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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v Southampton, 26.12.17

Last season's game - Spurs 2 Southampton 1, 19.03.17
This week - last year
What happened in the Premier League on Matchday 20 2016-17

See the current injury list for all Premier League Teams
All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

Full Record of Spurs -v- Southampton

Prem         Pl    W   D   L   For- Ag  Pts
Home         18   13   2   3   41 - 18  41
Away         18    6   4   8   21 - 21  22
Total(Prem)  36   19   6  11   62 - 39  63
Football Lge
Home(Div 1)  22   13   4   5   52 - 28  38
Away(Div 1)  22    6   8   8   25 - 35  24
Total(Div 1) 44   19  12  13   77 - 63  62
Football Lge
Home(Div 2)  14    9   3   2   41 - 12  21
Away(Div 2)  14    2   5   7   12 - 17   9
Total(Div 2) 28   11   8   9   53 - 29  30
Total(Prem)  36   19   6  11   62 - 39  63
Total(Div 1) 44   19  12  13   77 - 63  62
Total(Div 2) 28   11   8   9   53 - 29  30
Grand Total 108   49  27  33  192 -131 155

Last Six Premier League results:-

Spurs      -    LDWWLW
Leicester  2-1    Spurs
Watford    1-1    Spurs
Spurs      5-1    Stoke
Spurs      2-0    Brighton
Man City   4-1    Spurs
Burnley    0-3    Spurs

S'hampton  -    LDDLLD

Man City   2-1    S'hampton
B'mouth    1-1    S'hampton
S'hampton  1-1    Arsenal
S'hampton  1-4    Leicester
Chelsea    1-0    S'hampton
S'hampton  1-1    Hds'field

Pos            P  W  D  L   F-A   GD  Pts
5. Spurs      19 10  4  5  34-18  16   34
13. S'hampton 19  4  7  8  18-25  -7   19

Will it be Harry's game again?

The fixtures computer plays some funny games. Last year we had a game against Burnley in our last match before Christmas, followed by a game against Southampton. On that occasion, the Burnley game was at home, and the Southampton game, which had been scheduled for Boxing Day, was actually played at St. Mary's on Wednesday 28th December. We won both games, and the Southampton win was the first of two consecutive 4-1 wins (the next was at Watford). Hopefully we can repeat our fine win at Burnley with a similar result against "The Saints".

After Saturday, we now know that Harry needs one goal to beat Alan Shearer's record of 36 Premier League goals in one calendar year, and two to beat Lionel Messi's 54 for 2017. Just think, if our game against West Ham had not been put back to January 4th Harry would have two games in which to score these goals. Will it be Harry's game again today? I sincerely hope so, and I think he will score at least one goal!

That Southampton game last Christmas was also the first of three consecutive games in which Dele Alli scored two goals to become the first midfielder in the Premier League era to achieve such a feat. Dele, along with Harry Kane was also in the Premier League's top ten scorers at that time since the start of the 2015-16 season.

Southampton's leaague form has been dreadful. Following their 1-1 draw at home to Hudersfield, they are without a win in 6 games. Statistics don't tell the full story as "Saints" put up a better fight than did Spurs at The Etihad; got a draw against in-form Arsenal, and only lost 1-0 at Stamford Bridge. Their worse result by far was to lose 4-1 at home to Leicester, managed by their former manager Claude Puel. Puel was sacked at the end of last season, after taking Southampton to a creditable 8th place and and an EFL final. Seasons don't come much better than that for Southampton, do they? Puel must have taken a hell of a lot of satisfaction from that 4-1 beating. He seems to have got Leicester playing the "Ranieri way", with Mahrez and Vardy back in form.

Southampton are now managed by Mauricio Pellegrino (not to be confused with former Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini), whose job must also be at risk in a season when six Premier League managers have already been sacked, and Southampton have been drawn lower down the table. They must also be dreading the January transfer window with Virgil Van Dijk still on the shopping list of certain clubs, having been unsettled in the summer and still strongly linked with Liverpool. It was the end of September before Van Dijk fully settled back into the "Saints"' side, but his presence has not prevented that recent run of losing form. Van Dijk was on the bench last week at Stamford Bridge, and didn't play on Saturday either. Rumour has it he is on his way to Liverpool - maybe to replace another former "Saint" - Dejan Lovren.

Southampton might have injury absentees, as Cedric has an ankle injury and England full back Ryan Bertrand has a hamstring problem. Now Charlie Austin has suffered a hamstring injury against Huddersfield, and will miss our game. He is also suspended now anyway, as he has accepted a charge of violent conduct following an incident when Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl got a boot in the face.

In what has been a low scoring season so far, Southampton's main source of goals (6 in the league) has been Charlie Austin, who has only made 5 starts, but has come off the bench in 11 other games. Austin was taking some stick from Bournemouth fans, whose side had gone one up in the first half in their recent Derby game, but Austin got his own back with the equalising goal, and appropriate signals towards the home crowd. Shane Long, who has made more starts than Austin, hasn't scored a goal for club or country since February!

The last time we played Southampton on Boxing Day was in 2001. Southampton were still settling into their new stadium which sold out for the first time with the visit of Spurs. No doubt the presence of former Southampton favourites Glenn Hoddle (Spurs manager) and Dean Richards (now sadly deceased) had a lot to do that. It was the home fans who went home happy after a lunchtime victory thanks to a James Beattie headed goal. In recent years Beattie tried his hand at management with Accrington Stanley, and he has been first team coach under Garry Monk at Middlesbrough. Whether he retains that job with Monk's departure remains to be seen.

Harry Winks missed Saturday's game at Burnley due to an ankle injury and will have a late fitness test before today's game. Eric Dier's fitness may also be in doubt, as he had to leave before the end of the Burnley game. No doubt Pochettino will rotate his full backs, and either Winks or Dembele will replace Sissoko in front of the defence if Dier plays, but with a full week after this game before we play again, Spurs do not have the same game pressure as other sides. Not until two games in three games in 6 days next week anyway! My prediction is for a 2-0 win, but it could be more! Happy Christmas everybody!

Match referee Graham Scott was the fourth official for our game at Burnley on Saturday. Whilst Mr. Scott has only previously taken charge of two Spurs games, we did see him earlier this season, when we won 3-0 at Goodison Park. Mr. Scott's other game with Spurs was also an away win at Middlesbrough in September 2016. He has also officiated in three recent high-scoring wins for Arsenal (H v Huddersfield), Liverpool (at Brighton) and West Ham (away to Stoke).

"It was Twenty Years ago today!" - Boxing Day 20 years ago was not a happy occasion for Spurs, when they lost badly at Villa Park.

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