Southampton vs Spurs – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 18th March 2023
St Mary’s Stadium
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we look at Spurs’ visit to Southampton. After 7 points from 4 matches, the Saints were disappointing against Brentford – can they get back on track? Read on with our Southampton vs Spurs prediction.
Southampton vs Spurs Match Preview
Southampton’s recent Premier League improvement came to a shuddering halt in a disappointing 2-0 home defeat to high-flying Brentford. While the defeat itself was undoubtedly disappointing, the manner of the defeat was frustrating for the Saints as they played right into Brentford’s hands. Southampton did a decent job of retaining possession (66%), but just don’t possess the kind of attacking threat upfront to play effectively like that, and Brentford were the more menacing side over the 90 minutes which was reflected in both the scoreline and xG stat (0.55 vs 2.15).
That defeat leaves the Saints at the foot of the Premier League table with just 22 points from 27 matches. However, they’ve perhaps been a little unfortunate of late that some of their fellow relegation-battlers have also been picking up results. 7 points from their last five Premier League matches isn’t a bad return for a side looking to escape trouble, but with matches running out at this time of year a certain kind of desperation kicks in and Southampton must improve their shocking home record of two wins in 13 matches.
Spurs largely have their early season form but also their impressive home form to thank for keeping them in contention for a place in next season’s Champions League, as they won their 10th home game from 14 attempts against a Nottingham Forest side who have simply been dire away from home all season. Despite a victory that was comfortable in the end, Spurs will be concerned that they conceded against a team with four goals in 13 away matches all season including this one and that Forest had an opportunity to make it two goals from the spot late on.
Conte’s men have now managed to overhaul Newcastle and sit just two points behind third-placed Manchester United, although both clubs have a game in hand over the North London side. While their away form is not terrible in a league where home advantage seems to be more pronounced this season, they have lost three of their last four away matches and conceded nine goals in the process. While the league table suggests a mismatch, this game could well be closer than many anticipate.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Maitland-Niles, Walker-Peters
Will Not Play: Larios, Livramento
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Bentancur, Bissouma, Lloris, Sessegnon
Southampton vs Spurs Lineups (Predicted)
Southampton (4-2-3-1): Bazunu; Bree, Bednarek, Bella-Kotchap, Perraud; Ward-Prowse, Lavia; Sulemana, Alcaraz, Elyounoussi; Adams
Spurs (3-4-3): Forster; Lenglet, Dier, Romero; Perisic, Skipp, Hojbjerg, Porro; Son, Kane, Kulusevski
Southampton vs Spurs Analysis
Southampton Can, and Should, Play More Reactively
While we all know that the ability to retain possession brings control in football matches, when you don’t have potent attacking weapons and multiple playmakers it’s possible to effectively hamstring your own attack by not giving them the room they require to operate effectively. As we alluded to earlier in this preview, Southampton did monopolise possession against Brentford. It also would have appeared at they were dominant and in the ascendancy at times. The fact of the matter is though, they didn’t create enough clear chances to seriously threaten to obtain a positive result.
Spurs, while not looking to monopolise possession either, generally see more of the ball from Brentford with Kane looking to drop deeper to give them a creative presence they might otherwise lack. That’s not a criticism of either Hojbjerg or Skipp, they just don’t match the archetype of a creative midfielder. Hojbjerg is a fine player, but one better suited to deferring to others and playing off ball so he can use his movement and timing to create an offensive threat in addition to his outstanding work rate in the middle of the park. This means Southampton will need to sit in a bit as Spurs will likely outnumber them in midfield, but this also gives them an opportunity to break.
Spurs Must Move the Ball Quicker
Frankly, this Southampton side are there for the taking in the final third, but only if Spurs don’t get bogged down in possession football and relying on Kane to unpick the lock. Spurs may have beaten Nottingham Forest 3-1 last time out, but prior to that victory over the Premier League’s worst away side, they had lost three games in a row in all competitions without scoring a single goal. Of those three losses, by far their best performance was against Wolves, where they played with a higher tempo and carved the home side open on a number of occasions; they were unfortunate to lose there.
They need to approach this game with the same ideal in mind – taking positional risks to hurt the opposition. While it didn’t work out against Wolves, they hit the woodwork twice and were clearly the better team for much of the match, and if they want to win this encounter they’ll need more of the same here. When Spurs play a more controlled, lower-tempo game, the issue is that they need Kane to drop deeper to provide a creative outlet and when they have done that it often hasn’t worked this season. Partly, this is due to the poor form of Spurs’ other attackers, particularly Son who seems to thrive upon attacking in transition rather than facing the low block.
We’re going to go with something of a surprise result here today – we’re going to back Southampton to gain a precious home point to aid their bid for survival. Spurs are just too cautious in many of their Premier League outings, particularly away from home, and we think that Southampton will also have more room to operate in the final third on this occasion – Brentford were stylistically wrong for them.
In many ways, this is a similar encounter to the one away to Wolves, in which Spurs were unlucky, yes, but ultimately lost that game 1-0. We expect them to have the better of the game overall, but we doubt that they can score more than once and we also believe that this game is better suited to Southampton than the Brentford match. Southampton played reasonably well against Manchester United in the game before that, even before Casemiro’s red card, and we think they can get a point here.
Southampton 1-1 Spurs
Southampton vs Spurs Betting Tip – Draw Odds:
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