
Southampton have fared respectfully during recent seasons in the FA Cup, reaching at least the quarter-final stage in three of the last five seasons.
Last year’s run saw 3-2 extra-time victory at Swansea in the third round, before seeing off eventual League One champions Coventry City 2-1 at St Mary’s at this stage of the competition.
Fourth round victory once again in SO14 will not only secure another fifth-round tie, but set Saints back on track ahead of their Premier League return at Brentford on the 4th February.
Nathan Jones confirmed a few names are could return for Saturday’s cup tie that haven’t been available in recent weeks.
But Saints won’t be able to call upon either of Jan Bednarek or new signing James Bree, who are both cup tied.
Visiting Blackpool will be without defender Marvin Ekpiteta through injury, but have a ready-made alternative in January acquisition Charlie Goode.
The 27-year-old experience defender comes in on loan from Premier League side Brentford, providing immediate cover.
“For us, as we prepare, the pressures are the same because we’re trying to build something. At the moment we’re finding the balance and trying to evolve into that team. It’s a different kind of pressure, a different test, but the principles are the same.”
“[Nathan Jones] will want to win this game, they’re a Premier League side playing a Championship side, they’re at the bottom of the league, but he’s having good games in the cup so he’ll want to keep momentum going.”
It was a tricky first start for Saints’ first January signing on Tuesday against a talented Newcastle side, but this was his first start since mid-December’s third place play-off in the World Cup (in which he scored).
A run in the side is exactly what the Croatian needs in terms of building confidence, fitness and momentum. Once these three features come back Saints fans will see the talent they have secured during the window.
The real shining light of a difficult season so far for the Seasiders, 26-year-old Yates will certainly be the focal point if an upset is on the cards at St Mary’s.
With ten goals and three assists in 28 goals across all competitions so far this season (six more goals than any other player), the striker presents a new type of challenge for the Saints back four.
Ché Adams 8
James Ward-Prowse 7
Perraud, A.Armstrong, Aribo 2
Adams, Ward-Prowse, Perraud, Elyounoussi 2
Eight players 1
Jerry Yates 10
Gary Madine 4
Theo Corbeanu 3
Gary Madine 4
Yates, Hamilton, Dougall 3
Patino, Lavery, Poveda-Ocampo 2
Saints wins: 21
Blackpool wins: 19
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
March 2012: Blackpool 3-0 Saints
December 2011: Saints 2-2 Blackpool (Lambert x2)
January 2011: Saints 2-0 Blackpool (Barnard, Do Prado)
March 2009: Blackpool 1-1 Saints (McGoldrick)
August 2008: Saints 0-1 Blackpool
DID YOU KNOW?
- Saints and Blackpool haven’t met in the FA Cup since 2010/11, a 2-0 Saints win the third round with goals from Lee Barnard and Guly Do Prado.
- Saints have progressed from 24 of their last 26 FA Cup clashes against teams from a lower division
- Blackpool are winless in 21 away FA Cup games against top-flight opposition (drawn five, lost 16)
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