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

To be played on Sunday 23rd March 2014 at 13:30. Venue: White Hart Lane, London.

Odds: Tottenham Hotspur 5/4, Draw 12/5, Southampton 3/1

Last season: 1-0

Preview & injury news

It has been a difficult few weeks for Tottenham as they have been struggling for form. Having been beaten by Benfica in the Europa League over two legs, they only have the league left. Unfortunately, there isn't much to shout about there given their ambitions of Champions League qualification at the start of the season. Their chances of finishing in the top four are slim at best having lost three of their last four games, and are now seven points off fourth, with Manchester City - who are currently fourth - having played three games less. Tim Sherwood's position seems unclear whilst the fans don't seem to be happy with the direction the club is heading in under chairman Daniel Levy. But they will be hoping to use their spirited second half performance in Lisbon as a springboard to a strong end to the season.

Southampton have enjoyed a pretty good season. They're sitting in eighth place and are well on course for a top half finish in their second season back in the Premier League. They've won each of their last two games so they'll go to White Hart Lane in relatively good form but haven't been able to find the consistency lately that gave them such a good start to the season, where they climbed as high as third in the table.

On the injury front, Spurs have a few problems, especially in central defence with their captain Michael Dawson not due to return until the end of the month as he recovers from a hamstring injury, whilst Vlad Chiriches is due back at the same time as he continues his recovery from a back problem. Younes Kaboul has a knock and is a doubt along with striker Emmanuel Adebayor who has a knee problem. Etienne Capoue has an ankle problem whilst Erik Lamela continues his recovery from a long-term back problem.

For Southampton, Dejan Lovren is a doubt because of a groin problem whilst Victor Wanyama is struggling with a calf injury. Back-up keeper Kelvin Davis has a knock, but Jack Cork could be available for Sunday's clash after an ankle injury.

Key stats

Here are the two side's top scorers in the league this season:

Jay Rodriguez Southampton FW 12 30 2,387
Rickie Lambert Southampton FW 9 29 2,166
Emmanuel Adebayor Spurs FW 8 15 1,268
Adam Lallana Southampton MF 7 30 2,435
Roberto Soldado Spurs FW 6 24 1,717
Paulinho Spurs MF 4 24 1,883

Their average possession statistics this season:

NamePossession PercentagePlayed
Southampton 58.17 30
Tottenham Hotspur 54.37 30

And the amount of clean sheets both teams have kept this season:

NameClean SheetPlayed
Tottenham Hotspur 12 30
Southampton 11 30

5 players to watch

Jan Vertonghen - Tim Sherwood will be delighted to have a defender available this weekend given the lack of options he had available in Lisbon. Defensively they have been leaking a few goals of late, and they will want that commanding voice and presence of the Belgian to guide them through a tough 90 minutes against a very capable Southampton side.

Adam Lallana - He has been held up as one of the success stories at Southampton and looks certain to be part of the England squad to go to the World Cup in the summer. He's very creative, good with the ball at his feet, can pick out a pass and has an eye for goal. It will be difficult for the home side to keep him quiet.

Roberto Soldado - If Adebayor isn't fit enough for Sunday's game, then Soldado is likely to be the man who will start up front. Despite his goal against Cardiff a few weeks ago, he hasn't really had the opportunity to kick on from there and string a run of good form together. Will he be given that opportunity on Sunday? And if he does, will he find the net?

Luke Shaw - Another one of Southampton's most talked about players and as well as being a threat going forward, he is likely to be well occupied by Tottenham's pace out wide. He'll have to put in a good shift, but with so much of the focus on what he brings going forward, it is an ideal stage to show just how good a defender he is as well.

Paulinho - Spurs spent a lot of money on their midfield players in the summer. Paulinho has shown signs of quality but hasn't really set the world alight. But against a Southampton side that likes to press and harass the opposition, he is going to have to play well in the middle of the park if Spurs are to emerge victorious. 

Earlier on in the season

Southampton 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur, December 2013

It was a first win for Tim Sherwood in charge of Tottenham but his side were made to work hard for it. Adam Lallana gave Southampton the lead with a 25-yard strike, but Emmanuel Adebayor managed to latch on to a Roberto Soldado cross to equalise. The visitors benefited from a slice of good fortune just after half time courtesy of Southampton defender Jos Hooiveld turning Danny Rose's cross into his own net. The Saints were back on level terms as Adam Lallana cut back for Rickie Lambert to slot home. But Adebayor finished the scoring in the 64th minute as he capitalised on some uncertainty at the back to curl beyond Saints keeper Paulo Gazzaniga.  

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