Match Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Southampton

This is the 36th Premier League meeting between these two sides, Spurs lead the way with eighteen wins. Spurs won 4-1 at St Mary’s back in December, goals from Kane, Son and two from Dele Alli saw Spurs come back after going a goal behind. In the last five games Southampton have three wins and two defeats. They are 10th in the table on 33 points, Spurs are 2nd in the table with 56 points. Spurs have three wins, a draw and a defeat in their last five games. The race for the top four is heating up and Spurs will hope they can secure their 10th win in a row at home. Mauricio Pochettino will come up against his former team, he has only lost one of the five Premier League matches against them. Spurs are unbeaten in their first 14 home top flight league matches of a season for the first time since 1964/65. Southampton have scored 4 goals in their last two games both away wins against Watford and Sunderland. 

Southampton use a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation, they have switched to the latter since Manolo Gabbiadini has come into the side. He has made quite the impact scoring four goals in three appearances. If he can score against Spurs he will be the third player in Premier League history to score in each of his first four appearances.  Southampton like to keep possession and use short passes they have a passing accuracy of 81% and average over 486 passes a game. They have only scored 32 goals and have conceded 34, eight of which were after losing their captain and central defender Virgil Van Dijk. Charlie Austin is their top scorer with just six goals and he has been missing since December. Spurs are lining up in a 3-4-2-1 formation since the return of Jan Vertonghen, this seems to be the best fit for the team. As performances are notably better when fielding this formation. Spurs have scored 53 goals and conceded just 20 goals, with 12 clean sheets. Spurs average over 520 passes per game and have an 82% pass accuracy. They lead the league in shots per game with over 17. 

Spurs must do without top scorer Harry Kane who injured his ankle for the 2nd time this season. He missed five Premier League games last time out so Spurs will be hoping for a swifter return. Pochettino must decide between Son or Janssen who will lead the line in Kane’s absences.  Dele Alli has three goals and one assist in two Premier League appearances against Southampton, he will be looking to add to his 13 league goals this season.  Christian Eriksen has three goals is as many matches against Southampton at White Hart Lane, so will be hoping to continue this and add to his 5 league goals this season. This match could be the battle of the holding midfielders Victor Wanyama against Oriol Romeu, the latter making 82 tackles compared to Wanyama who has 72. Both making the top ten in the Premier League for tackles. Wanyama leads Spurs in passes with 1,563 also in the top ten, Romeu leads Southampton with 1,419 passes he is 12th in the Premier League. 

How the teams may line up:

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