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It is a feeling of one step forward and two steps back for Tottenham as of late and after suffering another defeat to Chelsea, Antonio Conte’s men have suffered a setback in the race for the Champions League places.
As for Southampton, they will be buoyed by their recent draw at home to Manchester City and after already holding Tottenham to a draw in December, they will look to do at least the same in North London.
With a Premier League defeat now in Antonio Conte’s pocket, he will not be looking for many more as manager of Tottenham and this is a game that should see his charges earn maximum points.
Especially with the roar of the Tottenham crowd urging the home side on and if Spurs are to come out on top, they will need to get out of the blocks quickly against the travelling Southampton side.
Therefore, I think Tottenham will not only win at the end of 90 minutes, but they will also be winning after 45 and if, like me, you fancy a half time/full time bet for the hosts, you can back this at odds of 3/1.
After another miserable performance against Chelsea, it meant a third loss to the Blues in as many weeks and although two of them were within the confines of the Carabao Cup, it is the most recent that matters most.
Because a win or even a draw at Stamford Bridge, would have kept Tottenham not only in the hunt for a fourth-place finish but would also increase their chances of catching Chelsea and landing third instead.
However, a first league defeat since Antonio Conte took charge of the club can only be considered as a rather sobering one and with the tools that the Italian has at his disposal, you get the feeling that a top-four finish will eventually elude them.
Because with the personnel that took to the field against Chelsea, it is clear that Tottenham are lacking the spark that they have had in previous years and with just a flicker of a flame these days, the North London outfit are in danger of moving in the wrong direction.
Which is why a return to winning ways will be hugely important and if they can get the better of Southampton next and also come out in top in their remaining games in hand, it will at least revitalise their hopes of a Champions League return next season.
In terms of injuries and suspensions going into the visit of Southampton, Tottenham have a relatively clean bill of health at the time of writing and could also be boosted by the return of Heung-min Son in attack.
After being the first team to stop Manchester City in 13 league attempts, Southampton have at least added some interest to this season’s Premier League title race and after a point against the defending champions, it meant the Saints entered the winter break on a high.
Of which there have not been too many this season and although Southampton’s season has been largely unremarkable, there is no imminent threat of relegation looming over the St Mary’s outfit.
Which means Southampton will have to settle for mid-table malaise this time around and although this will mean their campaign is not considered exciting, a continual presence in the Premier League will be welcomed all the same.
Especially as this is a club that has been short of transfer funds for a while now and because of their current financial situation, credit must go to manager Ralph Hasenhuttl and the work he is carrying out on the South Coast.
Work that may hopefully get easier next season and with the club recently welcoming new owners, the prospect of transfer funds materialising in the summer, is now a very realistic one.
In terms of injuries and suspensions for the trip to Tottenham, Moussa Djenepo will once again be available after AFCON duty. Although the same luxury will not be afforded to the trio of Alex McCarthy, Tino Livramento and Will Smallbone, as they are all currently out through injury.
As far as history goes, this is always a keenly contested tie between the two sides and one that is usually known for plenty of goals at the same time. One example being when the two sides met in the 1995 F.A. Cup and Tottenham would eventually win by six goals to two.
In terms of their overall head-to-head record, Tottenham have won on 85 occasions, Southampton 64 and there have been 51 draws
Although the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is now back in full operation, there is a sense that the crowd are still finding their feet and although they are capable of backing their beloved Spurs stars, they are also known to show their displeasure at the same time.
With COVID-19 restrictions being lifted in England, it means there is no longer the need to show a Vaccine Passport before attending the ground. Which means, match tickets are the only item that is required to be produced at the time of writing.
Tottenham’s top-four hopes have taken a serious dent after suffering a recent loss to Chelsea and if they are to be repaired, then nothing less than a win against Southampton will do.
With that said, Southampton will be in no mood to simply roll out the red carpet and if Tottenham fail to find an early advantage, it could be another tense encounter in North London.