Saturday, March 23, 2019

Prediction: Southampton vs Tottenham

Verdict: Harry Kane to score anytime

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

Booking their spot in the quarterfinals of this year’s Champions League in midweek, Tottenham will travel to St. Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.

Southampton

Starting with the hosts, while Southampton may have impressed on their trip to Old Trafford last weekend, the Saints’ 3-2 loss still sees them sat firmly at the heart of a relegation battle. Now holding just a two-point buffer from falling back into the bottom-three, Ralph Hasenhüttl has now seen his side record just a single victory in their last six Premier League outings. With their only win coming over leading relegation contenders Fulham last month, it has been their inability to hold onto a lead that is becoming a growing frustration for fans around St. Mary’s. Southampton have already dropped 20 points from winning positions this season, the worst record in the division. Managing to record just a single victory over an established top-six side in their last 34 matches, the former RB Leipzig boss will be looking for in-form midfielder James Ward-Prowse to carry on his eye-catching run of form. Finding the net against Manchester United last week, the 24-year-old is heavily tipped for an England recall and now has five top-flight goals in his last eight appearances.

Team News

Southampton have decided not to risk top scorer Danny Ings, who will instead be given until their following game in three weeks to build up his fitness after a hamstring injury.

Mario Lemina is nearing a return after abdominal surgery.

Tottenham

As for the visitors, while Tottenham might have seen any chance of a surprise title push crushed in their 1-1 draw with Arsenal last week, Spurs should be boosted by their display in midweek. Picking up a 1-0 win away at Bundesliga league leaders Borussia Dortmund and booking their spot in the quarterfinals of this year’s Champions League, Mauricio Pochettino also saw his side end their four-match losing run away from Wembley. Now desperate to shore up their position in the top-four, the visitors should be boosted by their recent record against Southampton. Tottenham have lost just one of the last 13 Premier League meetings and are unbeaten against the Saints since 2016. While Southampton have one man enjoying a bright run of form, Spurs have their own talisman spearheading their charge. Showing no signs of rust after missing six weeks with an ankle injury, Harry Kane has continued to shine following his return. Scoring Tottenham’s winner away at Dortmund in midweek, the England captain has now registered 10 goals in his last 11 matches across all competitions. The 25-year-old also famously enjoys his afternoons against the Saints. Finding the net in the reverse fixture back in December, Kane has scored in four successive Premier League appearances against Southampton, netting six goals in total. He has also scored in his last three games at St Mary’s.

Team News

Tottenham’s Dele Alli could be involved for the first time since suffering a hamstring strain seven weeks ago.

Harry Winks is a doubt with a recurring groin problem, while Eric Dier returned from tonsillitis to play on Tuesday.

Kieran Trippier missed that Champions League win in Dortmund because of a muscle strain and his fitness will be assessed.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Southampton are winless in their six home league games against Spurs since returning to the Premier League in 2012 (D2, L4).
  • Tottenham have lost just one of the last 13 Premier League meetings, at White Hart Lane in May 2016, and scored in every fixture (W10, D2).
  • Saints have lost three of their past four league matches, with their only victory in six coming at home to Fulham.
  • Pochettino won 19 of his 54 Premier League matches as Saints manager before leaving to take charge of Spurs in 2014.
  • Harry Kane has scored in four successive Premier League appearances against Southampton, netting six goals in total. He has also scored in his last three games at St Mary’s.

Conclusion

While Tottenham might be enduring their most difficult run in recent memory, Spurs should be confident of getting back to winning ways this weekend. Given Harry Kane’s continued record in front of goal, coupled with him finding the net in their 3-1 win over the Saints back in December, we’re backing the England skipper to enjoy another fruitful afternoon on the South Coast.

Verdict: Harry Kane to score anytime 

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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