Get set for Southampton’s final fixture of a dramatic 2018/19 season, against Huddersfield at St Mary’s by checking out our Match Pack in association with SportPesa…
Southampton vs Huddersfield
St Mary’s Stadium
Sunday 12th May, 3.00pm BST
Referee: Lee Probert
Assistants: Andy Garratt, Mark Scholes
Fourth official: Peter Bankes.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Saints sat just two points ahead of Huddersfield going into this fixture at the end of December.
By the end, goals from Nathan Redmond, Danny Ings and a career-first for Michael Obafemi ensured they were five clear and celebrating consecutive wins for the first time since April 2018. The Ralph Hasenhüttl revolution had begun.
Fast forward five months and the gap is 23 between the Saints and the Terriers, a sign of both the former’s radical reversal of fortunes and the latter’s irreversible slide to relegation since the start of 2019.
For the home side, a ninth win under Hasenhüttl would mark the perfect end to Chapter One of the Austrian’s Southampton adventure.
Jan Siewert’s Huddersfield meanwhile will look to make one last mark on the top-flight and bookend their own dramatic Premier League odyssey in style following last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Mancester United, the last under the tenure of out-going Chairman, Dean Hoyle who had overseen their journey to the promised land.
Southampton: Jannik Vestergaard and Maya Yoshida remain unavailable for Saints while Hasenhüttl confirmed that Angus Gunn is in line to return in goal among a handful of other changes to the side beaten by West Ham last weekend.
Defender Yoshida is on the road to recovery following a virus and will be given time to fully recuperate before joining up with the Japan squad in June.
Huddersfield: The Terriers are set to be without defensive trio Erik Durm, Mathias Jorgensen and Chris Löwe at St Mary's and Jan Siewert is keen to hand youngster Joel Coleman his Premier League debut in place of first-choice 'keeper Jonas Lössl.
Southampton’s last five:
West Ham (a) L 3-0
Bournemouth (h) D 3-3 (Long, Ward-Prowse, Targett)
Newcastle (a) L 1-3 (Lemina)
Wolves (h) W 3-1 (Redmond 2, Long)
Liverpool (h) L 1-3 (Long)
Huddersfield’s last five:
Man Utd (h) D 1-1 (Mbenza)
Liverpool (a) L 5-0
Watford (h) L 1-2 (Grant)
Tottenham (a) L 4-0
Leicester (h) L 1-4 (Mooy)
Jan Siewert: “It’s always important that the players fight in each game for everything. I am sad because I really enjoyed working in the @premierleague. “I am excited for the future because the Club has to start from a new point.
"We have to draw a line on this season; somethings in football happen and you have to get rid of it and we will start afresh over the summer.
“It’s amazing what the fans have done this season. They are so important to us and with them in our back I am looking forward to giving them wins because they deserve it.”
Saints’ end of season awards formally recognised the individual performances of Nathan Redmond, Yan Valery and James Ward-Prowse on Tuesday night, a reflection of the impacts all three have had on turning a poor start into a stirring revival through the winter and spring.
Redmond, who collected both Fans’ Player and Players’ Player of the Season honours, has played like a man reborn throughout the season, scoring or assisting 14 times in all competitions.
Ward-Prowse’s own revival – together with the emergence of Young Player of the Season, Valery - has arguably been one of the highlights of Hasenhüttl’s reign, his free-kick double against Man United and Tottenham narrowly beaten to the Goal of the Season award by the young Frenchman. Both will be hungry to add to their tallies in their final opportunity to do so this Sunday.
Huddersfield’s paucity of attacking options have ultimately cost them their place in the Premier League.
After defying the odds last season, a second consecutive survival bid has proven a step too far, exemplified by the fact that leading scorer Karlan Grant, with four, arrived in January.
The former Charlton youngster has netted 18 goals in 41 appearances over the course of the campaign and strikes against Arsenal, West Ham and Watford have shown he may be of top-flight quality further down the line.
For now, at £2m, the striker has proven to be a shrewd acquisition and will be a key pillar in the Terriers bid for an immediate return to the Premier League next season.
Previous five meetings:
December 2018: Huddersfield 1-3 Southampton (Redmond, Ings, Obafemi)
December 2017: Southampton 1-1 Huddersfield (Austin)
August 2017: Huddersfield 0-0 Southampton
December 2010: Southampton 4-1 Huddersfield (Lambert, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jaïdi, Chaplow)
October 2010: Huddersfield 2-0 Southampton
DID YOU KNOW?
- The team starting the day bottom of the Premier League on the final day of the season has ended on the winning side in one of the last 13 seasons (W1 D2 L10), though it was Stoke City’s 2-1 win at Swansea City last season.
- Unless they win by 5+ goals, Huddersfield are on course to be just the second side in a 20-team Premier League season to finish with a goal difference of less than -50 after Derby County in 2007-08 (-69).
- Southampton and Huddersfield have each used 30 different players in the Premier League this season, more than any other side. No side has had more different goalscorers (exc. own goals) than Saints (16), while only Fulham (10) have had fewer than Huddersfield (11).
NOT AT THE GAME?
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