Southampton host Huddersfield in the Premier League at St Mary’s in what has turned into a must-win game for the hosts.
Both sides have been disappointing of late and are both looking over their shoulders at the prospect of being dragged into a relegation fight.
The Saints come into the game on the back of a narrow 1-0 defeat to Chelsea last weekend at Stamford Bridge – a match in which they were dominated by Chelsea throughout.
As for Huddersfield, they picked up a much needed victory away at Watford as they claimed a 4-1 win. In the process, they scored their first away goals since the opening weekend of the season.
Huddersfield started the season very well but before the Watford game, had dropped off in the league. They have lost four of their previous six matches, which included a 5-0 mauling by Arsenal.
As for Saints, they have been very underwhelming this season and currently lie in 12th place in the table after a run of poor results.
Saints have won just four of their opening 18 games in the league and new manager Mauricio Pellegrino has struggled to get his thoughts across to the players as he looks to adapt to the league.
The hosts are on a worrying run of form, winning just once in their past nine matches which came against Everton at the end of November.
Saints’ home form really needs to improve if they are to make their way back up the table. Picking up just 12 points from their 10 home games so far is atrocious.
Huddersfield have also struggled on their travels so far, picking up just seven points from their nine away games whilst scoring just seven times in the process.
The two sides haven’t played each other too much of late, with the most recent meeting between the two at St Mary’s coming back in 2010.
The fixture was in League One and Saints ran out easy winners in front of their supporters with a 4-1 win, thanks to goals from Rickie Lambert, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Radhi Jaidi and Richard Chaplow.
In terms of team news, Saints will be without Cedric Soares as he nurses an ankle injury. Saints will also be without full-back Ryan Bertrand after he limped off with a knock to the hamstring in the closing stages of the defeat to Chelsea last weekend. Elsewhere, Saints have the rest of the squad available for the visit of the Terriers.
As for Huddersfield, they remain without long-term absentees Philip Billing and Jon Stankovic for the trip. Elias Kachunga picked up an injury in the win at Watford and scans have revealed that it’s a damaged MCL, which will rule him out for between 8-12 weeks. Michael Hefele and Chris Lowe are both being assessed and could make the long trip down south with the rest of the squad ahead of the game.
I anticipate that this will be a tight encounter between two sides who have, for the large part, struggled in front of goal this season. I think the first goal in this one could prove vital in the final outcome.
I think Saints will just edge this 1-0 in front of their supporters.