Southampton will welcome former boss Mauricio Pochettino back to St Mary’s in a game that could increase their barren run of one point taken from 12 points. A 1-0 loss at Crystal Palace last weekend means that Southampton have not won since beating Sunderland 1-0 on 7 November.
This game will kick off with Southampton holding 12th place in the table, a position that is somewhat surprising when you consider last season’s performances. Key to their struggles has been an inability to maintain their defensive standard from last season. Southampton’s 19 conceded places them behind the likes of Tottenham (14), Stoke (14), and Crystal Palace (15).
Southampton do not appear close to recapturing their defensive solidarity, having switched to a 3-4-3 for the 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace. Making such a sudden switch appeared little more than desperation from Koeman, and there were countless instances when the wide midfielders gave up space in behind on the wings because they were not playing like fullbacks. Uncertainty is the only immediate conclusion that can be made.
Tottenham at last have a midweek break after slogging through Europa League fixtures for weeks on end. After coping admirably with the strain of playing on Thursday evenings, Tottenham finally appeared drained in the second half against Newcastle. The Magpies were then able to score twice to steal the game, with the first coming after 74 minutes and the second in stoppage time.
Spurs looked good in the first half, but they were unable to secure a clear lead. There were 20 attempts on goal, with just eight on target, and proved wasteful against a side that scored twice from a mere four shots on target. Ultimately, Spurs ran out of energy and could not cope with Newcastle’s late rally.
Tip one: Tottenham @ 2.75 with Betfair
Tip two: Under 2.5 Goals @ 1.75 with Betfair
Southampton are without a league win in four, while Tottenham have not won in three. Ahead of the game, this is Tottenham’s to lose, and they should be revitalised after a midweek break. Meanwhile, Southampton have switched defensive systems and have also been unproductive in attack.