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Watford 1 v 3 Southampton
Barclays Premier League
Sunday, 28th June 2020 Kick-off 16:30
Saints At Watford The Preview
Sunday, 28th Jun 2020 10:53

Will Saints get away with it at Watford or will they get punished as they did against Arsenal, the truth is that nobody knows and we should have one aim now and that is to get over the finishing line and plan for next season.

In the two games played so far we have seen the good and the bad of Saints, in the first Norwich could not capitalise on our slack defending, in the second Arsenal certainly did and 2-0 could easily have been double.

This is nothing new I am getting sick of writing the same verdict game after game, not just this season but the last one and the one before that, one thing is clear that the solution is not at the club, we need to buy in and buy in well, the same players have made the same mistakes time and time again and will not change their ways now.

So what does Ralph Hasenhuttl do this afternoon at Watford, the truth is he is not in control of the situation, he knows that he is being let down defensively by individuals and he has no one to replace them with, Jack Stephens is missing this afternoon and so he will probably have to play Jannik Vestergaard so it is out of the frying pan and into the fire for his team selection.

Ralph must be frustrated, he works hard all week and then certain players defend like school boys.

So anything could happen at Vicarage Road, it is going to be a lottery, but whatever happens the underlying problem is still there and needs to be addressed.

Ig I was Ralph I would try something different, I would find out if some fringe players are up to the taske, that means Kevin Danso in the centre of defence, Che Adams up front in place of Michael Obafemi and sticking with Kyle Walker Peters, all three have been overlooked in the main, but they cannot be worse than those that kept them out of the starting line up against both Norwich & Arsenal.

Watford are not in the best of form, a late equaliser against Leicester won them a point but they lost the next game against Burnley, before the break a win against Liverpool came out of nowhere and was the only win in 7 league games before the suspension of the Premier League. so in their last 9 games they have taken only 6 points out of 27.

That came after Nigel Pearson had initially sparked a revivale that dragged them off the bottom of the league, but they still stand only a point above the relegation zone.

Perhaps out of all the four clubs now seemingly vying for the last two relegation places with Norwich now seemingly doomed, Watford have the most fight and Saints need to match that. The Hornets don't score many at home , only 17 so far and three of those against Liverpool, but they don't concede either having let in only 18.

Their home form is good, only 4 wins, but 6 draws and only 5 defeats, they don't lose many at home and they keep going right into the last minute of injury time as they showed Leicester and indeed us on several occasions in recent years.

So from this perspective a draw would be good for Saints, the Arsenal game showed we don't have the quality at the back to get us up into the top 10, but perhaps a few results here and there might nudge us close, we just need to get to that 40 point mark and then concentrate on next season.

A win would get us to that points total and would effectively see us safe, Villa could then only reach that total if they won at least 4 of their last 6 games, Watford would be in the same boat, so today is important to get a result and then build from there.

It has been a frustrating season, but we should take the positives and not the negatives, Ralph Hasenhuttl has shown that he has what it takes to tackle adversity and come back stronger, the past is gone, only the future matters and that means getting this season done and moving on.

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highfield49 added 12:16 - Jun 28
We should be looking to do to them the same as Arsenal did to us. The big question is will all of the players selected be able to get their brains engaged and prove that they're worthy of a future at the club? A good day for JWP to lead and motivate rather than just be part of the team. Go for it lads.
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the_saint added 12:55 - Jun 28
Dont think jwp is captain material not vocal enough dont get me wrong he has played well in most games.
The only player vocal enough is ings but do they make strikers captains as harder to be vocal to the defence where we need it. We need to get a good commanding cb who is captain material
-1

the_saint added 12:58 - Jun 28
Nick can you write articles I can then start disagreeing with again as I seem to be agreeing with them all lately and dont want it to become a habit
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St_Gats added 13:47 - Jun 28
I can't quite work out if we're safe or not. Most press articles I read say we are, but that doesn't stop me still feeling a little nervous! However, a 10 point gap is huge at this stage. That's 3 wins and a draw for the teams at the bottom to catch us and that's assuming they go on to out perform us in the remaining 3 fixtures. I don't seen that happening at all, especially when you look at the form and remaining fixtures for the sides battling relegation. Now I've convinced myself we're safe in the space of a paragraph, I shall move on to the Watford game.

I really feel Che Adams should be given an extended run in the side now. Build his confidence and allow him to get match sharp. Only then can we see what he's capable of. Obafemi has had plenty of opportunities to prove his worth and we all know what Shane Long has to offer. I would like RH to back Adams now and give him a real opportunity to show he can cut it at this level. Outside of that, I would like to see RH be brave with team selection. We often hear how the academy is a big part of our strategy and we need to use academy players more if we are to make that a reality. Smallbone needs to be given game time over Romeu and I'm really keen to see what Vokins can offer at LB. If there was ever a time to try out Lewis between the sticks, it's now. Sometimes giving a youth a chance pays dividends; just look at how Ramsdale took his opportunity at AFCB. I'm also intrigued by what N'Lundulu has to offer. RH doesn't appear to rate him but he's never going to have a better chance of trying out new players than now. PEH wants to leave so shouldn't play another game unless we have an injury crisis. Romeu hasn't performed well for some time now, so it would feel like a step backwards bringing him back into the action. We have to look forward, use the players who really want to wear the shirt and have a future with us. RH needs to show courage and back some of the younger lads to demonstrate faith in them and to allow them to grow. That includes allowing them to learn from mistakes and mature. We appear to have little choice but to play Vestergaard today and I hope he's up for the fight. It's a chance to put himself in the shop window, but it may also be a case of him wanting to avoid an injury that could scupper any move. As for Danso, I'm not sure what anyone was thinking when that deal was brokered, player included!

Today's game will be tough for Saints, as Watford have to start picking up points. I agree that a draw would be a good result for us, although I don't think it's beyond the realms of comprehension that we could take all three points. I hope for a good, honest performance that doesn't involve us handing over the points through individual errors.

Last point - does anyone have a view on Klarer and N'Lundulu? Are they good enough to get a chance, or are they likely to be sold?

COYR.

1

Peterx added 13:57 - Jun 28
Good time to rest Ings and play Adams and Long together. We need someone who can run in behind which in my view means we wont play Ings and Adams together in general as neither have run in behind pace.

Also no need to play PEH unless we are desperate, lets get Smallbone or Romeu or Danso in that role. If Harrison Reed was not on loan and in the squad this would be time to test him for sure.

KWP looked good against Arsenal, lets play him.

Vestegaard to me is a no brainer at the back, and might be a good thing based on the threat from the likes of Deeney at set pieces. Long is also an asset n defence with his header potential.
1

SanMarco added 14:44 - Jun 28
We are safe St Gats. If we lose 8 in a row starting with Arsenal we could just be in trouble but we won't lose 8 in a row. Our worst 8 game run in history would get us a couple of points and 39 would definitely be enough. That said we wont ever lose 0-9 at home will we??!!

Today will be tough. We need the 6 players not in the defence to take the pressure off. If Watford get at us they will score more than 1.

2

underweststand added 15:16 - Jun 28
Not so much of a team selection for Ralph but merely trying to fill the gaps against a Watford side who always play a physical game and field a tough line-up with tall men. Don't expect the slightly-injured PEH to play prior to his predicted transfer.
We may see Vestergaard alongside Bednarek (at least they know each other) but if Danso is to get another chance it has to be today rather than against either of Manchester clubs
and maybe even a chance for Romeu to return to the start side.
Walker-Peters looked another class from Valery who doesn't look anything like the player we saw in early season.
We need to score goals and Ralph to use all the" bench candidates" and maybe even a chance for Obafemi and Adams to get some game time.

Quite a few draws in our recent games v. Watford so perhaps one point maybe the most we can expect..but then again - it is an away game - so who knows?
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