Tottenham is coming hot off the heels of a 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace this past weekend. It was quite controversial, the game even going ahead, because it had been widely reported that the match was going to be postponed. Now they face Southampton just a mere 48 hours later; madness.
That they did not postpone this fixture is yet another example of how the Premier League has been almost amateur in its handling of this new COVID outbreak. Spurs were still at their training base, awaiting word from the Premier League, on the morning of that fixture.
Southampton FC vs Tottenham Hotspur FYIs:
Kick-off time: 3 PM GMT, 28th December 2021
Tottenham Starting XI Prediction: go here
Premier League Preview Podcast: go here
Form Guide (All Competitions): Southampton (DDLDW) Tottenham (WLDWW)
Palace, who had six first-team players, and manager Patrick Vieira, test positive for COVID then canceled their pre-match activities in anticipation of an announcement from the league.
Then there were the fans, left completely in the dark, in another display of apathy toward the people who fill the stadiums.
It was an absolute mess. We have been dealing with this virus for two years now, essentially. You’d think a multi-billion dollar business like the Premier League would have figured out how to deal with severe outbreaks at this point.
That’s enough of my diatribe about that. Let’s look at the team news for Spurs as we head into this clash.
The biggest news, I guess, is the forced rotation that this absolutely crazy schedule brings. There are many first-team regulars who might just get an enforced rest in this one. The starting xi could have significant changes here, but you’ll have to read my starting xi prediction article to find out what I think they might be.
There are no fresh injury concerns for Antonio Conte’s charges. Cristian Romero remains out for the foreseeable future and I do not expect Ryan Sessegnon to be in first-team contention until the New Year.
In further good news, Spanish speedster Bryan Gil has fully recovered from the coronavirus after making an appearance from the bench against Palace. That leaves just youth prospect, Dane Scarlett, as the only player still listed as struggling with COVID-19. This must be an immense relief for a club that the virus had decimated at the beginning of this month.
Given the 48 hour turnaround, this match could go either way. I am sticking with Spurs. They have looked like a team transformed under Antonio Conte and I am expecting them to bank three more points at St. Mary’s.