Tottenham Hotspur are looking for their first win in the Premier League this season when they lock horns with Southampton at St. Mary’s on Sunday. The Lilywhites lost their opening Premier League fixture to Everton but did secure a narrow 2-1 win over Lokomotiv Plovdiv in midweek, in the qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League.
Southampton, meanwhile, are another team experiencing a tough start to the campaign. The Saints lost their opening game to Crystal Palace before getting knocked out by Brentford in the Carabao Cup. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men have looked unusually shaky at the back and must improve their game if they are to have any hopes of salvaging anything from this fixture.
Southampton Vs Tottenham Hotspur Tactical Preview
Hasenhuttl has remained true to his 4-4-2 setup throughout his spell at St. Mary’s so far, and we are unlikely to see any changes this weekend. The Saints’ primary objective will be to use the compactness of the 4-4-2 to prevent Spurs from creating chances through the middle, but their fullbacks must be aware and careful of the threat provided by the club’s wide players.
Jose Mourinho, meanwhile, is likely to continue with a 4-2-3-1. The Portuguese mastermind considers the transition from defence to attack as a key part of his system, so the focus will be to avoid getting caught in Southampton’s press. Fortunately, they have a player in Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who understands their opponent’s pressing game and could be useful this weekend.
Hasenhuttl was dealt with a massive blow this midweek as star player Nathan Redmond picked up an injury against Brentford. Although it might not be serious, he is likely to miss out tomorrow, with Moussa Djenepo in line to replace him in the attack. Southampton have a relatively small squad so we shouldn’t expect any changes elsewhere.
Predicted Lineup (4-4-2): McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand; Smallbone, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Djenepo; Ings, Adams.
Mourinho had left Toby Alderweireld and Dele Alli in London during their midweek trip to Bulgaria. Both are expected to feature against Southampton, with the Portuguese tactician also likely to persist with new signings Matt Doherty and Hojbjerg. Harry Kane will spearhead the attack as usual while Tanguy Ndombele might receive a rare start after starring in midweek.
Predicted Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Doherty, Alderweireld, Dier, Davies; Hojbjerg, Ndombele; Lucas Moura, Alli, Son; Kane.
In what is going to be a tactical battle between Hasenhuttl and Mourinho, Southampton will be banking on their star striker Danny Ings to provide the goods in front of goal. The ex-Liverpool starlet is a crucial element in Hasenhuttl’s counter-attacking unit and his performance this weekend could dictate the club’s fortunes.
Harry Kane had a disappointing outing against Everton last time out. He lacked the supply and failed to find the back of the net. However, against a Southampton defence, that have looked shaky of late, the English international will be hoping to make a difference.
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