Thursday, September 20, 2018

Prediction: Tottenham vs Southampton

Verdict: Tottenham to win & Harry Kane to score anytime

Best Odds: 9/10

Bookmaker: 888sport

The run of Boxing Day fixtures in the Premier League starts with a match between Tottenham and Southampton at Wembley. The two sides head into this festive showdown in contrasting forms with Tottenham seemingly rediscovering their form, whereas Southampton have yet to record a single win in last six matches.

Tottenham

Mauricio Pochettino’s charges seem to have lost the cutting edge which made them consistent Premier League performers over the past couple of seasons. The Spurs went from being title contenders to struggling for Champions League places in just months’ worth and the common belief is that a switch from White Hart Lane to Wembley had plenty to do with it.

The Spurs struggled to gain footing throughout the first part of the 2017/18 season but are finally gaining momentum despite the shaky start. Only one defeat and four wins – across the last five matches in all competitions – will come as a positive record for Mauricio Pochettino, especially after the empathic 3-0 win over Burnley last time out. Tottenham ran out comfortable winners courtesy of Harry Kane hat-trick which came as a timely morale-boost following the embarrassing 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Manchester City. Tottenham hold the upper hand when it comes to matches against Southampton and three victories in last four meetings are pretty indicative.

Team News

Eric Dier was subbed off against Burnley with a calf problem and will be given a late fitness test to determine his availability.

Toby Alderweireled and Victor Wanyama continue to miss out due to their thing problem and a knee injury, respectively.

Southampton

The change from Claude Puel to Mauricio Pellegrino in the managerial seat did bring some changes but less of an improvement than what the Saints’ fans would have hoped for. The new boss did little to improve the play and return to the attacking style which was once built by Mauricio Pochettino at St Mary’s.

Southampton travel to London without a single win in a month’s time. The Saints last beat Everton 4-1 back in November but went on to lose three of their six matches afterwards which currently has them sitting in 13th place in the standings. Even though they appear to be safely slotted in the middle of the table, Southampton are only three points away from the relegation zone and will head into the following fixture with quite a load resting on their shoulders. Another possible setback could push them dangerously close to bottom-three and Pellegrino would be hoping for a Christmas miracle to help his side remain unbeaten at Wembley.

Team News

Charlie Austin is unavailable with a hamstring injury, while he has also been charged with violent conduct and will be most likely replaced by Manolo Gabbiadini.

Cedric Soares and Ryan Bertrand will both be out of contention, whereas Oriol Romeu and Sofiane Boufal are both pushing for starting berths.

Key Factors to Consider

  • The total of 23 yellow cards have been shown in last 6 matches between these two teams
  • Harry Kane is a joint top EPL scorer with 15 goals this season already
  • Tottenham won 8 of the last 10 meetings with Southampton
  • Saints travel to London on the back of a six-match winless run
  • Southampton are three points away from relegation zone

Conclusion

Tottenham might not be on top of their game this season but Southampton are in a much worse position, knowing they won only one of their last ten Premier League matches. Mauricio Pellegrino is struggling to get his ideas through and has largely failed in his effort to help Saints get up to their feet. Christmas is that time of the year to wish for miracles, but we need to be realistic ahead of their trip to Wembley.

Verdict: Tottenham to win & Harry Kane to score anytime

Best Odds: 9/10

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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