|Southampton 1 v 1 Brighton and Hove Albion|
Barclays Premier League
Thursday, 16th July 2020 Kick-off 20:00
Saints V Brighton The Preview
Thursday, 16th Jul 2020 10:29
We have yet to beat Brighton at home in the Premier League, can we break that record and in doing so push ourselves closer to a top 10 finish.
We have a poor record at home to Brighton of late, our away record is much better, both Premier League games so far have seen draws and although we beat them 3-0 in our promotion season from the Championship, our two games in League One against them saw another draw and a defeat.
Even back in the late 70's early 90's when we had a burst of playing them in both Division One & Two the record was two Saints wins, one Brighton win and two draws, so we could do with beating them this evening to help balance things up a bit.
A win tonight would see us on 48 points, only 3 behind Burnley in 10th, although the Lancashire side have to remain favourites for that position with Norwich away and ironically Brighton at home as their final two fixtures. Likewise Everton host Aston Villa tonight followed by Sheffield United and finally Bournemouth at home.
So 10th is a tough ask, but if we win tonight it is still a possibility and depending on how results go could almost guarantee 12th a position we would have all taken at the start of December.
This shows just how far we have come and that we have many things to look forward to next season with a couple of good signings, but it is one step at a time and first things first and that is beating Brighton.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has already talked about the tiredness in the squad, so it is likely that there will be changes made, his pre match comments made me think that perhaps we might make a change at right back, Kevin Danso could be a wild card choice and certainly one of the midfield positions, up front I would expect to see either Obafemi or Shane Long get a start in place of Che Adams.
Considering changes highlights just where we are weak, at the back we have literally no other options we would feel comfortable with replacing any of the four who played the last game, yet in midfield and up front we have plenty of options.
My worry is that this game will be like many of the others that we have lost at St Mary's, we will have plenty of possession but we will get caught on the break, the Seagulls don't score many on the road but they don't concede many either and that is why playing away suits us best at the moment, we can sit and hold and then break ourselves.
Brighton arrive on 36 points, they are probably already safe, but they will still be looking over their shoulders and knowing tonight is the night that they can put all worries out of the way and make mathematically certain they are playing in the Premier League next season and can relax in the final two games.
This is why we need to win, we need to keep them needing to make sure, their final two games are against Newcastle the team just below us and Burnley who we are chasing in 10th, by beating them we give them something to play for, not to mention ourselves having a sniff at 10th.
I'm not going to keep repeating my usual warnings, they keep coming true with predictability, we can't change anything this season I just hope we do so once the transfer window opens, sadly I think we will fall just short of 10th and will rue those errors.
But on the whole this has been a positive restart for Saints, we just need to keep things going this season and then we can look forward to the next with positivity, Ralph Hasenhuttl has sorted out many problems this season, I have faith he can sort out the final few issues and the future is bright.
Photo: Action Images
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Matches of Yesteryear - Cardiff v U's 11/4/98 by wessex_exile
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Matches of Yesteryear - U's v Accrington Stanley 13/1/04 by wessex_exile
Happy Saturday everyone…well, less of the happy actually, with rain falling freely since yesterday afternoon. Still, good weather to be in lockdown for, takes away that feeling that you might be missing out on some quality time outside. In an open letter yesterday to all supporters of EFL clubs, chairman Rick Parry stated “…with or without spectators, delivering a successful conclusion to the 2019/20 season remains our goal to ensure the integrity of our competitions”. If that can be achieved, it appears almost certain these will be matches behind closed doors, streamed live to all supporters – which inevitably will break the long-held Saturday 3pm blackout for televised matches. We all know why that blackout was in place, but this is a difficult time, and it requires an innovative solution.
Matches of Yesteryear - Swansea v U's 7/3/06 by wessex_exile
Good afternoon everyone, I sincerely hope you’re all doing well, and hopefully not going too cabin-feverish! Today would have been a home match against Oldham Athletic, and after our surely guaranteed epic 3-2 victory at Sixfields on Good Friday, it would be just one more victory needed to guarantee a play-off place…think I might have been out in the sun a bit too much over the last few days 😊
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