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[25th-Apr-15 Match Preview: Southampton - Tottenham
Southampton defender Toby Alderweireld's should injury from last weekend's game against Stoke City could be healed enough to start while Victor Wanyama is banned. The Saints are also without the services of Filip Djuricic, Jay Rodriguez, and Fraser Forster due to injury. Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris is a game-time decision while Kyle Walker is likely out for the rest of the season after his injury in the game against Burnley. Background Spurs and Saints are currently locked in a race for the Europa League as Mauricio Pochettino returns to St Mary's for the first time since he left Southampton last summer. With only a point between the sides and the possibility of Aston Villa winning the FA Cup, the winner on Saturday could solidify the final spot for Europe for these sides. Head-To-Head Spurs have only won 4 of their last 15 Premier League visits to Southampton. Spurs come into the game with only 4 wins in their last 12 games in all competitions. Harry Kane is only the 4th Spurs player in their history to score 20 or more goals in a season in the Premier League. Southampton have won only 3 of their last 9 Premier League games. Last weekend's 2-1 loss to Stoke was the first time the Saints have conceded two or more goals in an away game since the opening weekend of the season. The Saints also have the joint highest number of clean sheets in the Premier League this season with 15. Prediction: Saints are solid at home and while I wouldn't put it past them to beat Spurs I feel a late goal will snatch a draw. Saints 1-1 Spurs
[17th-Apr-15] Match Preview: Stoke City – Southampton
Stoke’s Victor Moses is out for the rest of the season after picking up a hamstring injury, while Marc Wilson is doubtful following his hip injury sustained last weekend in the 1-1 draw with West Ham. Peter Odemwingie was back in training after 8 months injured this week for Stoke, but is considered a game-time decision. Southampton’s Victor Wanyama is suspended for yellow card accumulation, while Filip Djuricic is out injured; Florin Gardos is expected back for the Saints. Background Southampton sit 6th, a point out for 5th and 5 from the Champions League where City have slipped into the final spot. Southampton will need help however, with City hosting struggling West Ham this weekend. Stoke are looking to finish in the top half of the top flight in England in back-to-back seasons for the first time in 4 decades. Head-To-Head 4 out of the last 5 meetings between the sides have been draws, the only match not being won by Southampton in October of this season. Stoke are however unbeaten at the Britannia in their last 4 games against the Saints but the Potters are on a 4 game winless streak. Stoke also only have 4 clean sheets in their last 17 matches at home, 2 of those having come in their last 3 at the Britannia. Stoke’s weakness is also from set pieces, where almost half of the goals they’ve conceded have come from. Stoke have also yet to see a player sent off, a feature only matched by Burnley at the moment, yet Stoke have never gone a season in the Premier League without having a player sent off. Southampton are on a run of 3 straight on the road without a victory but have also only lost 1 of their last 5 matches in the Premier League. Despite this good form, Southampton have only scored a first half goal in 2 of their last 10 Premier League fixtures but the Saints have also yet to give away a penalty this season. A draw from their remaining games is enough to see them overtake their total in points from last season, which stands at 56. The Saints’ 15 clean sheets is also best in the Premier League, and their 22 goals conceded the lowest in the top 4 divisions of football in England. Prediction: Stoke are good, especially at the Britannia and I can see them sneaking all three points here. Stoke 1-0 Southampton
[21st-Mar-15] Match Preview: Southampton – Burnley
Elijero Elia, who scored a brace on his debut against Newcastle just 2 months ago, is set to return from ankle injury but the Saints will be without Jay Rodriguez and Emmanuel Mayuka due to injury. Burnley’s Stephen Ward will play despite not being at training this week due to injury while Matt Taylor is set to sit out one final week as he returns to full fitness. Burnley won the reverse fixture at Turf Moor 1-0 and are looking to do the double over Southampton for the first time since the 1946-1947 season. Burnley however have only one 2 of their last 23 games on the road to Southampton. Burnely’s away record needs improving as only QPR have taken less points away from hom and the Clarets are also without a clean sheet in their last 12 trips away from Turn Moor. Burnley have also conceded 27 goals in those 12 games but Ashley Barnes will be the one to watch, as he’s cored in 3 of his last 4 games against the Saints. Southampton have also begun another slump, scoring only thrice in their last 7 games in all competitions. Southampton have a solid record at St Mary’s Stadium though, with 11 clean sheets and only 12 goals conceded in their last 19 home Premier League games. Saints keeper Fraser Forster also has a league leading 13 clean sheets this season and the Saints defense from set pieces is admirable, conceded only 2 goals from them all season which is lowest of any club in any country’s top 5 leagues on the continent. Prediction: Loads of missed chances and a scoreless draw in the end. Southampton 0-0 Burnley
[11th-Jan-15] Live Card: Manchester United - Southampton
A top 4 clash sees the Red Devils of Manchester United try to hold off a pressing Southampton side who could leap-frog them with a win. 1 - Underway and Clyne has an early chance but the shot goes wide of the far post. 4' - Southampton look the hungrier side so far. We're in for a cracker. 7' - Manchester United on the attack as Di Maria whips in a wonderful cross but no one's on the end of it. 12' - Lot of back and forth here but the defending is squashing every chance the edge of the two boxes. 18' - Fair play from Valencia. Gardos comes on for Alderweireld who pulled up with an injury. bit of confusion and a scrap to restart play but it's sorted and off we go again. 25' - Game has a real chance of boiling over here. Really rough tackles flying in. 27' - Southampton win a corner here thanks to Wanyama. A ball comes to the back post but it can't be put on goal. 32' - Manchester United are forward here and Di Maria tries to settle it down before it's cut back but right into the feet of the Southampton defense. 33' - Manchester United win a corner after a nutmeg from Valencia. Di Maria takes it before it's cleared out to touch for a throw. 35 - Bertrand goes into the book for a sloppy challenge on Valencia. Just bowled him over really. 37' - Really poor game. Both teams have yet to register a shot on goal, and only have 4 in the game combined. Really boring state of affairs here. 38' - van Persie looks to have handled but it puts Di Maria in but his cross back to van Persie is right at the keeper. 41' - van Persie puts a shot on that's just blocked before a scramble is swallowed up by the Saints keeper. Best chance of the match for either side so far. 45' - Di Maria has a god from distance but it's wide of the near post. Literally nothing in this game, I'm struggling to watch this. 1 minute of stoppage to be played. 45' + 1' - Surprised Rooney wasn't called ofr a foul for charging over his man but the play is offsides and we're at the half. Half-Time Manchester United 0-0 Southampton This is incredibly boring. Both defenses are cancelling each other out and it's just making it 90 minutes of the ball changing hands in midfield. 46' - Back underway. Would love to see Southampton win this but it needs something this has been dull. 49' - Another corner for Southampton. They've come out the better side this half so far. It's headed well wide from Pelle. Goal kick. 52' - Maybe some life to this game as Southampton press deep into the box but the shot is blocked. Manchester United come back on a counter but it's defended away. 53' - Manchester United with a free kick 35 yards out and it's put in but Jones's header goes over. No quality in any finishing here from either side. 61' - Ander Herrera is on for van Persie here. Nothing much else has happened to be honest. 65' - van Persie was booked as well back in the 56th. Still nothing doing. 66' - Tadic is on for Elia for Southampton. 70' - GOAL! BIG GOAL! Pelle is slotted in on the right post and he strikes it but it comes back for Tadic who has slotted it home for Southampton. Manchester United 0-1 Southampton 71' - Tadic took his shirt off during the goal celebration so he's been booked for it. 73' - Fellaini is on for Di Maria. Poor decision in my opinion but he we go! Wild finish in store. 75' - Pelle's booked for a challenge on Mata but honestly I didn't think there was anything in that. Unlucky. 76' - Carrick is booked for a challenge and Southampton looking for a second to kill the game. 78' - Big cross runs across the face of the Saints goal but no one can get on the end of it. 80' - WOAH. Blind's cross comes in for a Mata who has broken behind the defense but he skies it. Massive chance. 83' - Let me give you all a stat to show how poor this game has been: Southampton's goal is the only shot on target by either side in the 83 minutes that have been played. 87' - HA! Fellaini actually being called for a foul while contesting the ball. I must go play the lottery now. 90' + 1' - 5 minutes of stoppage to be played. 90' + 4' - Southampton close to taking the 3 points here. Full-Time Manchester United 0-1 Southampton The Saints are third. Very dull match but well done to Southampton. Really amazing year we're in for this year. Premier League football is so unpredictable, even when it's not at its best.