By 90Min
December 22, 2017

Southampton host Huddersfield on Saturday, with the home side looking to steady the ship after a poor run of results.

Without a win in six games, times have been tough for the Saints in recent weeks. Manager Mauricio Pellegrino has been subject to some criticism due to his decision to drop key players like Virgil van Dijk and Charlie Austin in their defeat to Chelsea. 


Rumours of disharmony surround the Saints camp at the minute, but a win against Huddersfield on Saturday could lift spirits if only for a short while.

The away side come into the game after an amazing 4-1 victory over Watford at Vicarage Road. It's fair to say that no one saw that result coming, and the win lifted the Terriers to 11th, one spot ahead of Southampton.


The two sides met already this season in an uneventful 0-0 draw at the John Smith's Stadium. Many will be hoping that this scoreline will not repeat itself on Saturday.


Classic Encounter

These two sides have only met nine times in all competitions, with one of their best encounters coming in the 2010/11 season.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/GettyImages

Southampton welcomed the Terriers to St. Mary's in League One in December 2010. Both sides went into the game in good form and pushing for promotion. To the dismay of the home crowd, it was the away side that struck first through Englishman Lee Novak.

Despite going 1-0 down early on, the Saints responded in style, and two quick fire goals from Rickie Lambert and a youthful Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gave the home side the lead at the break.

Jan Kruger/GettyImages

Southampton came out the quicker of the two in the second period, and in the 54th minute defender Radhi Jaidi gave his side a 3-1 lead. A classy goal from winger Richard Chaplow soon followed and the Saints won the game 4-1.

The Saints finished second that season and went up automatically. As for Huddersfield, they finished third, and qualified for the play-offs. However, they lost in the final against Peterborough United and stayed in the division.


Key Battles


Oriol Romeu vs Aaron Mooy

Oriol Romeu has been ever-present for the Saints this campaign. Now 26, it seems like a long time ago that the Spain international broke into the Chelsea team and showed English football fans what he could do.

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Australia international Aaron Mooy has been a sensation for Huddersfield this season. With four goals and one assist so far, it is not hard to see why he was on the books at Manchester City a few years ago.

This key battle will more or less decide the outcome of the game. Whoever gains control of the midfield will dictate the game, and if Mooy is given the time and space to play, the Saints could find themselves on the end of yet another defeat.

Nathan Redmond vs Tommy Smith

It is somewhat incredible to believe that Nathan Redmond is still only 23. The Englishman has been around the Premier League for some time now, and ever since joining Southampton back in 2016 has been a mainstay in their starting XI. 

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Terriers captain Tommy Smith has not had the best of times in the Premier League this season. The right-back has been targeted by most teams as a possible weak point in what has been at times a very weak back four. 

If Redmond is given the chance to attack Smith on a regular basis, then this match will only go one way, and that will be a win for the Saints. 


Team News

Southampton defenders Cedric Soares and Ryan Bertrand are doubts for the game on Saturday. 

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Elias Kachunga is out of the game, after the DR Congo international suffered medial ligament damage in the win at Vicarage Road.


Michael Hefele and Philip Biling both miss the game as well through injury. Jonathan Hogg is suspended after he was sent off last time out against Watford.

Potential Southampton Lineup: Forster, Stephens, Yoshida, Hoedt, Bertrand, Romeu, Hojbjerg, Redmond, Davis, Ward-Prowse, Austin.

Potential Huddersfield Lineup: Lossl, Smith, Zanka, Schindler, Lowe, Quaner, Mooy, Williams, Whitehead, Ince, Depoitre.


Prediction

Christopher Lee/GettyImages

Huddersfield will be buzzing after their win against Watford last week, and expect them to score at least once against the Saints on Saturday. The home side carry an attacking threat as well, and this game is likely to be decided on who can take their chances.


Southampton 1-2 Huddersfield  

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