What can be learnt from the first half of Southampton's season?
1) As we head into 2015, Southampton are perched in a superb place. The Saints have made a strong start to the season and sit in the fourth and final Champions League spot, which is something that surely wasn't even in manager Ronald Koeman's wildest dreams.
2) Southampton rank fifth in the top goalscorers list, with 32 goals to their name - just one behind Manchester United and two behind Arsenal. With contributions from Graziano Pelle, Sadio Mane and even right back Nathaniel Clyne, the Saints are healthy in front of goal.
3) The additions of Mane and Dusan Tadic have certainly helped Southampton in the final third, and the duo have helped the Saints to create the fifth most big chances, with 28 in 19 games. That's only behind Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea - another area where Koeman's men are vying with the big boys.
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4) One of the most impressive stats about the Southampton goal threat is that they have the joint-highest amount of goals scored by defenders this season. With goals from Maya Yoshida, Toby Alderweireld, Ryan Bertrand and Nathaniel Clyne, opposing teams can't just worry about Southampton's attacking threats - there are also defenders capable of scoring, too.
5) Yet one thing which will concern Koeman is that Southampton have hit the woodwork nine times in just 19 games - with only Manchester City hitting it more often! Koeman will certainly want that number to be lower in the second half of the season, especially with aims of a top six spot.
6) From a defensive perspective, the most impressive thing about Southampton so far is the goals conceded column. Just 15 goals have ended up in the Saints net so far this season, with just two goals conceded in the three games over the Christmas period so far.
7) The basis for their superb defensive record is the remarkable record of clean sheets. With eight from 19 games, Southampton possess one of the meanest defences in the Premier League, aided by summer signings Toby Alderweireld and Ryan Bertrand.
8) Southampton are near the top of most defensive categories, and that's no different when it comes to tackles made. Just two shy of leaders Tottenham, the Saints have racked up 333 tackles, which has again made them such a tough nut to crack - and youngster Harrison Reed deserves plaudits in this area, making 15 on his own in one game against Everton.
9) Yet another area where Southampton excel is from a disciplinary perspective. The Saints have picked up just 27 yellow cards this season, which is the joint-lowest total alongside Crystal Palace. Morgan Schneiderlin may have been sent off against Chelsea, but the high rate of tackles and low rate of yellow cards suggests Southampton are doing something right.
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