Tottenham Hotspur can continue their recent strong run of form by securing all three points away to a struggling Southampton side in the English Premier League on Sunday (11am ET).
While Spurs have won six of their last eight league matches and were able to progress undefeated through the Christmas period, Southampton’s last league victory came back in late November and they have picked up just five points from their subsequent 10 matches.
That sequence of results has seen Southampton fall from a comfortable mid-table position to the edge of the relegation zone. No side has picked up less points than they have over the last month and a half and it is therefore inevitable that pressure is starting to build on Mauricio Pellegrino. He is favorite with the UK bookies to be the next manager to leave his post.
Things certainly haven’t gone as well as hoped for the former Alaves coach, but he can also claim to have at least partly been the victim of circumstance. Saints have consistently sold their best players in recent seasons and whereas academy graduates and astute signings previously plugged the gaps, the pipeline of ready replacements seems to be drying up.
In retrospect, Claude Puel did a very solid job to usher Southampton to an eighth place finish and a cup final last season. Supporters were not particularly enamoured with his style of play but there has been little change on that particular front under Pellegrino, despite promises of assertive and attacking soccer when he was presented as the club’s new coach last summer.
The numbers still suggest that Southampton should be okay. Neither their attack nor their defence is particularly impressive but both are solidly mid-table. Their underlying statistics also suggest that they have been a tad unlucky at both ends of the pitch so far this season, which is something that should even out over the remainder of the campaign.
A positive result against Spurs would be a welcome bonus, but the real key will be to secure as many points as possible in the run of matches that follows Sunday’s encounter. Six of Southampton’s following eight fixtures are against sides in the bottom half of the Premier League table.
It was Southampton who gave Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino his first opportunity in English soccer, but he certainly hasn’t gone easy on them since leaving. Spurs have won five of the seven encounters between the sides following his switch to North London in 2014, including a 4-1 win at St Mary’s last season and a 5-2 triumph at Wembley on Boxing Day.
That latter victory comprised part of Tottenham’s strong run of results through Christmas and the New Year, which saw them recover from a disappointing six-match stretch from late October through early December to close right up to the top four once again. They are fifth, just three points shy of Liverpool and Chelsea, the current occupants of third and fourth.
The manner in which Pochettino’s side picked apart Everton last weekend showed exactly what Southampton will be up against this weekend. Son Heung-Min gave them a first-half lead, before a double from Harry Kane and a wonderfully worked team goal that involved all eleven players and was finished superbly by Christian Eriksen completed the 4-0 rout.
Tottenham cannot boast quite the same attacking potency as Liverpool or league leaders Manchester City, but they are still one of only four Premier League sides to have averaged two or more goals per match so far this season. Coupled with what is generally a very solid defensive unit, particularly so when Toby Alderweireld is fit, it makes them a strong and well-balanced side.
Whether that will be enough to get them into the top four for a third consecutive season remains to be seen. What is certain is that they will need to get better results against their direct rivals during the remainder of the campaign if they are to do so, starting with the run of fixtures against Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal that follows their trip to the south coast of England this weekend.
Three points should prove much more easily attainable on Sunday. Spurs are in form, Southampton are not, and the ease with which Spurs triumphed in their meeting at Wembley just a few weeks ago illustrated clearly the current gulf between the sides. A comfortable away win should be expected and that is what we are recommending if you are planning a bet with on this Premier League soccer match with one of our recommended US sportsbooks.
Our Preview’s Southampton vs Tottenham Hotspur Betting Predictions & Pick
- Back Tottenham Hotspur -1 goal on the spread @ best odds of +165 with Intertops.