It seems incredible to think that both of these clubs were vying away in League One several years ago, with both now regarded as established top flight outfits. Nevertheless, while Southampton approach this game with nothing to play for, the same cannot be said about Norwich who are precariously looking over their shoulder as they sit in 15th spot.
Earlier on in the campaign a lot of pundits started to question the future of Southampton, who were supposedly set to embark on a downward slope after losing their influential chairman. Instead, they have kept their top half position – although manager Mauricio Pochettino will be desperate to turn around Saints’ recently fortunes following a bout of poor form. While they did record a narrow away win over Crystal Palace in their last game, prior to that they embarked on a run of four straight losses. Still, they’ve only lost one of their last six at home, which should bode well ahead of this game at St Mary’s.
Norwich have plenty of pressure riding on their shoulders meanwhile, with the Canaries sat just four points above the bottom three. Chris Hughton has come in for intense criticism from his own supporters throughout the campaign and should the Carrow Road outfit suffer another defeat, there will be even more calls for his dismissal. However, they did respond in their latest match, recording a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Stoke despite being thrashed 4-1 in their game against Aston Villa prior to that. This result has contributed to an utterly inconsistent run over the last few weeks, with the Canaries drawing two, losing two and winning one of their last five. The most worrying fact arrives about their away form though, with the club losing their last five and failing to win in their last seven on the road.
Southampton could approach this game with a couple of major midfield concerns with Jack Cork and Victor Wanyama both on the treatment table as they struggle with injury. The only good news arrives in relation to Dejan Lovren, who has recovered from the illness that made him doubtful earlier in the week. There is little to report for Norwich meanwhile, with the Canaries having no fresh concerns following their most recent game. The likes of Leroy Fer, Elliott Bennett, Jonas Gutierrez and Michael Turner are all on the sidelines – but that’s all Chris Hughton has to deal with for now.
Following their most recent win, we see Southampton as firm favourites for this clash at St Mary’s. Norwich have looked woeful on the road over recent weeks and bearing these factors in mind, our prediction is going to be a comfortable 2-0 win for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.