Rested and ready, Southampton prepare to face Tottenham Hotspur this Saturday at White Hart Lane. Can we sustain our momentum following strong performances against Manchester United, Sunderland and Watford? Can we take advantage of an injury ridden Spurs side? Let’s take a look at how we might march on with momentum this weekend.
December 28th to February 4th was a difficult time for Southampton. We lost four in a row beginning with Tottenham, won once, and then lost two more. Even in our lone victory against Leicester, we lost our club captain to injury. As a Saints’ fan, I’ll admit I was beyond worried. How were we expected to march on? With a thumping 4 – 0 victory against Sunderland, that’s how.
Even though this was a disheartening period, it was, more importantly, a transformative one. The players had regrouped. With confidence and time to prepare, Southampton faced Manchester United in the EFL cup. Though the cruelty of the football gods would have us lose, the Saints deserved far more in our match against United, and the pride for our club reached an incredible peak. These things have been particularly evident in Nathan Redmond. He’s been playing out of his skin recently – attacking well and working hard on defence – and we need to keep his form elevated against Spurs come Saturday.
With tremendous effort in both our matches against Sunderland and United, followed by a two-goal performance versus Watford, Redmond has been firing on all cylinders for several weeks now. During that time he has completed ten dribbles and nine shots, with an average WhoScored rating of 8.16.
I had long been a fan of his during his time with Norwich, and I was excited at his purchase. Though some fans have rightly groaned about his performances, I believe Redmond will play a pivotal role in Southampton’s upcoming clash with Tottenham. (And if numbers are anything to go by, Squawka shows Redmond to be our second-best player this season).
Harry Kane has picked up an injury and Danny Rose is still out injured as well, meaning Mauricio Pochettino will be putting extra pressure on Kyle Walker to provide a threat going forward. Redmond will be given the difficult task of tracking Walker’s sideline gallops, but if opportunity allows, he has the chance to take advantage of the empty space left behind.
Southampton will need to effectively break up Tottenham’s play and quickly locate an outlet – most likely the in-form Redmond – if we wish to break down a side that has lost as many League games as Chelsea this season.
As Cédric said recently, Southampton are “in a good moment.” He feels as I do that we have the confidence and form to challenge Tottenham, and hopefully – with the continued success of Redmond – the Saints shall continue to march with momentum.