Tottenham heads to the south coast to St. Mary’s to take on Southampton in match week 20 of the English Premier League. Both sides are coming off of victories in the Boxing Day round. Spurs dismantled a COVID-affected Crystal Palace, in a match that should not have gone ahead, 3-0. Southampton secured a surprise victory in their Boxing Day fixture, taking care of West Ham United 3-2 in a Christmas goal-fest.
In the last twelve years, Tottenham has been brilliant in their final calendar year fixtures. Since 2009 they have lost only once in their final fixture of the year. The one blip on that impeccable record is a 3-1 defeat to Wolverhampton in 2018.
The exact opposite is true for the Saints. In the last ten years, they haven’t won a single game on their last matchday of the calendar year. Their last victory in their final fixture of the year came against Huddersfield in 2010 when both sides were in the third tier of the English footballing period, League One.
Southampton vs Tottenham FYIs:
Kick-off time: 3 PM GMT, 28th December 2021
Team News: go here
Premier League Preview Podcast: go here
Form Guide (All Competitions): Southampton (DDLDW) Tottenham (WLDWW)
For the last time in 2021, let’s find out what the crystal ball predicts the Tottenham line-up will look like.
Despite predicting sweeping changes because of the 48-hour turnaround in the team news part of this Tottenham preview, I do not foresee a lot of change in the back half of the pitch.
Hugo Lloris will continue as the goalkeeper. Spurs don’t have any other options that are at the right level to play in the Premier League.
In the back three, I think Eric Dier will keep his spot, but Spurs management will change his partners from the last fixture. I think Joe Rodon gets a run to the right of Dier, whilst Ben Davies starts to his left.
The wingback positions will see Matt Doherty start on the right as he continues to rebuild his battered reputation after a string of terrible performances at the start of this year. On the left-wing Sergio Reguilon starts.
Midfield, we see more change as Pierre Emile Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp are both rested, with Harry Winks and Tanguy Ndombele replacing the pair. Winks has looked sensational every time Conte has given him a start.
In attack, I think Harry Kane will continue at center forward. The players on either side of him will change as Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura are given a rest.
In their place, I think Bryan Gil will start on the left with Steven Bergwijn doing a job on the right-hand side of the attack.
Despite the 48-hour turnaround and the multiple changes to the starting xi, I am sticking with Spurs winning this one.
Don’t expect a match of the highest quality, but definitely expect to see the Lilywhites take three points back to London.
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