Southampton vs. Tottenham
Venue: St. Mary’s Stadium
Kick off: 4PM
Tottenham Hotspur face Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium this afternoon with a place in the fifth round of the FA Cup on the line.
Spurs have struggled for momentum under Jose Mourinho and are without back-to-back wins since November, while Southampton have hit top form with six wins in their last eight.
Tottenham may have picked up a first win in five Premier League outings last time out, but they were far from convincing in their 2-1 victory over Norwich City.
The top flight’s bottom side pegged Spurs back with 20 minutes remaining – Teemu Pukki’s penalty cancelling out a Dele Alli opener – but Son Heung-min spared his side’s blushes late on.
It was a much-needed win for Mourinho’s men that keeps them in the hunt for a top-four finish, sitting as they do six points off Chelsea in the final Champions League qualifying berth.
Finishing fourth is one of Mourinho’s aims in his first season at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, along with ending the club’s 12-year wait for some silverware.
The one big blot on predecessor Mauricio Pochettino’s otherwise imperious record was a failure to lift any trophies, something Mourinho will be desperate to put right.
After seeing off Middlesbrough at the second attempt in round three, winning 2-1 in North London following a 1-1 draw in the initial tie, the Lilywhites have been handed a tricky fourth-round tie.
Only Liverpool and Manchester City are in better Premier League form than Southampton, who returned to winning ways in midweek with a 2-0 victory at Crystal Palace.
Whereas relegation was once a serious possibility, Ralph Hasenhuttl has transformed his side’s fortunes and momentum is very much on their side heading into this all-Premier League affair.
In fact, Southampton were deserved 1-0 winners when these two sides met in the league a few weeks ago thanks to an impressive Danny Ings strike.
Mourinho has only previously lost two games against an opponent in a single calendar month on one occasion.
Should Hasenhuttl again come out on top this afternoon, Tottenham’s decision to replace Pochettino with the Portuguese will be called into question.
Southampton possible XI: McCarthy, Danso, Stephens, Vestergaard, Bertrand, Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Hojbjerg, Redmond, Obafemi, Ings.
Tottenham Hotspur possible XI: Gazzaniga, Aurier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Tanganga, Dier, Ndombele, Gedson, Lo Celso, Lucas, Son.