Southampton face Tottenham Hotspur on Boxing Day in their second visit to Wembley in 2017 as they look to improve upon their disappointing results of late, which has seen just one win in ten matches.
Spurs have been frustrating themselves, putting in a number of inconsistent performances, particularly in front of their supporters at Wembley against teams they’d expect to beat.
Saints come into the game on the back of a frustrating 1-1 draw against Huddersfield Town – a match which they well and truly should have claimed all three points in.
As for Spurs, it was a much more comfortable encounter for them as they claimed a dominant 3-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor thanks to a sublime hat-trick from their talisman Harry Kane.
Spurs started the season strongly but have been really inconsistent of late. However following the win at Burnley, they are now going to be battling with Liverpool and Arsenal in the race to claim the final place in next season’s Champions League.
As for Saints, the form and performances in the past couple of months have been very worrying as they have claimed three points on just one occasion out of their last ten matches. This came against Everton who, at the time, were out of sorts.
Over the past month, it’s been a pattern for the Saints to gain a lead and then throw it away again, which is where the frustration lies with the supporters, who expect much better.
Southampton’s away form has been very concerning this season, as they have won just one of the their eight away games which came against Crystal Palace early on when they were struggling.
Since then, they have picked up just three points on their travels in the other six matches which comes as a real worry as they face four of their next five matches in all competitions away from St Mary’s.
Spurs have picked up their form at Wembley after initially struggling and have collected 18 points from their nine home games, including five wins.
The most recent fixture between the two at Tottenham came last season when the hosts picked up a narrow 2-1 victory thanks to goals from Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen, whilst James Ward-Prowse notched Saints’ consolation goal.
In terms of team news, Saints remain without Cedric Soares, who is ruled out until the New Year. Ryan Bertrand is a doubt after missing the draw with Huddersfield Town last weekend. Charlie Austin will also miss the game after picking up a hamstring injury in the second-half of the game at the weekend whilst also being charged with violent conduct by the FA for an incident with Terriers goalkeeper Jonas Lössl.
Spurs remain without former Saints Victor Wanyama and Toby Alderweireld as they work their way back from long-term injuries. Midfielder Harry Winks will have a late test to see if he can feature after picking up an ankle injury prior to their previous match at Burnley.
I think that this will be a tight encounter on Boxing Day but feel as though Spurs’ quality will shine through in what is a weakened Saints defence.
I believe that Spurs will just edge this one by 1-0 at Wembley Stadium.