Get set for Ralph Hasenhüttl's first game as Southampton boss against Cardiff City in the Premier League with our in-depth match preview, in association with SportPesa...
Cardiff City vs Southampton
Cardiff City Stadium
Saturday 8th December, 3pm GMT
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Assistants: Harry Lennard, Andy Halliday
Fourth official: Graham Scott
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
New manager Ralph Hasenhüttl takes the dugout for the first time, having had two days to work with his squad ahead of this one.
It’s another important game for Saints against one of the teams around them and a chance to climb out of the bottom three with a victory.
There were encouraging signs despite defeat at Tottenham in midweek, while Cardiff also walked away from the capital empty-handed following their 3-1 reverse at West Ham United.
Neil Warnock’s men have picked up their form though and are seeking a fourth victory in their last five home matches, having beaten Wolves, Brighton and Fulham respectively in recent weeks.
Cardiff: Kenneth Zahore remains sidelined with a calf problem and there are also doubts over Gary Madine and Danny Ward. Nathan Mendez-Laing will be pushing for a recall following his recovery from knee ligament damage, while Josh Murphy could also return.
Southampton: Saints are likely to be without Danny Ings and Ryan Bertrand for the trip to Cardiff, while Michael Obafemi is also still recovering from an injury sustained against Manchester United. Mario Lemina is available again following his suspension.
West Ham (a) L 3-1
Wolves (h) W 2-1
Everton (a) L 1-0
Brighton (h) W 2-1
Leicester (h) L 1-0
Tottenham (a) L 3-1 (Austin)
Man Utd (h) D 2-2 (Armstrong, Cédric)
Leicester (a) L 0-0* (6-5 on pens) (Carabao Cup)
Fulham (a) L 2-3 (Armstrong 2)
Watford (h) D 1-1 (Gabbiadini)
Neil Warnock: “He’s done really well where he’s been. I'm sure they'll have a spring in their step and want to impress. But we’ve got lads who want to prove things as well.
"I think every game against teams outside the top six you’ve got to look to get points from. They’re all tough games, you’ve just got to get what you can out of them.”
Ralph Hasenhüttl: "There are really two targets at the moment,” he said. “The first is the near future, and in the near future the only target has to be to stay in this division.
“That’s tough enough, so that's the main goal at the moment – do everything with first decisions to get out of this zone where we are at the moment.
“Nine points after 15 matches is not a really good return. That's too less to make it one year again in this division.
“The first goal is to get out of this zone and raise your performance to a higher level.”
Cardiff City: With three assists and an assist in recent weeks, Callum Paterson has been hugely influential for the Bluebirds when playing up front. Junior Hoilett proved to be the match winner against Wolves last time out at home and he could provide a threat from a wide area.
Southampton: Charlie Austin opened his account for the season with consolation at Spurs and boasts an impressive record against promoted sides, with eight goals and an assist in his last 9 starts.
Stuart Armstrong once again proved to be a threat playing through the middle, while Nathan Redmond’s recent performances have also caused teams problems out wide.
Last five meetings:
April 2014: Saints 0-1 Cardiff
December 2013: Cardiff 0-3 Saints (Rodriguez 2, Lambert)
January 2012: Saints 1-1 Cardiff (Lambert)
September 2011: Cardiff 2-1 Saints (De Ridder)
February 2009: Saints 1-0 Cardiff (McGoldrick)
DID YOU KNOW?
- Charlie Austin has been involved in nine goals in nine PL starts against promoted sides, with eight strikes and one assist.
- Neil Warnock has lost his last three league matches against Southampton, doing so in April 2009 and December 2014 with Crystal Palace and in March 2012 with Leeds United.
- New Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl won 120 points in the Bundesliga during his two-season spell as manager of RB Leipzig; only Bayern Munich (166) won more in this period.
NOT AT THE GAME?
We’ll be bringing you live, in-depth coverage from Cardiff City Stadium via our interactive match centre here at southamptonfc.com, which also features free commentary and live updates from the game.
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