Friday, October 23, 2020

Prediction: Southampton vs Tottenham

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 20/21

Bookmaker: Unibet

Two sides looking to open their Premier League account on Sunday afternoon, Southampton will welcome Tottenham to an empty St. Mary’s this weekend.

Southampton

Starting with the hosts, while Southampton might have really impressed many with their eye-catching run at the end of the extended 2019/2020 campaign, the Saints have opened the New Year in what has been worrying fashion. Marking their Premier League return with a shock 1-0 defeat away at Crystal Palace last weekend, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men also came crashing out of the EFL Cup in dreadful fashion earlier in the week. Despite fielding arguably their strongest starting XI against a heavily-altered Brentford side on Wednesday night at St. Mary’s, the Championship outfit picked up a routine 2-0 win on the South Coast. With some suddenly feeling that Southampton could be at the heart of a relegation scrap this season, the one-time RB Leipzig boss will be desperate for his side to find some much-needed stability on home soil. While they might have shocked many with that stunning 1-0 win against Manchester City back in July, Sunday’s hosts have won just a trio of their last 10 competitive contests at St. Mary’s.

Team News

Southampton forward Nathan Redmond has been ruled out with the ankle ligament injury he suffered in the League Cup defeat to Brentford.

Midfielder Stuart Armstrong could be available having missed their opening two matches with a thigh problem.

Tottenham

As for the visitors, while the imminent arrivals of Gareth Bale and Sergio Reguilón might have boosted the mood around North London, Tottenham did open the new Premier League campaign in worrying fashion last weekend. Putting in what was a sluggish display in the capital seven days ago, Jose Mourinho’s side slumped to a 1-0 defeat against a new-look Everton and the former Manchester United boss would have been far from pleased by his side’s Europa League opener in midweek. In the midst of what is a stacked schedule over the next month, Spurs had to come from behind to grab two late goals against a nine-man Lokomotiv Plovdiv. Although they might have managed to scrape past the Bulgarian outfit and booked their spot in the third round of qualifying, Tottenham also have a reputation for their issues on the road last season. Including a 1-0 defeat against Sunday’s hosts, Spurs managed to win just one of their final 10 Premier League contests outside of North London.

Team News

This is Tottenham’s second of four matches in eight days so head coach Jose Mourinho is likely to make changes.

Defender Japhet Tanganga remains on the sidelines due to a thigh injury.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Nine of the 10 previous meetings between Southampton and Tottenham have finished with both teams finding the net.
  • Along with winning two of their last three home matchups against Spurs, the Saints are unbeaten in each of their last four meetings against Tottenham on home soil.
  • Son Heung-min has scored in back-to-back matchups against Sunday’s hosts.
  • Five of Southampton’s final six Premier League matchups at St. Mary’s finished with under 2.5 goals by the final whistle.
  • Tottenham signed off the extended 2019/2020 campaign by winning just two of their final 10 Premier League matchups on the road.

Conclusion

While Southampton and Tottenham have a habit of producing fireworks when they normally meet, we could be in for a scrappy contest on Sunday afternoon. With both sides opening the New Year with 1-0 defeats against Everton and Crystal Palace respectively, chances could come at a real premium for two camps who have failed to find their best form. With Spurs just about managing to avoid what would have been a famous slip up out in Bulgaria on Thursday evening and with an incredibly stacked schedule over the next month, we’re backing under 2.5 goals at St. Mary’s this weekend.

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 20/21

Bookmaker: Unibet

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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