Southampton are back at St Mary’s for the first instalment of a home double-header, with Watford the visitors for a vital Premier League clash in an evening kick-off live on Sky Sports. Check out our Match Pack in association with eToro for all the key information…
Southampton vs Watford
Saturday 30th November, 5.30pm GMT
Referee: Michael Oliver
Assistants: Stuart Burt, Simon Bennett
Fourth official: Graham Scott
VAR: Jarred Gillett
Assistant VAR: Andy Halliday
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Three very important points in the Premier League, with both sides determined to close the gap to the bottom three.
Saints are currently four points adrift of safety and still searching for a first home win of the season, embarking on a crucial period of fixtures that sees them face five of the bottom seven before Christmas.
Ralph Hasenhüttl’s team have produced encouraging performances on the road at Arsenal and Man City in recent weeks, only to be undone by late goals.
Watford, one point worse off than their hosts, have only one league win all season, but that did come in their last away game, at Norwich.
The Hornets were unable to build on that success last time out, losing 3-0 at home to Burnley.
Saints will be in their traditional home strip, with the goalkeeper in pink, while Watford will be in their away colours of navy blue shirts, shorts and socks.
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl will be without Stuart Armstrong, who has started Saints’ last four matches.
The midfielder is sidelined by a hamstring problem and is expected to be out for around two weeks.
Elsewhere, Sofiane Boufal suffered a bizarre injury at home, stubbing his toe, which has caused swelling that makes him a doubt, but Jannik Vestergaard has returned to training after illness.
Watford have a catalogue of players missing, with Craig Dawson joining Christian Kabasele, Daryl Janmaat, Sebastian Prödl, Tom Cleverley, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Bachmann in being unavailable for selection.
Influential attacker Roberto Pereyra has overcome a thigh strain but might not be risked from the start.
Arsenal (a) D 2-2 (Ings, Ward-Prowse)
Everton (h) L 1-2 (Ings)
Man City (a) L 1-2 (Ward-Prowse)
Man City (a) L 1-3 (Stephens) (Carabao Cup)
Leicester (h) L 0-9
Burnley (h) L 0-3
Norwich (a) W 2-0 (Deulofeu, Gray)
Chelsea (h) L 1-2 (Deulofeu pen)
Everton (a) L 0-2 (Carabao Cup)
Bournemouth (h) D 0-0
Ralph Hasenhüttl: "The crazy thing at the moment is that in the away games we score very soon always and at home we have the opposite experience – it's really strange. But we have to turn the table now.
"We have to be clear what we need to win games at home, and we can do this. The players are believing in what they're doing, and I think a few habits and a few triggers for our game we found back in the last game, so this gives us a little bit of self-confidence."
Quique Sánchez Flores: “The situation is obviously not comfortable. It’s uncomfortable, it’s difficult and we can’t relax. We need to go one step more, one step up. We need to bring back the good feelings we had for the games against Tottenham and Norwich.
“We need to be focused with no distractions and concentrate on the work we are doing. It’s the only way we can do this if we want to change the situation. The only thing we can do is fight and fight a lot.”
ONE TO WATCH
Danny Ings: Ings is a man in form, scoring in his last two appearances to take his tally to eight for the season in all competitions.
The striker has been particularly prolific in the last two months – he has seven goals in eight games – and is already level with his tally for the whole of the previous campaign.
Gerard Deulofeu: A product of the revered Barcelona academy, Deulofeu’s talent is obvious from the ease with which he carries the ball, often leading Watford counter-attacks on his own.
Traditionally a winger, the Spain international has been used in a more central role of late, improving his productivity in front of goal, scoring twice in his last three outings.
Inclusive of all competitions
Danny Ings 8
James Ward-Prowse 3
Moussa Djenepo 2
Sofiane Boufal 3
Danny Ings 3
James Ward-Prowse 2
Gerard Deulofeu 2
Andre Gray 2
Roberto Pereyra 2
Gerard Deulofeu 2
Isaac Success 2
Roberto Pereyra 1
HEAD TO HEAD
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
April 2019: Watford 1-1 Saints (Long)
November 2018: Saints 1-1 Watford (Gabbiadini)
January 2018: Saints 1-0 Watford (Stephens) (FA Cup)
January 2018: Watford 2-2 Saints (Ward-Prowse 2)
September 2017: Saints 0-2 Watford
DID YOU KNOW?
- Shane Long scored in just 7.69 seconds in a 1-1 draw against Watford in the last meeting between the clubs – the fastest goal in Premier League history.
- Danny Ings has scored 46% of Saints’ Premier League goals this season (6/13), including five of their last seven. No player has scored a higher share of their side’s goals in the competition this term.
- Watford have a shot conversion rate of just 4.8% in the Premier League, netting eight of their 166 attempts. It’s the lowest conversion rate in a campaign since Sunderland’s 4.7% in 2002/03.
NOT AT THE GAME?
Don’t worry if you can’t make it to St Mary’s – we’ve got you covered! We’ll 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: