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Southampton 1 v 2 Hull City
SkyBet Championship
Tuesday, 20th February 2024 Kick-off 19:45
Southampton V Hull City The Preview
Monday, 19th Feb 2024 23:30

Saints have two home games in the space of 5 days at St Mary’s this week and it is crucial that both are won and hopefully won well, first up though is promotion chasing Hull City who were beaten earlier in the season by a late late goal.

Saints need to make it three wins in a row this week by putting both Hull City and Millwall to the sword, if they take maximum points from both games then they will sit in second place whatever happens elsewhere and that will be a good place to be in given there will be just 12 games left after the weeken’d fixtures.

Of course we want results to go for us elsewhere, but 6 points out of the two home fixtures will put this very much in our own hands and that is what we are looking to achieve.

The good news is that Russell Martin will have players back from injury having confirmed that Che Adams is fit and ready to return to the squad, the news on Flynn Downes isn’t quite so positive as the midfielder is not yet 100%, so although he may return, the likelihood is that it will be against Millwall on Saturday, also nearing fitness is James Bree who has been out since getting injured at QPR two on this ago, but he may be a week or two yet.

So Russell Martin may again want to tweak his squad and the first question is at the back, Jack Stephen’s returned to the fray against West Brom, the strategy being that he made it a back four stronger defensively than that with Ryan Manning in.

But at home recently Manning has played a major part and I would think that if we want to take the game to Hull, then Manning has to return.

In the midfield I would think Will Smallbone and Shea Charles will keep their places and they will be joined by Stuart Armstrong. Although I would not be surprised if there was a start for Joe Rothwell or even Joe Aribo.

Up front there are many options at present, Sulemana and Edozie are back from injury as hopefully Che Charles will be and then we still have Adam Armstrong, David Brooks, Sekou Mara & Ryan Fraser.

I would suggest that no other side in the Championship has 7 Attacking options of not only that quality, but also quantity.

So with the season heading into the final quarter, I would expect Russell Martin to take every game as it comes, certainly on paper Hull are a far better side than Millwall, so strongest side out for it and then worry about the weekend.

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