|Southampton 0 v 0 Burnley|
Barclays Premier League
Sunday, 12th August 2018 Kick-off 13:30
Saints At Burnley The Preview
Friday, 23rd Feb 2018 09:48
Saints head up to Lancashire with confidence after a run of wins in the FA Cup plus their first win in the Premier League for over two months recently, can they catch a Burnley side dropping like a stone.
Going into this game if ever there was a right time to play a side this could be it, Burnely go into this weekend on an awful run of form having failed to win a game in any competition since beating Stoke on 12th December, a run totalling 10 Premier League games and 1 in the FA Cup.
That has seen them lose 5 and draw 5 of those games and in the last half dozen games, they have picked up only 2 points and score 3 goals, if Saints fans think our form has been bad, then they need to look at Burnley's, their gret start to the season mean they still sit in 7th place, but unless they pick up then they will start to drop down the table although they probably have enough points that relegation will never be an issue this season.
So there is no reason why we should not go there with every confidence, some belittle our recent wins at West Brom by saying they are against the worst team in the Premier League, but the Baggies have picked up more points than Burnley in the past couple of months, so were a harder side to beat than many would give them credit for.
I would hope that Mauricio Pellegrino is learning some lessons and that he sees the neccesity of keeping a settled side and sticking with it, in fairness he has done in recent weeks and we are starting to get some consistency.
Yes some fans went back into meltdown after the result against Liverpool, but that was a game that just didn't go our way, once we conceded a second goal just before half time it knocked the stuffing out of us and Liverpool were content to sit back on their lead and make sure they didn't give the game away, that is football, some games you lose and no team can be 100% all of the time, so we have to go again after that defeat as we did at West Brom last Saturday.
Hopefully changes will be at a minimum, certainly the goalkeeper and defence should stay the same.
In midfield Jojbjerg and Lemina should start and then Pellegrino needs to start to make decisions, Tadic did well at West Brom as well as did Ward Prowse who is in a fine run of form, so who should fill the 5th midfield spot ?
Certainly there are choices, Nathan Redmond started up at the Hawthorns to begin his rehabilitation after being taken out of the firing line and let no one down, but I think the manager will choose between a defensive option in Romeu and an attacking one in Boufal.
Peronally I think he will go for Romeu, keep it tight and look to try and push on in the second half with a bench that will be attacking in nature even without Shane Long who is reported as not being fit enough for this one.
Guido Carrillo should start up front, some would complain he hasn't scored yet, but he is offering a different dimension to the Saints attack, at West Brom last week his off the ball running and general all round play saw him play a part in both goals and he is worth his place.
So I would like to see
Soares, Stephens, Hoedt, Bertrand
Hojbjerg, Lemina, Romeu
Ward Prowse, Tadic
Subs, Forster, Bednarek, Boufal, Redmond, Sims, Gabbiadini, Pied.
A very attacking bench, but I think it covers all areas and we have to mix and match a little if we have injuries at the back.
Saints have to go to Turf Moor and play not only with confidence but without fear, we have a good squad, with respect much better than the one Burnely can put out, the difference between the sides this season has been what the respective managers can get out of their sides, Sean Dyche has taken a limited squad to a great position, but ultimately it is batting above it's weight and it's real position is much lower.
Mauricio Pellegrino has taken a good squad, certainly one that is capable of 7th or 8th if manged correctly and not got the best out of it, he now needs to do so.
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