For the last few years there may have been a massive gulf between these outfits, but this weekend just three places and eight points are the difference. Tottenham will still be harbouring hopes of a Europa League finish, while Southampton will simply be looking to cement their top have position and build for next year.
In fact, following their recent exit from the Europa League, finishing 5th is probably more important than ever for Spurs. They kissed goodbye to the top four weeks ago and Tim Sherwood will be crossing his fingers that they can get over their recent dip in form and finish the campaign strongly. Despite a promising start to his tenure, Sherwood has experienced his first setbacks in management and defeats to Norwich, Arsenal and Chelsea have thrown them completely off course over the last few weeks. On a more positive note, they were unlucky not to get a result against Benfica in their last outing, although whether or not that performance is going to migrate to the league remains to be seen.
Southampton on the other hand seem to have put their own recent failings behind them. Mauricio Pochettino’s side went through something of a sticky spell several weeks ago, where they proceeded to lose three games on the spin. However, victories over Crystal Palace and Norwich has put an end to that and now means that Saints sit in 9th spot with forty five points to their name. However, now that the St Mary’s outfit are up against a top half side rather than one that is looking over their shoulder, it will be interesting to see if they can maintain such form and push further into the top half.
As for team news, Tottenham look set to line-up in completely different fashion to how they started their Europa League tie with Benfica during the week. Tim Sherwood was forced to be without Emmanuel Adebayor, Younes Kaboul and Mousa Dembele for that game due to injury, while Jan Vertonghen was another absentee because of suspension. As such, Spurs could make as many as four changes for this Sunday’s outing. If we look towards Southampton’s news, the visitors could have several absentees with late decisions set to be made on Kelvin Davis, Guly Do Prado and Morgan Schneiderlin. They could join the likes of Jack Cork and Victor Wanyama, who have been on the treatment table for the last few weeks.
Tottenham may hold the home advantage this weekend, but we get the feeling that Southampton could take all the points. Spurs seem to be in all kinds of trouble at the moment and with Saints in a decent bout of form, our tip is going to be a 2-1 victory for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.