It seems incredible to think that these two outfits were playing each other in League One just a few years ago. Southampton’s rise up the divisions of course makes them firm favourites ahead of the trip, although the visiting Glovers will be desperate to inject some light in their season and try and rock their opponent’s boat even more following a turbulent few weeks.
When we talk about turbulence, Southampton seem to be on a knife edge. On one hand, Saints find themselves in the top half of the Premiership, but on the other there are suspicions that the wheels could come off completely over the next few months. Having lost their influential chairman, there is no guarantee that the highly rated Mauricio Pochettino will stay at the club – while they have been rocked even further this week after suspending their record signing Dani Osvaldo for fighting with a teammate in training. Nevertheless, on-the-field things seem to be going a little more to plan and Saints have now gone on a run of four unbeaten games. As such, their position in the top half of the Premiership is stable and their main aim now must be to surely get through January without losing any star players.
Yeovil’s aims are a little different, meanwhile. The Glovers may have also risen from the depths of League One, but they haven’t exactly ‘done a Southampton’ and they are regarded as a very small fish of the Championship. It’s only goal difference that keeps them from the foot of the division, although on a more positive note they do approach this game on the back of a win over Birmingham. Having also thrashed Leyton Orient in the last round of this competition, Gary Johnson will be hoping his side can continue their recent form and bag a bumper payday which may indirectly aid their survival hopes.
As mentioned a couple of paragraphs ago, Southampton will be without Dani Osvaldo for the next few fixtures after he was handed an internal suspension. Things have got even worse for Saints this week as well with influential duo Gaston Ramirez and Dejan Lovren both out for the forseable future due to serious ankle injuries. Yevoil meanwhile have been handed a boost in the way that Ishmael Miller is poised for a start after being given permission to play by his parent club Nottingham Forest. It gets better for the Gloves in other ways as well, with Ed Upson back in contention following a spell on the sidelines with an ankle injury.
Southampton may be experiencing some off-the-field troubles, but we still don’t think they’ll have any problems bypassing their opponents. They hold the home advantage, they’re much stronger on paper and we think this will be a simple 3-1 victory for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.