Tottenham Hotspur’s gallant title effort came crashing down on Monday night as they failed to get the win they needed to keep the race alive against a resilient Chelsea, and they now face a Southampton side who are still eyeing a place in Europe next season.
For the first time this term, it appeared Spurs could not handle to pressure at the Bridge last Monday. The game against Chelsea ended in controversy as both teams lost all sense of discipline, with the visitors ending the match with nine of their players’ names in the referee’s notebook.
The draw meant that Leicester City were crowned as the 2015/16 champions, but all is not lost for Mauricio Pochettino’s men, who must concentrate on ensuring they finish above arch-rivals Arsenal for the first time in Premier League history.
Spurs have only lost four times this season and have looked impressive at home though, and will be keen to end their season at White Hart Lane with a victory against Pochettino’s former employers.
The Saints meanwhile come into this clash off the back of an impressive 4-2 win over Man City last weekend in what was their 10th home win of the season.
Sadio Mane scored a hat-trick to help keep the south coast side in seventh place and still in contention to qualify for the Europa League.
However, with other teams behind them with games in hand, Ronald Koeman will know that realistically his team will have to win both games if they are to have any chance of finishing in a European spot.
Spurs’ fiery display away to Chelsea last time out has caused a massive dent in the squad available to Pochettino.
Moussa Dembele is likely to join Dele Alli on the sidelines after being charged with violent conduct towards Diego Costa in the draw at Stamford Bridge, while Danny Rose and Toby Alderweireld could also miss out after picking up injuries on Monday night.
The Saints will hope to capitalise on Spurs’ ailing side and steal three points from the fixture, and are boosted but the fact that they have no fresh injury concerns to worry about, but Graziano Pelle could return to the squad after missing out on the 18 against Manchester City last Sunday.
League Positions: Tottenham – 2nd (70 pts); Southampton – 7th (57 pts)
Previous Meetings: Southampton 0-2 Tottenham (December 19, 2015)
Form: Tottenham – WDWWDD; Southampton – WLWDWW
Key Men: Tottenham – Harry Kane; Southampton – Sadio Mane
Shoot Says: Tottenham 2-1 Southampton