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Huddersfield Town 1 v 1 Southampton
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 25th November 2023 Kick-off 15:00
Southampton At Huddersfield Town The Preview
Friday, 24th Nov 2023 09:00

All Saints supporters eyes are on Yorkshire this weekend, firstly with Rotherham hosting Leeds on Friday evening, then on Saturday afternoon when 4th from top take on 4th from bottom at the John Smith's Stadium.

The next four games are extremely winnable for Southampton, however as all Saints supporters know, just when you think things are going well or for that matter bad, we get a shock result.

But this Saints side is different from the one that started the season, over the past couple of months, Russell Martin has formed what he sees as the foundation of his starting XI and fine tuned the possession football game and he has reaped the rewards.

But this will mean that he has a dilemma, does he go for the jugular or does he stick with a more defensive line up, as he has done in the past 4 games and look to wear the opposition down and score late on.

As I discussed in an article on Wednesday, Russell Martin now has a plethora of options in the back four, James Bree has done a good job, if you play Kamaldeen Sulemana, you have to be aware that he is a free spirit and at times is not going to do his job defensively, when Bree came in for Ryan Manning he changed the set up of the side in that being more defensive minded he covered the gaps.

But should we be so conservative against a side who have not only the 3rd worst attack in the division, but also the 3rd worst defence, should Ryan manning be restored to left back, or for that matter perhaps a hybrid version of both players in Mason Holgate who can also play as a full back or wing back as well as in the centre after his superb game against West Brom in the centre of defence.

There will be those that will spit feathers at the mere mention of Ryan Manning's name, but it does show the depth that we have in defence.

Other than that you think that it may well be business as usual assuming that everyone is fit, Will Smallbone and Flynn Downes have formed a good partnership and do the simple things in order to get the ball to those who can do the damage.

But again the key could perhaps be who comes off the bench, our possession game wears sides out, when we make changes we bring on players who can enhance the team, not just offer fresh legs, not many teams in this division have these luxuries.

That means the likes of not only Shea Charles and Ryan Fraser, but now perhaps Ross Stewart who I would expect to again start on the bench as he builds up his fitness levels.

So on paper this looks like another victory for Southampton, we have been better away from home than at St Mary's, there are several reasons behind that, but in the main they have now been addressed, but hopefully we will continue our winning streak on the road.

But before the game kicks off both sets of supporters will be casting their eyes to New York, not the Big Apple in the USA, but the New York Stadium in Rotherham where Leeds United are the visitors.

The result there will affect both Saints and Huddersfield, Leeds start the game a point ahead of us and will be looking to put the pressure on not only the clubs above them, but Saints with a four point gap.

A win for Rotherham will bring them within a point of safety and that means Huddersfield who sit 4th from bottom.

Saints fans will take what they can get, basically any result other than a Leeds win will mean that we would have a great opportunity to jump above Leeds into 2nd spot.

One man who won't be in his usual place though will be Russell Martin, he will serve a one match touchline ban for amassing 3 yellow cards and will watch this one from the stands.

Whether he will be in the dressing room before the match is unclear, but controlling the team in the dug out will be assistant Matt Gill, Russell Martin had this to say as reported in the Daily Echo.

“I presume I'll be sitting in the director's box. Gilly will be on the touchline with the rest of the staff.

"It will be frustrating for me, but I will have to learn from it as a young-ish manager - although I am approaching the 200-game mark."

"I'm sure it won't make a difference to the team. Ultimately, at that point, you can only try to help the boys a little bit.

"It's more of an annoyance for me really. It's something that I will try and learn from. I think two of the bookings have been nonsensical - but that's my opinion."

"I haven't been booked for screaming at our own team, we don't do that with our players. Sometimes it's the decisions or the lack of communication.

"As a group of staff, I think we are quite calm on the whole. You almost get punished for the one moment you're not sometimes.

"I've had a conversation with Kevin Friend about that recently which was good. I have to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"But I'm not going to change. I am passionate about the team and I care about the players - on the whole, I think we conduct ourselves really well."

So aside from the manager sitting in the stands the 2,500 travelling Saints supporters will be looking for it to be business as usual up at Huddersfield and hopefully come 5pm on Saturday we will not only have taken another step forward, but will have pulled back a point or two on the three teams above us.

Photo: Action Images

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IanRC added 10:47 - Nov 24
I don’t know what you have against Kamaldeen, for me he is the first name on the team sheet because of his ability to create opportunities. I also do not know where this supposed issue of him neglecting defensive duties has come from I can remember him tracking back very effectively in all the games I have seen him in this season. It’s a complete no brainier for me to have him playing particularly if Ross Stewart is going to get a run out too.

SaintNick added 13:01 - Nov 24
I dont have anything against Kameldeen, I think he is a superb player, but he is a free spirit and the defensive side of his game is not the best, my issue was when Ryan Manning used to overlap, he didn't drop in behind him to cover but raced ahead of him, hence we got caught on the break down the left on too many occasions.

Yes he does track back sometimes, but at Millwall he tracked back and won the ball near the left corner flag, he then proceeded to go on a mazy dribble which in the end worked out, but if he had lost the ball could have put us in real trouble.

My points were about using him to his abilities and making sure that we didnt get caught on the break, at no point did I say he should not play in this game, I can't see that I have said anything that would suggest I have anything against the player

JoeEgg added 13:14 - Nov 24
"I dont have anything against Kameldeen, I think he is a superb player"

So just how many 'superb' players do we have? We are playing probably the worst team in the Championship and Kamaldeen is probably our most creative player. The finished product is often disappointing and this seems the perfect opportunity for Samaldeen to actually provide an assist especially with Stewart in the team!

Bowlercow added 22:09 - Nov 24
Our goal difference needs a bit of a lift so I hope he will go for it big time Leeds only got 1 point at Rotherham so a good chance to go a ove them and at worst remain 9 behind Ipswich
Kammy said in interview that if his team mates could keep up with him he should have 10 assists by now Like Ian above he is an automatic choice for me although I can see the advantage of having him off the bench against tired legs

Peterx added 05:10 - Nov 25
Really looking forward to this, but it is a potential banana skin.

I hope we are going to see Ross Stewart given decent minutes at Centre Forward.

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