OPPONENTS Southampton 
COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Sunday 19th March 2017
VENUE White Hart Lane
2.  Cedric SOARES
3.  Maya YOSHIDA
4.  Jordie CLASIE
5.  Florian GARDOS
7.  Shane LONG
8.  Steven DAVIS  (c)
10.  Charlie AUSTIN
11.  Dusan TADIC
12.  Martin CACERES
13.  Alex McCARTHY
14.  Oriel ROMEU
15.  Cuco MARTINA
16.  James WARD-PROWSE
17.  Virgil van DIJK
18.  Harrison REED
19.  Soufaine BOUFAL
20.  Manolo GABBIADINI
21.  Ryan BERTRAND
22.  Nathan REDMOND
23.  Pierre-Emil HOJBJERG
24.  Jack STEPHENS
26.  Jeremy PIED
27.  Lloyd ISGROVE
28.  Stuart TAYLOR
32.  Olufela OLOMULA
33.  Matt TARGETT
38.  Sam McQUEEN
39.  Josh SIMS
40.  Mouez HASSEN
41.  Harry LEWIS
42.  Jake HESKETH
PREVIEW With the Chelsea result going their way in the last few minutes of the game at Stoke, it looked as though Spurs might have the opportunity to close the gap on the Pensioners, but with Southampton coming to visit, the only gain we can achieve is pulling further away from those below us.

But first we have to overcome an erratic Southampton side, who have been up and down this season.  Under new manager Claude Puel, the squad took some time to get used to his methods, but picked up some good points against Everton (1-0) and draws with Man City and Liverpool, but most of their points have come against the bottom dwellers of the Premier League.

There is a decent young squad, which Puel has added some experience to, especially the January signing of Marco Gabbiandini from Sampdoria, who has hit the ground running in goal-scoring terms, with his double in the League Cup final almost becoming a hat-trick only to be denied by an errant lineman's flag.  Some signings haven't fulfilled expectations yet, with Boufal being in an d out of the side, former Bayern Munich midfielder Hojbjerg another inconsistent performer and free signing defender Martin Caceres still to make his debut.

The side is built around a hard-working midfield of Ward-Prowse, who has just won his first England selection, Steven Davis and Dusan Tadic or Oriel Romeu.   The latter two like to get a foot in and move forward to support the attack, but often leave holes in behind them, which exposes their defence.  With Eriksen, Alli and Son working spaces well, it could be an area where Spurs can profit.

Gabbiadini is a good goal-scorer and with Charlie Austin's long term shoulder injury still keeping him out, it leaves Shane Long as the only real other option.  Nathan Redmond plays wide and comes inside to try a shot and he is perhaps better at it than Andros Townsend, but needs to improve his conversion rate to make the top level.  His dismissal at the New Dell hindered his side and even though they had the very early goal, they slipped to a 1-4 defeat.  Southampton try to get him on the ball to put balls into the front man, whose movement is very good and Toby will need ot eb on his toes to keep him quiet.

This time they will be missing their star defender Virgil van Dijk, out injured and while Cedric and Ryan Bertrand enjoy pushing forward, they might find their attacking counterparts stopping them from their own adventures.  Having also lost Jose Fonte to West Ham in January, so Yoshida is the more experienced central defender, but he has moments when he drifts off his opponent and that could give chances, which will have to be taken to ensure we put ourselves in a good position in the game. 

A number of the young Academy players breaking through have been blooded in the League Cup this season and then phased into Premier League matches with varying degrees of success.  Whoever plays, Spurs must put them under pressure from the start and if Son leads the line, his movement and finishing can be the difference for Tottenham.  Pochettino might put Janssen in for his first Prem start in a while and after his first goal in open play last week against Millwall in the FA Cup, he should be more confident going into matches now. 

With Harry Kane, I would have been confident of another home three points and a few goals, but without him, it might be a bit tighter than we might like.

PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    2         Southampton    1
LAST SEASON'S MEETING For a look back at the match report, click here.
RESULTS HISTORY Click here for results, match reports and facts on meetings with Southampton
Spurs are without Danny Rose (knee), Harry Kane (ankle) and Erik Lamela (hip), with Kyle Walker (ankle) and Victor Wanyama (neck) doubts to play.
Jeremy Pied (knee) is out for the season, while Charlie Austin's shoulder problem rules him out for a few more weeks, as does Matt Targett's hamstring strain and Virgil van Dijk's ankle injury.  Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy is also ruled out with a hamstring strain.

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Tottenham Hotspur  2 (2)                                                                       
Premier League
Sunday 19th March 2017
White Hart Lane
Southampton  1 (0)

Kick off 14:15
Eriksen  13m 20s
Alli  (p)  32m 35s
Ward-Prowse  51m 12s
Dier (foul on Redmond)  11 
Walker (foul on Bertrand)  39
Wanyama (foul on Tadic)  61 


Redmond  (foul on Wanyama)  26
Boufal  (foul on Winks)  81
Romeu  (foul on Janssen)  90+4   


Crowd :   31,697 Weather :  Dry, sunny, warm, some cloud
Referee :  Andre Marriner (West Midlands) Assistant Referees :  Mr. S. Beck; Mr. A. Garratt
Fourth Official :  Kevin Friend  
Southampton  kicked off and played towards the Paxton Road end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 8 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Southampton : kit
  1  Hugo LLORIS  (c)

15  Eric DIER      

  Moussa DEMBELE

12  Victor WANYAMA      

  2  Kyle WALKER        (16  Kieran TRIPPIER  78)
Christian ERIKSEN    (  9  Vincent JANSSEN  86)
20  DELE Alli  (p)
33  Ben DAVIES

  7  Heung-Min SON  (29  Harry WINKS  75)

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM
25  Josh ONOMAH

17  Moussa SISSOKO
27  Kevin WIMMER
16  Kieran TRIPPIER

    1  Fraser FORSTER

  2  Cedric SOARES

16  James WARD-PROWSE 
  8  Steven DAVIS  (c)
14  Oriel ROMEU     
11  TADIC  (19  Soufaine BOUFAL  69     )
22  Nathan REDMOND       (  9  Jay Rodriguez  80)

20  Manolo GABBIADINI  (
  7  Shane LONG  32)

Unused subs: 

40  Mouez HASSEN
12  Martin CACERES
23  Pierre-Emil HOJBJERG
38  Sam McQUEEN


Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino Manager :  Claude Puel
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :  Virgin Media
Kit Supplier :  Under Armour Kit Supplier :   Under Armour
Match report

Spurs had a pretty first half and a gritty second, as they overcame a determined, but ineffectual Southampton side 2-1 at the Lane this afternoon.

Tottenham's ability to win at home saw them take the Pochettino derby, over Southampton, who looked  a side lacking a goal-scorer after new signing Manolo Gabbiadini had to go off injured just after the half hour.  Their efforts in the second half shut the space Spurs had to play in down to a minimum, but they failed to make much of the possession they had with some poor passing and decision making.  And in substitute Soufaine Boufal, they must have the worst buy of the season, after he failed to contribute anything to their game other than a yellow card for a petulant foul on Harry Winks.

Spurs had fielded their normal line-up, with Son replacing the injured Kane up front.  Southampton came with a defensive line-up, although Redmond in their midfield could quickly link up with the sole attacker Gabbiadini.

The game got underway in warm sunshine, after some light pre-match rain.  Spurs started in confident possession, with Walker finding space down the right wing to attack the Saints defence.  Eriksen was also picking out perceptive passes today, with an early ball reaching Son, who took a low shot that Forster stopped with his chest for a corner.  Ben Davies was also getting some freedom from the left, with his crosses often getting blocked, as there were few options alongside him to build play.  The Welshman almost picked out a run by Christian Eriksen, but his first time pass had just too much weight on it and Jan Vertonghen also put in a pass that was picked off, so he was grateful to Toby Alderweireld, when he guided the ball back to Hugo under pressure.  Dier went into a full-bloodied tackle, putting Redmond  into a head over heels when he slid in and got up to see a yellow card waved in his direction, which was strange, when Tadic had been going around fouling from the kick-off.

With 13 minutes gone, Spurs won the ball, built from the back and Mousa Dembele played the ball through on the right channel for Eriksen to drive the ball across Forster into the bottom corner of the net from 20 yards out.  It was a clinically taken goal and was what Tottenham needed without Kane in the team.  Christian has stepped up over the last few weeks and is now hitting top form.  There were a few occasions today when he looked less than keen to get stuck in, but then later in the game, he was winning tackles when we needed to get the ball off the visitors.

The goal inspired Tottenham to press home their advantage and Davies picked out Dele on the penalty spot, where he took the ball in, but, on the turn, couldn't get any power behind the shot and it bobbled through to a grateful Forster.  Romeu had a shot that flew wide and at the other end, Forster pushed up a near post header by Toby from Eriksen's corner before Gabbiadini had his first sight of goal with a first time shot from the edge of the box that rippled the side-netting.  But the Italian striker went down after that shot, managed to get up and play on for a little while, but he then went down again and limped off, with Southampton's hopes going with him.  Especially as almost as soon as Long came onto the field as a substitute, Tottenham had the ball in the box that led to the defenders imitating the Keystone Kops, kicking the ball into one another's face before Alli got to the loose ball first and Davis kicked him down.  Despite the Southampton fans signing that Andre Marriner was one of their own", the ref pointed to the spot and after some amateur psychiatrics from Forster, Dele stuck the spot kick away to his right as his mind took him left.

Eriksen almost picked out Son's run, but the ball was a couple of feet ahead of him and a messed up free kick in added time saw the ball break for Soares to shoot into the Spurs box.  Lloris punched out and the ball ran towards Tadic, who Davies challenged, with the Serbian going down easily, as he did all game.  The referee didn't give it and the half-time whistle saw Spurs go in 2-0 ahead.

It was great to see the players from the 1967 FA Cup win over Chelsea, with Phil Beal, Alan Mullery, Joe Kinnear, Alan Gilzean, Pat Jennings and Mike England all looking the same as when they played that match almost 50 years ago.

Early in the second half, Spurs opened Southampton up form left to right and Walker laid it on for Eriksen to shoot, but his effort went way over, when he should have been testing Forster.  Moments later, Southampton made a good move up their left and Redmond's low cross into the six yard box went under Alderweireld's foot and Ward-Prowse was alone at the far post to put his shot under Lloris to bring them back into the game, when it was barely deserved. 

The game got a little fractious, with Stephens constantly shirt-pulling, as he seemed unable to cope without the use of his hands, after facing up to Son in the first half, except Son's face was somewhere hear his chest.  Dembele and Romeu also had a tussle with each other, with Mousa getting booked for a foul on Tadic soon after.  There was a very strange piece of refereeing from Marriner when Son broke in from the right to shoot and see it blocked.  Wanyama retrieved the ball and had his legs taken form under him just outside the D of the penalty area.  The ref waved play on, but when Eriksen was tackled, he then gave a free kick to Southampton, rather than pulling it back for the original foul. 

In the 69th minute, Southampton took Tadic off and brought on Boufal.  The Moroccan kept running the ball off the pitch, getting it stuck under his feet and then eventually lost patience, so brought Harry Winks down and got booked.  Boufal had already had one go at Winks, as he put on a  spurt to get past him, but it was his total lack of control of the football and his lack of awareness made him look much like a former Southampton player - Ali Dia. 

Tottenham's sub, Vincent Janssen, was looking to make an impact and when he was put through on the left, he smashed a shot in at the near post, which Forster beat out for a corner, when Alli was annoyed in the middle that the Dutchman didn't cross it.  Southampton sub Long was not his usual threat (usually to the person), as he constantly ran offside and Boufal had a late effort that went about four feet wide.

Spurs ran the game down, finally holding onto the ball and taking it into the corner, where Romeu upended Janssen for a booking, but Stephens got away with a cruder challenge than that.

Spurs did not manage the game that great in the second period and allowed Southampton to get back into it.  The passing was ragged and the movement slowed, making it more difficult to retain possession, but the South Coast Big Club were not up to the challenge and Spurs could ride it out, with the last five minutes seeing them run the clock down. 

While Southampton did get a goal back, they had very few shots and fewer on target, while Spurs should have wrapped the game up before the Saints had scored.  But three points keeps Spurs second for the moment and a draw in the Manchester City - Liverpool game helped our situation and with a break for internationals, it gives us an opportunity to regroup, if all the players return intact.

Steffan Fraud




In the club's early years they won their local league so often that it was dedicated to them as the Southern League.


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What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Bournemouth 2 Swansea City 0 Saturday
Crystal Palace 1 Watford 0 Saturday
Everton 4 Hull City 0 Saturday
Stoke City 1 Chelsea 2 Saturday
Sunderland 0 Burnley 0 Saturday
West Bromwich Albion 3 Arsenal 1 Saturday
West Ham United London 2 Leicester City 3 Saturday
Manchester City 1 Liverpool 1 Sunday
Middlesbrough 1 Manchester United 3 Sunday


League Table  2016-17
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 28 22 3 3 59 21 69 +38
2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 28 17 8 3 55 21 59 +34
3 Manchester City 28 17 6 5 55 31 57 +24
4 Liverpool 29 16 8 5 61 35 56 +26
5 Manchester United 27 14 10 3 42 23 52 +19
6 Arsenal 27 15 5 7 56 34 50 +22
7 Everton 29 14 8 7 51 30 50 +21
8 West Bromwich Albion 29 12 7 10 39 38 43 +1
9 Stoke City 28 9 8 12 33 42 35 -9
10 Southampton 27 9 6 12 33 35 33 -2
14 Bournemouth 29 9 6 14 42 54 33 -12
11 West Ham United London 29 9 6 14 40 52 33 -12
12 Burnley 29 9 5 15 31 42 32 -11
13 Watford 28 8 7 13 31 48 31 -17
15 Leicester City 28 8 6 14 33 47 30 -14
16 Crystal Palace 28 8 4 16 36 46 28 -10
17 Swansea City 29 8 3 18 36 63 27 -27
18 Hull City 29 6 6 17 26 58 24 -32
19 Middlesbrough 28 4 10 14 20 33 22 -13
20 Sunderland 28 5 5 18 24 50 20 -28


Position before match :  2nd
Position after match :  2nd
Position after the weekend :  2nd


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone might think so.


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