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Southampton 2 v 0 Cardiff City
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 2nd December 2023 Kick-off 15:00
Southampton V Cardiff City The Preview
Friday, 1st Dec 2023 07:45

Saints look to make it 11 games in a row unbeaten and in doing so perhaps cutting the gap between the teams above us, when we take on Cardiff City on Saturday afternoon, but they will need to step up a gear from the last two games.

Cardiff arrive at St Mary's having suffered a setback in midweek losing to fellow promotion hopefuls West Bromwich Albion, that knocked them down to 9th, but on 27 points they know that a win on the South Coast would see them only 4 points behind Saints and very much in the promotion race.

There is a feeling amongst Saints supporters that the team isn't playing that well, yet it is still on a long unbeaten run and is slowly hauling back the top 2.

This has still left some fans unconvinced about both some members of the squad and also the manager, however it is perhaps a good sign that we have put in such a good run and are yet to truly hit our true potential.

The draw at Huddersfield felt like a defeat, but the reality is that in the last 5 games only Leeds have matched us for points and for any side 13 points from 15 is a very good return.

Cardiff themselves have won two and drawn one out of their last 5.

Now the games are coming thick and fast it will be the depth of the squad that will count, we will be without Sulemana and Ross Stewart on Saturday, yet we can bring in quality replacements and this will be key, have i said that before ?

Russell Martin made a few changes against Bristol City and is likely to make a few for the visit of the Bluebirds, the left back spot is likely to be up for grabs and might be an easy decision in Ryan Manning isn't fit after limping off in injury time on Wednesday night.

Obvious choice here is James bree, but there will be other areas that might see change, Will Smallbone could return to the midfield and Che Adams also to the starting line up.

The important things is to keep grinding out results, the performance doesn't matter it is all about doing what we do and getting results, some supporters moan about the style of play, but the truth is from what I have seen most of the teams in the division are playing some sort of possession game.

Certainly Bristol City did at the back, before humping it forward.

Our version is a little more sophisticated, bit on Wednesday I saw a little confidence sneaking into the game, Charley Alcatraz and Stuart Armstrong seemed more willing to turn and run at players rather than just pass the ball back to the back four.

This was evident in the second half on Wednesday and we created chances, start to put some away and suddenly things will fall into place.

But the next step is to beat Cardiff, it won't be easy, most teams sit back against us with men behind the ball and try to suffocate us and catch us on the break, we have learnt to deal with that defensively, we just now need to start scoring and we have enough players in the squad capable of not only getting into double figures but also 6-10 goals a season.

Win this game and more people will take note, many of them our own supporters, at half time on Wednesday too many were moaning, yes it wasn't good but we were a team that are unbeaten and we are patient on the pitch, we just need to be patient in the stands as well.

This side more than any other in the Championship is getting better by the game, we just all need to start to believe.

Photo: Action Images

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Block8 added 09:40 - Dec 1
There are times in our style of play when we need to actually go past players to make the space for us to exploit. In the second half against Bristol City we started to do that & Charlie made some great touches and turns. It allows us add a little pace to our passing game. When we do this we look very good and this may be the way to ease past the five man defences that now seem to be the norm against us. Although it sometimes feels like death by football (first half at Huddersfield particularly) when we do move the ball at pace it lifts the performance, the crowd and sets a bit of panic into the opposition.
However you look at it it is a million miles better than last season.

SaintPaulVW added 10:54 - Dec 1
'death by football' love it.

Bowlercow added 12:07 - Dec 1
Cardiff on a 3 game winning streak away from home We must put a stop to that

I think Stu A may well get a rest and if so a start for Aribo would be good
If Kammy is a long term Jon it could rule him out of the ACN So we lose him now rather than Jan

SonicBoom added 12:19 - Dec 1
The current problem is we only have one good half. If we have a good first half we mysteriously drop off in the second and vice verca. It would be good to see a front foot performance for 90 minutes.

davenbennett added 12:41 - Dec 1
The problem with our tippy tappy crappy style is that players get the back with their back to the opposition. That means either turning with the ball, risking losing it. Or passing backwards. In 'old fashion' football, the No.9 would play with his back to the goal. Try and chest it down, or flick on to the wingers. These players are either running onto the flick, or towards the chest down. It's the fundamental flaw with our style. We are facing the wrong way when receiving the ball!

DellBoyWally added 15:21 - Dec 1
Retro shirts! How about some retro football? Bring back memories from the back of Milton Road??!! Wee Georgie! Super Late Great Ron! (I always wonder how he got into the Gateway Hotel first after the game??!!)
Bang in a few goals like the 9 against Wolves.
My poor aging heart suffers with only 1 goal. Not sure how it'd fare if we knock in several but I'd risk it for the fun and enjoyment! And a more pleasurable 5.5 hour drive home.

Bowlercow added 20:07 - Dec 1
I suppose RIM will come in for some serious abuse from the Cardiff fans be ause of his association with their arch rivals As long as they concentrate on that instead of encouraging their team it could work out in our favour

kingolaf added 11:46 - Dec 2
The only thing we were moaning about at half-time on Wednesday was that awful ref.

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