Southampton return to St Mary’s on Thursday as they host Bournemouth in a south coast clash. This and more in today’s Match Pack, in association with eToro …
Saints vs Bournemouth
St Mary’s Stadium
Thursday 27th April, 7.45pm BST
Referee: Darren England
Assistants: Dan Cook, Dan Robathan
Fourth official: John Brooks
VAR: Andy Madley
Assistant VAR: Harry Lennard
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
As a week of midweek fixtures comes to a close, Thursday’s clash holds significant importance for both sides as they look to remain in the Premier League.
Saints are five points adrift of safety with just six games left to play, losing out on what could be a pivotal two points due to Arsenal’s late revival at the Emirates on Friday.
Saints can be boosted by their performance in north London, with Charly Alcaraz, Theo Walcott and Dujé Ćaleta-Car all on the scoresheet.
The opposition stand just five points clear of the drop, with their future still in the balance in an up-and-down season.
After suffering a cruel 4-0 defeat to West Ham last time out, Gary O’Neil’s side will be desperate to bounce back as they travel 30 miles down the south coast on Thursday.
The hosts are boosted by the return of Ché Adams, while Jan Bednarek’s fitness will be assessed on Thursday morning.
Juan Larios, Tino Livramento and Mohammed Salisu all remain long-term absentees.
For the visitors, Hamed Traore remains absent while Joe Rothwell is set to return after being forced off against West Ham.
THE MANAGERSRubén Sellés: “We are still alive. We are still there on the fight and we will still be there until the very last second.”
Gary O’Neil: "It's not like we're going to a team that are losing every week and have been rooted to the bottom of the table because they are in terrible form. They're putting in some real good performances, picking up some good results. It'll be a really tough test."
ONES TO WATCH
Ché Adams: Over a month on from his last performance in a Saints shirt, Ché Adams could mark his return from injury at St Mary’s on Thursday evening.
The Scot remains Saints’ top scorer and will no doubt be a welcome return to the matchday squad as Saints go in search of a vital three points.
Philip Billing: In a season full of highs and lows for his side, the Danish midfielder has been a standout star for the Cherries.
The 26-year-old has scored an impressive five goals away from home already this season, a tally he’ll no doubt be eager to add to as his side travel down the south coast.
Ché Adams 10
James Ward-Prowse 9
Romain Perraud 4
Adams, Ward-Prowse, Mara 3
Perraud, Djenepo, Bella-Kotchap, Elyounoussi 2
Philip Billing 7
Dominic Solanke 6
Tavernier, Moore, Anthony 4
Dominic Solanke 6
Marcus Tavernier 4
Dango Ouattara 3
HEAD TO HEAD
HEAD TO HEAD
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
October 2022: Bournemouth 0-1 Saints (Adams)
March 2021: Bournemouth 0-3 Saints (Djenepo, Redmond)
July 2020: Bournemouth 0-2 Saints (Ings, Adams)
September 2019: Saints 1-3 Bournemouth (Ward-Prowse)
April 2019: Saints 3-3 Bournemouth (Long, Ward-Prowse, Targett)
DID YOU KNOW?
- Southampton's Theo Walcott has been involved in three goals in his last five Premier League appearances (2 goals, 1 assist), as many as he had in his previous 35. He's looking to score in consecutive league games for the first time since August 2018 while at Everton, the second game of which was against Bournemouth.
- Since his first Premier League start in February, Carlos Alcaraz has scored more league goals than any other Southampton player (3). All three of his strikes have put Saints 1-0 up in the match, including a strike after just 27 seconds against Arsenal last time out.
- Following their 1-0 win at the Vitality Stadium in October, Southampton are looking to complete their first league double over Bournemouth since 2010-11, when the sides competed in League One.
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