|DATE||Sunday 23rd March 2014|
|VENUE||White Hart Lane|
Having lost to Liverpool at home 0-3, the Saints have enjoyed two
away wins at Palace and Norwich, but having only won one game
against a top half team this season, so the game against Spurs will
be a big test for them.
Spurs will have to beat Artur Boruc, the erratic Polish goalkeeper, who previously played for Celtic. A large and useful keeper, his rash decision making and sloppy handling can put his side in trouble. He tries to be too much of a footballer and not enough of a goalkeeper when he has the ball at his feet, while he comes for high balls that he shouldn’t and pushes shots back into the path of players instead of knocking them wide. Tottenham will have to improve their shooting accuracy to put Boruc under pressure and force the mistakes from him.
With a young and talented side, three of Southampton’s full backs are among the most coveted in the Premier League. Nathaniel Clyne/Callum Chambers and Luke Shaw are right and left backs with an aptitude for getting forward and the pace of youth to help them recover situations if they get caught out. With an attacking mind-set, Tottenham’s breakaway play might prove useful, but the movement of the ball needs to be much more rapid than it has been in recent league matches. The spell in the game at Benfica showed that when they started passing quicker through the midfield, they were immediately around the Portuguese team’s goal.
With Jose Fonte pitting his height against Emmanuel Adebayor, the need for Tottenham to play to our strengths rather than those of the opposition become important. Spurs got three goals at the New Dell, with use of the ball from wide positions paying dividends. Dejan Lovren has played against us in European competition, having featured for Basel last season, but he did not have such a great game earlier this season against us, so, he could be a player that we play on to make inroads into the Southampton defence.
Injuries may deprive Southampton of the services of Jack Cork, Victor Wanyama, Morgan Schneiderlin and Guily de Prado, but with England international Adam Lallana, up and coming youngster James Ward-Prowse, Steve Davis and Uruguayan Gaston Ramirez, there is still enough ability there to trouble teams. Lallana is the new golden boy of the England scene and he ahs played very well this season, drifting into areas to receive the ball and then drifting past players to have attempts on goal or set up his team-mates. It will be difficult to pick him up, unless someone is detailed to mark him, so our midfield will need to ensure that he is doing the chasing rather than the other way around. Ramirez is an interesting player, who has not featured regularly for the Saints. Deadly from dead ball situations, he has the ability to be the link man between the midfield and the forwards, but his transition into English football has not been smooth, as injuries have prevented him having a run of games. Steve Davis is a "run and run" type player, who will niggle and annoy in the engine room, while Ward-Prowse is another creator in midfield, who also has good stamina to keep running box-to-box.
Ricky Lambert and Jay Rodriguez are two strikers who have caused problems for opposition defences, with strength and guile being their respective assets. Lambert has broken into the England set up and the use of his traditional centre-forward’s skills, making the centre-halves of this league feel uncomfortable, as he lets them know he's there and to make them think twice about what he will do next time. Rodriguez is a different type of forward, with a liking for coming in from wide positions, to beat a man and then to hit shots across the keeper. Mobile and with a good ability to take a man on, he was reasonably quiet in the first meeting this season, but has the ability to fashion a shot on goal from unlikely situations.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino has been strongly linked with a move to Tottenham in the summer if Tim Sherwood is not retained. The Argentinian was little known when Southampton sacked Nigel Adkins and brought him in from Spain, but he has shown that he has a belief in playing football the right way to gain results. His style has been to bring out the best of the young crop of players at St. Marys.
Spurs have players returning to
the side form injury, rest and suspension, so should be stringer
than on Thursday on paper, but they will need to be strong in the
head to improve our home record and get the three points that will
now help us retain fifth place, but Everton have a game in hand.
The most important aspect of the game is to play a decent game and
show that the team can focus to get a run of victories going as we
approach the end of the season.
|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 2 Southampton 1|
|Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Spurs should have Mousa Dembele, Younes Kaboul, Hugo Lloris and Emmanuel Adebayor in the side after injury and being rested, while Jan Vertonghen should be in the team after missing the trip to Benfica as he was suspended. Tottenham still have worries over Kyle Walker (groin), Danny Rose (knee) and Paulinho (shin), with Vlad Chiriches (back), Etienne Capoue (ankle) and Erik Lamela (back) all definitely out. Michael Dawson is coming back to training after his hamstring injury, but may not yet be ready for this match.
SOUTHAMPTON TEAM NEWS :
Midfielders Jack Cork and Victor Wanyama are out injured, while there are doubts over the fitness of midfielders Morgan Schneiderlin and Guily de Prado. Kelvin David faces a late fitness test to see if he will be on the bench as the back up goalkeeper.
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
Southampton 2 (2)
Sunday 23rd March 2014 Kick off 13:30
White Hart Lane
Bentaleb (foul on Ward-Prowse) 79
Lovren (foul on Soldado) 60
Cork (foul on Chadli) 91
|Crowd : 35,460||Weather : Warm when sunny, but chilly when dloudy|
|Referee : Anthony Taylor (-)||Assistant Referees : - (-)|
|Fourth Official : -||-|
|Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90+6 minutes.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||Southampton :||kit|
Mousa DEMBELE (22
Gylfi SIGURDSSON 46
Aaron LENNON (17
Andros TOWNSEND )
9 Roberto SOLDADO
|Manager : Tim Sherwood||Manager : Mauricio Pochettino|
|Sponsor : Hewlett Packard||Shirt sponsor : gap3|
|Kit Supplier : Under Armour||Kit Supplier : adidas|
While Tottenham were almost architects of their own downfall in the first half, they built to a crescendo in the second, with Gylfi Sigurdsson's injury time drive winning the three points, which keep them in touch with fourth place and jumping on top of Everton top go back fifth, although they have played two more games than the Scousers.
Sherwood shuffled his pack
of aces once more and brought back Mousa Dembele, dropping Paulinho,
with Sandro nowhere to be seen. Nor was Adebayor, still
suffering from a few knocks. There was no Walker either, but
Dawson made the bench. So, Spurs had Lennon, Eriksen and Chadli
comprising the midfield three, with Soldado ahead of them.
|Match ball sponsors||-|
|Match programme sponsors||-|
|Match shirt sponsors||-|
|What you thought|
|Clive Stephenson||You didn’t mention that Lambert dropped to the floor to win a cheap free-kick in front of the East Stand and when he got stick from the fans in the front rows, he winked and smiled at them, knowingly. Cheating free-kicks out of Spurs is usually very annoying, but at least he was admitting that he knew what he was up to and wasn’t hiding it.|
|Benny The Ball||
How can Luke Shaw win a seat on the England plane to Brazil with a
backside that big ? He may have a low centre of gravity, but he has
the build of a rugby player.
The £30 million Southampton want for him must be based on a pound for pound basis.
|Other scores during this week :|
|Hull City||2||West Bromwich Albion||0||Saturday|
|Newcastle United||1||Crystal Palace||0||Saturday|
|West Ham United||0||Manchester United||2||Saturday|
|Aston Villa||1||Stoke City||4||Sunday|
|14||West Ham United||30||8||7||15||32||40||31||-8|
|16||West Bromwich Albion||30||5||13||12||33||45||28||-12|
Position before match :
Position after match : 5th
Position after the weekend : 5th
Back to homepage