Tottenham are having a difficult start to the season in all competitions. They were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by League Two Colchester United on Tuesday in what was a humiliating result for the club. This added to earlier defeats suffered against Newcastle United, Olympiakos and Leicester City. They must react on Saturday and return to winning ways against Southampton to prevent a rut becoming a crisis. The South Coast arrive in North London on a high having beaten local rivals Portsmouth during the week.
Mauricio Pochettino is one of the longest serving managers in the Premier League and he has done a remarkable job at Tottenham. Considering the size of the club, it is a great achievement to consistently be finishing above Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal. During this time, they have established themselves as a force in the Champions League and went close to winning the competition last season. However, the start of the season is a reminder of the problems facing the squad and doubts are starting to creep in about the manager’s ability to continue competing at the very top of the division.
Southampton have have had a mixed start to the season. They have picked up some good results, but the supporters will be worried about their inconsistency. In their previous Premier League fixture, they were beaten at home by Bournemouth. They need to start performing on a consistent basis and move clear of the relegation battle, as they have been one of those struggling at the bottom in recent seasons. The midweek win over Portsmouth has injected positivity into the club’s season and they must build on that display with a strong showing against an out-of-form Tottenham team.
- Tottenham have failed to win any of their last three matches across all competitions, but all of those games were played away from home.
- No player has scored more Premier League goals for the club than James Ward-Prowse since the beginning of last season. This underlined the problems that have faced Southampton in this period.
Tottenham need all of their players to set up a level to emerge from a tricky and disappointing start to the season. One of the rare positives has been Harry Kane’s return to the team and his goal-scoring form. There is likely more to come from him, but he is reaching the levels we have come accustomed to seeing. Moreover, his influences on the field is clear to all and he is likely a future club captain. At the time of writing, he has scored four times in the Premier League. He will be hoping to step it up over the coming weeks and emerge as a contender for the golden boot. This fixture is a good opportunity for the striker to get on the score-sheet. Southampton have been vulnerable at the back and they will struggle to deal with Kane if the striker does perform. This is a crucial year for the forward and he will be desperate to help his team return to winning ways. He is the danger man for Southampton.
At the age of 28, Oriol Romeu is reaching the best years of his career and he is one of the key players in this Southampton squad. Since joining the club, he has beaten off competition from more technically gifted midfielders to earn regular minutes as a starter. This is due to his tenacity and leadership on the pitch. Southampton are a much more effective defensive unit with the Spaniard in the eleven. Despite the defeat, Romeu was one of the standout players in the 3-1 loss to Bournemouth. The former Chelsea player completed ten out of 12 tackles and made a further two interceptions. He is an aggressive player and his ability to win the ball back makes him a great player to have on the pitch. It is not surprising that several Southampton managers have found a starting role for Romeu. Tottenham have shown that they struggle to dominate games. If the midfielder performs well and wins possession in dangerous areas, the visitors can be dangerous on the counter attack.
Giovani Lo Celso is the only long term injury concern for the hosts, but Ryan Sessegnon remains a doubt. Christian Eriksen and Lucas Moura are unlikely to start. Erik Lamela and Son Heung-min are likely to be named in the starting eleven.
Southampton don’t have any major injury concerns and there is now competition for places following some excellent performances in the week. Danny Ings will be desperate to start following his display against Portsmouth.
This is going to be a very difficult game for Tottenham. They are at home, but they previously lost there against Newcastle and that will give Southampton confidence. The Saints are already on a high following their victory against Portsmouth during the week. This will be a nervy affair, with Spurs looking to end a poor week on a high. A draw looks possible and that will only heighten the worries in the stands.
Tottenham 1-1 Southampton