I used to like Southampton, mainly because of their kit but also because of Alan Ball, Le Tiss and Mick Channon. The kit has stayed almost the same, the club hasn’t; in recent years they have become a feeder club – think Bale, Walcott, Ox and Shaw ++.
Today will be a tight game, Southampton’s defence is very strong, having conceded just one goal in 5 games. Forster, the GK is particularly good. Upfront they have had problems but the return of Charlie Austin has given them confidence. Austin is just the sort of player our defenders hate, physical, direct and a bully. This is where we miss a physical presence of Gabriel as our boys are a little too genteel, if he were available I would spend a bucket of money on Van Dijk who is a terrific defender..
In order to get a result S’ton will have to be aggressive in the tackle, something AFC must be well used to. Better technique, pace of pass and creativity are our three main weapons (M. Python), we must use them.
I expect BFG to start in place of Mustafi as both Chambers and Holding played midweek.
Koscielny BFG Monreal
Bellerin Ramsey Xhaka Kolasinac
As always, we have a plethora of quality on the bench with Theo and Jack excelling midweek.
12 goals in a weeek, two victories and one very positive loss means we must have a team full of confidence.
There are 6 very, very good teams at the top of the PL, probably the best 6 teams in memory. In other times any one of them would have walked the title. If we want top 4 this is the type of game we have to get points from. Stoke and Watford were painful losses, let’s keep it to just those two.