Tottenham travel to Southampton for Tim Sherwood’s first Premier League match as interim/caretaker manager. He knows that only a win at St. Mary’s can revive Tottenham’s fortunes and give him any chance of the permanent appointment he craves.
Tottenham’s record at Southampton isn’t encouraging. Last season’s success being their first since November, 1999 ending a run of 6 consecutive League and Cup defeats. Southampton’s form this season won’t make the task any easier for Sherwood’s team as they are 9th in the League, just one place and three points behind Spurs.
Date: Sunday, 22nd December
Kick-off Time: 1.30pm (UK time)
TV Channel: Sky Sports
Two goals from Gareth Bale and Clint Dempsey gave Spurs a comfortable half-time lead last season. A fight-back by Southampton after the interval put Spurs under tremendous pressure and while they only scored once, Spurs were relieved to hear the final whistle.
Spurs Away League Record at Southampton (inc. PL)
P 50 W 11 D 16 L 23 For 47 Ag 68
Spurs Away Record at St. Mary’s Stadium in Premier League
P 14 W 3 D 3 L 8 For 10 Ag 16
Spurs League Record at Southampton (prior to 2012): Read more
Southampton have had an excellent start to the season and have lost only once at home, an unexpected defeat to Aston Villa at the beginning of the month. They recovered in the next game to hold Manchester City to a 1 – 1 draw. Their home form under the former Espanyol manager Mauricio Pochettino who replaced Nigel Adkins last January, started slowly with draws against Sunderland and West Ham. They then defeated Crystal Palace, Swansea, Fulham (all 2 – 0) and Hull (4 – 1) before the slip against Villa. Away from home they have impressed with a win at Anfield bringing Liverpool’s undefeated start to the season to an end and earning a draw at Old Trafford. Last weekend they took a point from their game at Newcastle, equalising in the second half.
Jay Rodriguez who scored last weekend is their leading scorer with 7 goals, Ricky Lambert has 4 and Steve Davis 3. Rodriguez also scored Southampton’s goal in the corresponding fixture last year.
Spurs are looking for yet another recovery from an embarrassing performance and result. Defeat against Liverpool in the league was followed by another home defeat against West Ham in the Cup. Spurs can’t afford any more defeats if their season isn’t going to tail off alarmingly. They are already 5 points behind Chelsea in 4th who play tomorrow, and a win today would only take them up one place.
Spurs can expect a difficult afternoon with Southampton determined to add to Tottenham’s defensive woes of the past few weeks. The robust style of Lambert will pose a constant threat to a nervy Tottenham back four so Spurs will need to show a greater desire to compete and battle than they have shown on occasions during their recent difficulties. Going forward, Spurs still lack that clinical finishing which would have eased their problems in some games.
Spurs will have Michael Dawson back after suspension but will be without Andros Townsend who is out for a few weeks with the injury sustained against West Ham. Paulinho is still suspended and Sherwood’s team will be similar to the one selected in mid-week with Dawson re-introduced to the side in central defence to play with Vlad Chiriches. A fit again Erik Lamela is available. After his display in the Cup, Emmanuel Adebayor will presumably be given another start to demonstrate his renewed enthusiasm for playing.