Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

To be played on Sunday 22nd December 2013 at 13:30. Venue: St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton.

Odds: Southampton 8/5, Draw 12/5, Tottenham Hotspur 2/1

Last season: 1-2

Preview & injury news

It doesn't get any easier for Spurs after the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas having lost to West Ham United in the Capital One Cup to follow up their 5-0 hammering to Liverpool last weekend. Tim Sherwood said after the League Cup defeat that he doesn't know if he would be in charge or not, but it looks likely he will be the man in the dugout for the visit to St Mary's.

In terms of both sides league standings, Southampton are sat in ninth place having taken 24 from 16 games but haven't won on each of their last five league outings having faced a difficult run of fixtures. But a win against Spurs would mean they would leapfrog them on goal difference. Tottenham are currently seventh having taken 27 points so far this season. 

On the injury front Southampton are still without their two first choice keepers. Artur Boruc is expected back from a fractured hand in January whilst there is still no timescale on Kelvin Davis' recovery from a back injury. Midfielder Victor Wanyama is still recovering from a calf problem and is likely to be seen in January at the earliest. Nathaniel Clyne and Danny Fox are struggling with hamstring problems and it is unclear as to when they will be available for selection against, whilst Guly Do Prado is expected to return from a knee injury early next month.

Spurs also have their fair share of problems with Andros Townsend the latest player to join the treatment room after pulling up with a hamstring injury in the League Cup defeat to West Ham. Defensively, Jan Vertonghen and Younes Kaboul are both missing out with ankle and thigh injuries respectively whilst youngster Harry Kane has got a back problem. Midfielder Paulinho also misses through suspension after the red card he picked up against Liverpool for the challenge on Luis Suarez.

Key stats

Jay Rodriguez is Southampton's top scorer in the league this season with six goals.

Roberto Soldado is Tottenham Hotspur's top scorer in the league this season with four goals.

Southampton had 60% possession in their last league match, a 1-1 draw away against Newcastle United.

Tottenham Hotspur had 43% possession in their last league match, a 5-0 home defeat against Liverpool.

5 players to watch

Jay Rodriguez - He has found some form this season, though will probably want to improve on his goal tally he has shown he is very composed in front of goal so if he gets his opportunity against Spurs he may well find the target.

Michael Dawson - Spurs had a reputation early on in the season of having a pretty strong defence but lately that seems to be in tatters with injuries and leaking goals. Dawson is going to have to stand up and put a strong performance at the back to aid his side through these choppy waters.

Luke Shaw - Highly rated and one of the brightest full-backs in the English game, and Sunday's opposition have been linked with a move for young Shaw. Expect to see a lot of him getting up and down the left flank and for him to provide a big threat going forward.

Emmanuel Adebayor - Tim Sherwood gave him a chance from the start in the League Cup and Adebayor managed to find the net for Spurs who have struggled for goals this season. The question is will he get another chance to shine on Sunday? You'd think so.

Morgan Schneiderlin - There were question marks over his fitness a week ago but having returned to the side for the second half of the draw against Newcastle, Schneiderlin is likely to start. A hard worker in the middle and very sensible on the ball, expect him to have a busy time in the middle of the park.

Last time they met

Tottenham 1-0 Southampton, Premier League May 2013

No prizes for guessing who the difference was between the two sides, it was Gareth Bale who kept Spurs Champions League hopes alive. Though Southampton had much of the play and created some chances, including a free-kick from Rickie Lambert which hit the woodwork. But five minutes from time Bale cut in from the right and struck from 25 yards, beating Artur Boruc and giving Spurs all three points. Southampton may have been having a glance at the drop zone behind them, but despite this result they were well positioned to ultimately survive.

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