Get set for Saturday’s visit of Tottenham Hotspur to St Mary’s by checking out our Match Pack, in association with SportPesa...
Saints vs Tottenham
St Mary’s Stadium
Saturday 9th March, 3pm GMT
Referee: Kevin Friend
Assistants: Matthew Wilkes, Simon Beck
Fourth official: Lee Probert
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
"One game we took points against Fulham, the other against Man United we didn’t and that is the only thing that interests me.”
Ralph Hasenhüttl’s assessment of his team’s efforts of the past ten days frame this weekend’s visit of Tottenham Hotspur quite succinctly. The performance at Old Trafford was worthy of points but ultimately did not yield any.
With a critical clash with Brighton to follow at the end of the month, tomorrow’s game could be viewed as another free shot against a side on whom Saints’ season won’t be defined but ending the afternoon with nothing will not be accepted by Hasenhüttl.
A win would be just as valuable for Spurs who have saw their title hopes fade badly in the past few weeks. Mauricio Pochettino’s side have lost their last two league away games against Burnley and Chelsea, the same number they had lost in the previous 13 on the road.
They have suffered three consecutive away defeats just once under Pochettino, back in November 2017. Now ten points behind leaders Man City, the resurgence of Man United now has Spurs looking over their shoulders instead of upwards for the first time this season.
Southampton: There had been hope of getting top-scorer Danny Ings over the line in time for this weekend's match but Hasenhüttl and his staff have opted for caution, electing to give Ings as much time as possible to make a full recovery.
A three-week break will follow Saturday's meeting with Spurs, in which time Ings and Mario Lemina – who returned to training with the squad on Thursday – can be fully re-integrated ahead of the trip to Brighton at the end of the month.
Tottenham: Dele Alli is back in the frame for Spurs and could make his first appearance since 20 January.
Fellow midfielder Harry Winks is being assessed over a groin problem after being forced off in the early stages of the second half in the midweek Champions League victory at Borussia Dortmund.
Kieran Trippier missed out in midweek and will remain sidelined with a gluteal muscle strain.
Southampton’s last five:
Man Utd (a) L 2-3 (Valery, Ward-Prowse)
Fulham (h) W 2-0 (Romeu, Ward-Prowse)
Arsenal (a) L 0-2
Cardiff (h) L 1-2 (Stephens)
Burnley (a) D 1-1 (Redmond)
Tottenham’s last five:
Dortmund (a) W 1-0 (UEFA Champions League)
Arsenal (h) D 1-1
Chelsea (a) L 0-2
Burnley (a) L 1-2
Dortmund (h) W 3-0 (UEFA Champions League)
Ralph Hasenhüttl: “We are very self-critical always and try to learn and try to get better and that's what we have to do, because Tottenham is the next big opponent. it is important that we also believe in our strengths and we showed against Manchester United we have them.
"We can score against such teams and we can be a nasty opponent also, because if you work good against the ball then it is not so easy to score against us."
Mauricio Pochettino: “Southampton is a place that is in my heart and I am always going to love them. Of course, it’s going to be tough, their manager is doing a great job and they have very good players.
“We have studied the game against Man Utd and they deserved much, much more. After a few defeats in the Premier League, we need the three points.”
You would be hard pushed to list many midfielders in better form than James Ward-Prowse at the moment. A superb free-kick at Old Trafford took his scoring tally to five from his last eight league games; his previous five came over a period of 52.
It is a run that is making calls for his reintroduction to the England squad increasingly hard to ignore ahead of this month’s EURO 2020 qualifying double header against Czech Republic and Montenegro.
Afforded significant attacking freedom in a midfielder anchored by Oriol Romeu and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Ward-Prowse is hitting new heights in a Saints shirt.
From an England contender to the captain; Harry Kane became Tottenham’s all-time leading European scorer at Dortmund on Tuesday night and will look to continue a different scoring habit at St Mary’s.
Kane has scored in each of his last four Premier League meetings against Saints, netting six goals in total. He’s also found the net in each of his last three against us on the south coast.
Previous five meetings:
December 2018: Tottenham 3-1 Southampton (Austin)
January 2018: Southampton 1-1 Tottenham (Sanchez o.g)
December 2017: Tottenham 5-2 Southampton (Boufal, Tadić)
March 2017: Tottenham 2-1 Southampton (Ward-Prowse)
December 2016: Tottenham 4-1 Southampton (van Dijk)
DID YOU KNOW?
- Pierre-Emile Højbjerg has made 13.6% of Southampton's successful passes in the Premier League this season (1135/8365) - no midfielder has made a higher proportion for their side in 2018-19.
- Southampton have won three of their seven Premier League home games under manager Ralph Hasenhüttl (D1 L3), as many as they had in their previous 24 combined at St Mary’s under Mauricio Pellegrino and Mark Hughes (W3 D11 L10).
- Mauricio Pochettino has never lost away at former club Southampton in the Premier League (W2 D2) – only Harry Redknapp (five games against West Ham) has had a longer unbeaten away run against a specific side he’s formerly managed in the competition.
NOT AT THE GAME?
Don’t worry if you can’t make it to Old Trafford, as we’ll be here to bring you all of the action, as well as a host of behind-the-scenes access.
Check out our interactive match centre at southamptonfc.com, with all of the live in-game updates and free audio commentary of the match.
And be sure to follow us on social media for further updates and exclusive content: