Arsenal could earn only a point from their 2-2 draw against Southampton at the Emirates Stadium earlier today in their latest Premier League outing. While Danny Ings and James Ward-Prowse scored a goal each for the visiting side, Alexandre Lacazette bagged a brace, including a late striker to save the Gunners from being humiliated at their own backyard. Here are our Arsenal player ratings from what transpired. Bernd Leno 7/10 The German custodian saved a penalty but couldn’t deny the rebound from finding the back of the net. Also, he did well to weather Nathan Redmond’s strike in the second
Matchweek 12 of the 2019-20 Premier League season gave us a massive pointer as to where the title may end up come the end of the season. Liverpool won their 11th game of the season, which came against arch-rivals Manchester City, and nine points separate the two teams that went neck-and-neck last season. Leicester City and Chelsea moved above the reigning Premier League champions on the Premier League table. At the bottom of the table, Norwich City are now 20th after their loss to Watford, who have now moved up to 18th. The likes of Newcastle United, Everton and Manchester
Manchester City play Southampton once again after defeating them 3-1 in the League Cup mid-week. The Premier League champions play the Saints, who are 18th in the league and have lost four of their last five games. City are six points behind leaders Liverpool, who play Aston Villa at Villa Park. The champions have quite a few players out due to injury, but they have a strong squad that should be good enough to see off Southampton once again. Let’s take a look at the possible Manchester City lineup that manager Pep Guardiola may put out against Southampton. PREDICTED MANCHESTER
Manchester City host Southampton for the second time in a matter of days on Saturday, after defeating them 3-1 in the League Cup. This game will be the Saints’ first league match since the 0-9 mauling at the hands of Leicester City from last weekend. Southampton haven’t won a game since 14th September when they had defeated Sheffield United. City are the overwhelming favourites to win the game against Southampton tomorrow, while the Saints need a miraculous effort to upset the odds. Let’s take a look at 3 key battles in the game between Manchester City and Southampton Raheem Sterling
This Wednesday evening, St Mary’s Stadium will host the Premier League’s latest basement battle when Southampton take on Norwich City. The Premier League table suggests that these two clubs have trod very similar paths this season. One point and one league position currently separate the two sides as Southampton and Norwich sit 18th and 19th […]
Southampton faced off against Watford at the St. Mary’s Stadium yesterday hoping it pick up maximum points in front of their home supporters. The Saints made a sloppy start to the game and conceded in the 24th minute when Ismaïla Sarr scored to put the visitors ahead. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men responded positively but failed to find the […]
The managerial rumour mill went into overdrive this week as the screw turned on several Premier League managers following last weekend’s results. To the surprise of many, Monday passed without a managerial casualty. Not a P45 in sight. Although it does appear that if you manage a club lying between 8th and 20th in the […]
Celtic had too much on their plate in the summer transfer window as they had to replace quite a few outgoing players. Their recruitment drive started slow, but they managed to make some quality additions in the last week of the window. One player who has shined so far is Southampton’s Mohamed Elyounoussi. The 25-year-old […]
Arsenal were lucky to get away with a point against Southampton, in a 2-2 draw at the Emirates that will only mount pressure on manager Unai Emery. The Gunners started the game on the back foot after Danny Ings scored an early eighth-minute goal. But, Emery’s men were quick to respond, with Alexandre Lacazette levelling […]
Fraser Forster has managed to resurrect his career after being in limbo for more than a year at Southampton where he had effectively become the third-choice goalkeeper. Southampton had no qualms in letting him join on a season-long loan at Celtic, and the English goalkeeper has shown that he still has the skill sets to […]
The 14 players to register 15+ assists in a single Premier League season The men who score the goals tend to take most of the headlines, but behind every goal is a creative presence who made it possible. Whilst the Premier League has long awarded a Golden Boot to the division’s highest goalscorer, the Playmaker Award for the leading assist provider has only been awarded for the past …
Merseyside Derby the pick of the FA Cup third round draw The third round of the FA Cup was drawn in full on Monday. Liverpool will host Everton in the pick of the third round draw for the oldest cup competition in world football. The Merseyside Derby will come at a pivotal point in the season for the Reds, who are challenging for the Premier League …
Five of the shortest managerial reigns in Premier League history The managers who couldn’t cut it in the Premier League and got the sack before they ever got truly settled into the job. Watford change managers just about as regularly as Boris Johnson lies on television, but it nonetheless surprising to see the Hornets part ways with Quique Sanchez Flores – just 85 days after …
The best Premier League stats from Gameweek 14: History is not on Man City’s side Presenting some of the standout statistics from gameweek 14 of Premier League action, featuring Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man United, Miguel Almiron and more. Are Man City still in contention, or is the title race over in December? By all rights, Manchester City should have hammered Newcastle United at the weekend. They had 24 shots …
Fantasy Premier League Team of the Week for Gameweek 14 The January transfer window is fast approaching and for Fantasy Premier League managers, that second wildcard will shortly be on the horizon. If you are one of those virtual coaches desperately in need of a squad refresh, it’s probably safe to say that the latest weekend of action did not quite go your way. For …
Two positions Southampton must strengthen in January It feels likes Mauricio Pochettino managed Southampton decades ago. The old Southampton were a competitive side, winning games against tough opponents. The new Southampton, however, are just battling relegation. They were at the receiving end of a historic 9-0 hammering by Leicester City recently and injuries have not […]
Predicted Man City XI to face Southampton in the Premier League Man City stormed 3-1 past Southampton on Tuesday night to cement their place in the last eight of the competition and they will once again be strong favourites to come away with all three points when they play host to the Saints for a […]
Predicted Tottenham XI to face Southampton in the Premier League Tottenham crashed out of the EFL Cup with a shock penalty shootout defeat at the hands of Colchester United on Wednesday and the Lilywhites will be looking to get their campaign back on track when they play host to Southampton in the Premier League on […]
5 Instances when Premier League teams swapped players between themselves Swap deals between clubs playing in the same league are rare occurrences in football, especially in the Premier League, where the clubs are rather reluctant to sell their star players to their rivals. Even if they do agree to do business, outright cash is what […]
6 South American players who failed miserably in the Premier League Led by the likes of Brazil and Argentina from the front, South America has always been a vast storehouse of immensely talented footballers, with several of Europe’s elite clubs constantly scouring the talent-blessed continent for budding young talents. Well, probably over half of the […]
5 best bargain buys in the Premier League since the turn of the decade The 2019 summer transfer window has already witnessed some big-money arrivals in the Premier League. Man United have made their intentions very clear by forking out £50million for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Leicester City have paid £40million to Monaco for Youri Tielemans and […]
Fred is finding his feet under Solskjær, Maddison and Grealish jostle for England attention and do Everton have a new plan?
Fred has described Fernandinho has his role model in the past but, until recently, it seemed like the only thing the pair had in common was that they both moved from Brazil to Shakhtar Donetsk before arriving in Manchester. Over the last month, however, Fred has finally started showing the quality that persuaded United to spend £52m on him last year. He and Scott McTominay form a midfield partnership of formerly maligned players who have become more than useful. They, along with Marcus Rashford’s refulgent form and the fact that United now relish being underdogs, are reasons why City might not annihilate Saturday’s visitors to the Etihad. Paul Doyle
With a handful of minutes left to play, Southampton were sheepish, unsure whether to eke their way through stoppage time or find a third goal to kill the game. They retreated until they could no more, surviving to see off Norwich City’s late retort. Such trepidation was to be expected given March was the last time they recorded back-to-back league wins. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side held on to savour victory, with first-half goals by Danny Ings and Ryan Bertrand paving the way to a win that hoists them out of the bottom three.
Chelsea toothless without Tammy Abraham, Everton better than results suggest and clever Jonjo Shelvey helps Liverpool
After a medley of mid-table finishes, could this be the season Crystal Palace return to the top half? They finished 10th four years ago under Alan Pardew and after victory at Burnley are part of a chasing pack on the tails of fifth-placed Tottenham. The win stopped a worrying rot of five games without victory and, with Wilfried Zaha having come to the fore in recent outings, there is plenty for a painfully inconsistent Palace to build on. December looks kind, too, with Bournemouth the visitors to Selhurst Park on Tuesday before matches against Watford, Brighton, Newcastle, West Ham and Southampton. After a quiet start Zaha, who has scored in successive games, is beginning to take centre stage, which is right where Palace need him. “He has been very good in recent games,” Roy Hodgson said. “We are grateful for the three points but now we need to use this feeling going forwards.” Ben Fisher
Some Watford reaction from Will Hughes: “If we’re going to have VAR, you need to take as long as you need to reach the correct decision. When you see Djenepo’s handball before their equaliser, it’s frustrating looking back on that. We were fairly comfortable at that point. If we got the second goal would have gone on to win the game.”
Ralph Hasenhüttl: “Tons of weight have fallen off our shoulders. In the first half there was so much weight, we couldn’t move. The subs came in with fresh energy, and it was a completely different second half, we deserved to score. I am happy to take the three points, they give us a little lift.”
And now James Ward-Prowse. “We’ve taken another step in the right direction tonight. Over the years we’ve been successful because we do win our home games. We’ve got a great belief in what we’re doing. We’ve come out of a relegation struggle with three points. We could easily have gone downhill after the 9-0 against Leicester, but we’ve shown the togetherness you need to push forward.” He’s then given the official man-of-the-match award by Sky, but that’s nothing compared to the MBM version, right? Ings it is.
A word with the man-of-the-match Danny Ings. “It’s massive. To go 1-0 down and come back to win like that shows the character of the lads. You can tell by the atmosphere, it was great at the end. It was thoroughly deserved. It was a great night for us. It was very, very important for us.”
Not so much a game of two halves, more a game of three thirds. The first two belonged to Watford. They should have scored more than one goal; Southampton were nothing short of dreadful. But Ralph Hasenhüttl made a double change that changed the mood and shifted the momentum. Suddenly Saints looked dangerous every time they came forward, and got their reward with two late goals to turn defeat into glorious, pressure-relieving victory! So it’s Watford who end the day bottom, six points from safety. Southampton rise to 18th, a mere two points behind Everton, whose match at Leicester tomorrow suddenly takes on even more importance.
Saints clear, and the place erupts in celebration of their first home win of the season!
90 min +6: Nope, there’s time for another, as Capoue crosses from the right. It looks like creeping in over the keeper’s head! McCarthy is forced to tip over for a corner. From which ...
90 min +5: Some head tennis in the Southampton box. The ball drops to Gray, on the edge of the box. He’s got time to shoot - not much, but just enough. However, he slices his effort well wide left. Watford’s last chance looks to have been spurned.
90 min +3: Nothing comes of the corner. Sky have just shown some footage of Southampton’s equaliser, in which Djenepo, stooping mid dribble, keeps control with his hand. Had VAR seen it, the goal would probably have been ruled out. But VAR didn’t see it, and here we are.
90 min +2: Watford pump it into the mixer. Saints blooter it back upfield. This is desperate stuff. Foster returns it, and Valery carelessly runs it out for a corner for Watford.
90 min +1: Bednarek cynically knocks Masina over just as the Watford man was thinking about breaking. A free kick just inside the Saints area, and a chance to load the box.
90 min: There will be six minutes of added time.
89 min: Ings drives down the inside-left channel and nearly breaks into the box. Not quite. Collectively, Southampton have been a mixed bag tonight, and no mistake, but Ings has been their one constant all match. He’s been fantastic.
87 min: Sarr goes scampering after a long ball down the left. Suddenly Stephens looks in control of himself, and draws a foul from the frustrated striker as he shepherds the ball away from danger. So much changed in the space of five minutes.
85 min: Watford had so many chances to put this one to bed. And now they’re the ones who’ll be bottom of the Premier League tonight, six adrift of safety. In the dugout, Quique Sánchez Flores wears the look of a condemned man. His second coming at Vicarage Road isn’t going to plan at all.
The free kick was worth waiting for! Ward-Prowse whips a Beckhamesque effort into the top left. Right in the corner! Foster can’t keep it out, at full stretch, the ball always bending away from him. That was perfectly placed, and sent whistling in at speed to boot. St Mary’s, so quiet for so long, is buzzing now!
82 min: Before the free kick can be taken, Femenia is replaced by Foulquier.
81 min: Hojbjerg dribbles down the inside left. Capoue sticks out a tired leg and brings the Saints captain down just outside the box. Close enough that Saints claim a penalty, but they’re not getting it, and rightly so.
80 min: Suddenly it’s all Saints. They’ve been so much better since the double substitution. Big credit to Ralph Hasenhüttl.
This had been coming. Djenepo dribbles with purpose down the right, sashays past Holebas and from the byline pulls back to Ings, who bundles in from the middle of a melee by the right-hand post. St Mary’s erupts!
77 min: It’s end to end. Saar bombs down the inside-right but he’s hustled out of it by Bertrand. Saints go up the other end. Ward-Prowse curls a deep cross in from the right. Ings, at the far post, hooks it back to Long, who bobbles the ball towards the bottom left. But Cathcart hooks it off the line!
76 min: Southampton’s final roll of the dice: Cedric is replaced by Valery.
74 min: Hughes goes off ... slo-o-o-o-ooooowly ... to be replaced by Chalobah. Djenepo gives him a wee shove in the back to hurry him up. And why not.
73 min: Nothing comes of the corner.
72 min: But the troubles at the back aren’t going away. Stephens plays a sloppy pass out of defence, allowing Hughes to take up possession. He feeds Gray down the left. Gray tries to tee up Saar in the middle, but Bednarek arrives to deflect the ball out for a corner.
70 min: Djenepo wins a corner down the right. Nothing comes of it, but team and crowd are finally energised. Saints have finally turned up, just over an hour into the match.
69 min: VAR say
68 min: Some good work by Ings out on the left. The ball’s hooked to Long, who scoops a shot towards the top right. It’s going to waft into the net, but Foster gets a fingertip on it, diverting the ball onto the crossbar. Watford half-clear. Cedric fires the ball back into the box from the right. Djenepo goes over near Capoue. He wants a penalty! VAR check.
67 min: And that’s Deulofeu’s last contribution this evening. He’s replaced by Gray, and takes his gloves off in a stroppy fashion as he walks off, the great diva.
66 min: Hughes sends Deulofeu scampering free down the left. Sarr’s in the middle, waiting for the delivery that could put Saints in all sorts of trouble, but turns out Deulofeu is a couple of inches offside.
64 min: And suddenly it’s Watford who are looking a little nervous. Foster dithers over a clearance, the ball at his feet. He slips, and Ings looks to benefit. Foster sticks out an arm to impede the striker, but Ings falls onto Foster’s back, so Watford get the decision, even though Saints scream for a penalty.
63 min: But this is much better! Djenepo reaches the byline down the right and fizzes a cross that Long contests. The ball breaks to Boufal, just inside the area on the left. His shot is blocked out for a corner. Ward-Prowse’s dead-ball delivery hasn’t been great this evening, and this one goes straight into Foster’s arms. An improvement.
61 min: On this showing, you have to wonder how Southampton gave Arsenal so much trouble last weekend. Ah but hold on.
60 min: Ward-Prowse blooters the free kick straight into Capoue’s coupon. The Watford captain is flat on his back. The referee stops play so he can be revived and assessed. Looks like he’s good to continue.
59 min: The corner leads to another corner that comes to nothing, but Long is already putting himself about. And suddenly there’s a little surge of Saints energy, as Djenepo dribbles straight at Mariappa, draing a foul just outside the Watford area. A good position, this.
57 min: Before the set piece can be taken, Saints make a double switch. Redmond and Obafemi are hooked, Boufal and Long coming on in their stead. Redmond looks a tad affronted at the decision, but off he trots.
56 min: Ings presses the Watford defence, a one-man show. He wins a corner off Mariappa, something out of nothing. He’s been feeding on scraps, poor chap.
54 min: Not that Ward-Prowse’s proud industry has stopped the Saints faithful from giving their team pelters. They’ve been abysmal so far, and it would appear patience has finally run dry. Matters aren’t helped when Sarr fizzes a shot towards the top right from distance - it flies inches over - nor when the same player nearly bustles Stephens out of the road for another strike on goal. Stephens stands firm this time.
52 min: Ward-Prowse gifts possession to Sarr in midfield. Sarr tears off up the other end. Southampton’s captain is fortunate that Sarr suddenly becomes indecisive, with Deulofeu in space to his right. He’s allowed to redeem himself by snapping back at Sarr and regaining the ball, just as it looked as though Southampton would be opened up again.
50 min: There’s an air of weary resignation around St Mary’s right now. Southampton are doing nothing; their fans are deflated. Someone’s got to get the wheel turning again, and quick. As things stand, Saints will be bottom tonight, five points adrift of 17th-placed Everton.
48 min: Redmond goes on a purposeful run down the left but can’t find anyone with his cutback. Then as Watford clear, he’s booked for standing on Femenia’s foot.
46 min: Capoue dithers over an opportunity to shoot at the Southampton goal from the edge of the box. The defenders do nothing to resolve the situation whatsoever, and are fortunate their striker Ings is wily enough to track back and block. Danger over.
Watford get the ball rolling again. No half-time changes.
Half-time reading. The Euro 2020 draw has been made. Never mind who England and Wales have got; Group F has Germany, France and reigning champions Portugal in it! Now that’s a good old-fashioned group of death.
And that’s the end of the first half. Saints are booed off. They’ve been nervous, tentative and at times downright rank bad. Watford have been the more dangerous side, and could easily be further ahead. It’s going to be a big second half for both teams. Can Saints relocate their mojo? Can Watford hang on? A season-shaping 45 minutes coming up.
45 min: Space for Ings inside the Watford area on the left. His cross is plucked from the sky by Foster. Suddenly Southampton have remembered how to play. Just a shame for them that there are only two additional minutes to be played before the break.
44 min: And after all that’s gone before, Saints are an inch or two away from a sensational equaliser! Cedric drags a low cross into the Watford box from the right. Ward-Prowse meets it with a clever backflick, guiding the ball towards the bottom left. Foster scrambles across in a panic, and he’s not getting there in time. But the ball bobbles just wide.
43 min: The tension in St Mary’s is palpable as last man Stephens dithers over a backpass to McCarthy with Sarr breathing down his neck. Saints clear their lines just in time.
41 min: Stephens makes another error under a long ball, and is lucky that Deulofeu’s touch lets him down again as he scarpers clear down the left. This is a risible defensive display by Southampton. But they’ve somehow kept Watford to the single goal, and there’ll be a chance to regroup coming up at half-time. A big few minutes coming up.
40 min: Some good work between Hojbjerg and Bertrand down the left. Corner. Again Ward-Prowse’s delivery is nonsense, but the ball’s recycled down the left for Redmond, who isn’t too far away with a cute curler meant for the top-right corner. Just over. And that’s better from the Saints.
38 min: Djenepo gives up possession easily and suddenly Deulofeu is scuttling with menace down the left, Saints extremely light at the back. Sarr is in the middle, one on one with Bednarek. A better pass from Deulofeu, and he’d be through on goal. But no. Saints are giving up a number of chances here. They’ll be most grateful they’re not playing Leicester.
36 min: Holebas is up and about again. The break in play for his treatment leads to a lull.
34 min: A break in play as Ward-Prowse and Holebas collide and roll about injured. Holebas appears to have come off worse; he looks genuinely pained, while Ward-Prowse springs back up again quickly.
32 min: Hughes dinks a pass down the right to release Deulofeu. Where’s Bertrand? Deulofeu would be in on goal, but takes a poor touch to the right. So instead of shooting he crosses towards Sarr. McCarthy does well to tip the cross away from the striker, who was preparing to bundle the ball home. The resulting corner comes to nothing. Watford could be out of sight, three goals clear, quite easily. The small margins.
30 min: Hughes swings the free kick deep. Sarr, brimful with confidence, meets the dropping ball and sends a volley towards the bottom left. McCarthy does extremely well to save the day by sticking out a strong leg. So close to a second for the Hornets.
29 min: Saints faff about with the ball in the midfield, and allow Deulofeu, Sarr and Hughes to make merry down the left flank. They earn a cheap foul, and here’s another chance to load the Saints box and kick off some trouble for the home side.
27 min: Redmond races down the left into a bit of space. But there are five Watford defenders lined up across the front of the box, and it’s hard to pick a pass. Eventually the ball’s scooped towards Ings, who sends a looping header straight at Foster. The Watford keeper hasn’t had to make a serious intervention yet.
25 min: Southampton do not like playing at St Mary’s, do they. Yes, I miss the Dell too. Saints try to bounce back immediately, forcing a corner down the left, but Ward-Prowse can’t beat the first man when taking the set piece.
Yep, a jittery shambles all right. Femenia lumps the ball down the right for Sarr. Stephens should intercept, but only manages to help the ball into the path of Sarr, allowing Watford’s new striker to advance clear on goal. He draws McCarthy and lashes the ball past him. A smattering of boos from the home fans.
22 min: McCarthy diddles the pressing Deulofeu with a cute change of feet ... then the cheers turn to jeers as he passes the ball straight out of play, nowhere near his full-back Cedric. Saints are a jittery shambles at the back, though the team are enjoying the bulk of possession, twice as much as their opponents. So it’s swings and roundabouts.
21 min: ... Doucoure sends a soft header into the arms of McCarthy.
20 min: Sarr turns Cedric this way and that, and earns himself a corner. From which ...
18 min: Ward-Prowse, out on the right, plays a crossfield ball towards absolutely nobody. As it flies into the stand, the away fans cheer sarcastically, while the home support begins to grumble, curse, eff and jeff.
17 min: Cedric looks long for Ings. The striker flicks a header on, but neither Redmond nor Obafemi are on the same wavelength, and there goes possession.
15 min: Deulofeu swings it in. Saints half clear. Watford come back at the hosts through Holebas on the left. There’s a game of head tennis in the box, and then Femenia shoots wide from the penalty spot. The flag had gone up for offside anyway, but Saints were all over the shop there.
14 min: Sarr is blocked by Bednarek has he attempts to scoot down the right wing. A free kick, and a chance for Watford to load the box.
13 min: Saints press Watford hard. Hojberg wins possession and slips Redmond away down the left. The flag goes up for offside, a hair-trigger decision. Redmond looked on, just, and would have been making his way towards the Watford area with extreme prejudice.
12 min: Cedric plays long down the inside-right channel, looking for Ings. It’s not a bad idea, but Foster is out quickly and claims on the edge of his box.
10 min: Saints knock it around the back awhile, establishing a semblance of control.
8 min: Redmond drives in from the left and rides a half-hearted Capoue challenge. When he reaches the edge of the D, he sends a powerful curler towards the top right. A highly decent effort, but one anticipated by Foster, who gathers without fuss.
7 min: Masina slides in recklessly on Obafemi. Referee Michael Oliver keeps his cards in his pocket, but lectures the Watford defender with great feeling. Next one yellow.
6 min: McCarthy plays a loose pass out to Cedric, who should nevertheless take up possession but lets the ball run out of play. A chance for Watford to fling the ball into the box from the throw. They don’t take it, but that’s not the point: Saints are looking extremely shaky at the back, their collective lack of confidence writ large.
4 min: Hojbjerg is much more assured up the other end, chesting down a loose ball on the edge of the Watford box and lashing a Le Tissieresque rasper just over the bar. It could easily be 1-1 already.
2 min: Saints nearly shoot themselves in the foot early doors. Cedric passes back down his right flank to Hojbjerg, who plays a blind pass inside ... straight to Sarr! The striker tears into a huge hole in the middle of the Saints defence, but shoots straight at McCarthy from the edge of the box. What a let-off for Southampton, whose home form is appalling.
And we’re off! Saints get the ball rolling. The ball’s launched long by Stephens, then shanked straight out of play by Mariappa. The only way is up.
The teams are out! Southampton are in their red and white stripes, while Watford play in second-choice blue. We’ll be off at a shivering St Mary’s before you know it! A quick reminder that the draw for Euro 2020 will be made while this game is on. You can keep an eye on that with Will Unwin’s live blog. But don’t go leaving us for good, now. Promise?
Quique Sánchez Flores speaks! “It is very similar to our match at Norwich. Both teams with necessities. We need to win. We will try to repeat the good performances away against Tottenham and Norwich, when we were focused and concentrating well. We will try to be quicker than Southampton and more clinical in the last third.”
The Tonight Show with Ralph Hasenhüttl: “The most positive thing about the 2-2 draw at Arsenal was that we were on the front foot and really aggressive. It was an OK game for us. Today will be different, Watford will not build up so much from the ground, so more long balls. But we have shown we can handle this. We are conceding early goals at home and it makes things difficult. We have to change this behaviour. This is our goal for today: start in a different way. Every Premier League game is difficult, but we have a chance to take points against opponents who are near to us in the table. It is an important period of the season, and the last game against Arsenal was a small step in the right direction.”
One change to the Southampton team named at Arsenal last week. The injured Stuart Armstrong (hamstring) is replaced by Moussa Djenepo. Sofiane Boufal is on the bench, despite stubbing a big toe on his kitchen table at home.
Watford make two changes to the side that went down hard against Burnley. Andre Gray and the injured Craig Dawson are replaced by record signing Ismaila Sarr and Adam Masina.
Anyone up for a relegation six-pointer? Good, good, just as well, because the bottom two face off at St Mary’s this evening, and whoever loses this will find themselves careering hysterically towards the slough of despond.
A draw’s no good for either team, we know this much already. Watford are bottom, five points adrift of safety already, while Saints are just one place and point better off. The Hornets have only won one game in the league this season; Southampton have managed to double that tally, but then Watford haven’t lost one of their home fixtures 9-0. So it’s swings and roundabouts.
Quique Sánchez Flores shook his head in disbelief, dismayed at how Watford allowed Southampton to wriggle free. Flores may not be quite so fortunate, with the Spaniard’s position as Watford head coach extremely precarious after Southampton scored two goals in five second-half minutes to complete an unlikely turnaround in front of Gino Pozzo, a restless Watford owner at the best of times, and the chairman, Scott Duxbury. In the same way Southampton seemed resigned to plunging to the bottom of the pile at Watford’s expense before late goals by Danny Ings and James Ward-Prowse, Flores’s demeanour suggested he knows what is coming.
Despite taking the lead through their £30m club-record signing, Ismaïla Sarr, Watford have won only one game since Flores returned to the club in September. Asked whether he is confident he will take charge of Wednesday’s trip to Leicester City, Flores replied: “I’m not sure. I am completely apart [from] these kinds of decisions. I am just sad because if I can’t help the team I am sad for that, I am sad for the fans, I am sad for the players, for the owner and the future of the club, of course.
Historical Transfer News and Team Gossip has been archived below:
Fri, 23 Jun 2017 15:56:31 +0000: Pellegrino appointed Southampton manager - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Southampton | BBC Southampton appoint Mauricio Pellegrino as their new manager, with the 45-year-old former Alaves boss replacing Claude Puel.
Thu, 15 Jun 2017 08:42:32 +0000: Southampton sack manager Puel - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Southampton | BBC Southampton sack boss Claude Puel after one season in charge, when they finished eighth in the Premier League and reached the League Cup final.
Wed, 14 Jun 2017 08:00:05 +0000: Premier League fixtures in full - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Southampton | BBC Find out your club's full fixture list for the 2017-18 Premier League season.
Tue, 13 Jun 2017 14:24:39 +0000: Barnsley sign Saints defender McCarthy - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Southampton | BBC Barnsley sign Southampton defender Jason McCarthy for an undisclosed fee on a three-year deal.
Wed, 07 Jun 2017 18:20:44 +0000: Liverpool end interest in Van Dijk - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Southampton | BBC Liverpool apologise to Southampton over "any misunderstanding" and end their interest in defender Virgil van Dijk.
Southampton manager Nigel Adkins has been a busy man in the transfer market this summer as he looks to reinforce his squad for the start of next season after a great run which saw them promoted to the English top flight via the play offs. Adkins is now desperate to bring in new names to the club so that he can secure their position in the top flight for another season at least.
The first signing of the summer sees promising young full back Nathaniel Clyne arrive at St Mary`s from Crystal Palace after the promise of the clubs plans to attempt to quality for Europe this season were very enticing for the player. Southampton though will need to pay a large compensation fee to his current club if the deal goes through as due to the players age his former club feel they are due some type of payment from the saints after he signed a new four year deal last week.
Another player who has just be signed by the club is talented striker Jay Rodriguez after he recently arrived from Burnley for a fee which is believed to be around the six and a half million pounds mark. Adkins has long been an admirer of the player and is extremely happy with the signing which he sees as just perfect to bolster his attacking line for next season.
A shocking bit of news right now for Southampton is the fact that their attempts to bring defender Alexander Buttner to St Mary`s may be in tatters after his current club Vitesse Arnham have halted the move after another club have come into the frame for the players signature. Southampton may now find themselves in a bidding war for the player who they see as a perfect addition to their squad so as of now all dealings over the player have hit a premature halt.