Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood will have fond memories of playing Southampton, the last time the two sides did battle a spirited Spurs victory led to Sherwood being awarded with a two-year contract at White Hart Lane, and after a dogged, but losing effort, Thursday night in Portugal against Benfica, the side should be looking to push on as they look to secure their pathway into Europe next season.
The Spurs boss swapped the dug out for the stands and the gilet for a suit and tie Thursday evening, as he oversaw his Spurs side come ever so close to staging an impressive comeback to make it into the quarter-finals of the Europa League. If this is a sign of Tottenham having a strong end to the season then last weekend’s North London derby may well have been the last time we would have seen Sherwood’s trademark, sleeveless garment.
There isn’t much for the Spurs boss to shout about when it comes to injuries though, Michael Dawson, Vlad Chiriches, Kyle Walker, Erik Lamela, Etienne Capoue, Paulinho and Hugo Lloris, who all missed their second-leg at the Estadio Do Luz, look set to miss out again on Sunday. Younes Kaboul, Moussa Dembele and Emmanuel Adebayor all look set to return after being named in Sherwood’s match day squad.
Harry Kane, who impressed at the Stadium of Light after coming on for the largely ineffective Roberto Soldado, will be pushing for a starting spot, after the young striker had a hand in both of Spurs’ goals. Sherwood has previously likened him to Wayne Rooney and with the manager a firm believer in promoting youth, with players such as Nabil Bentaleb and Zeki Fryers impressing, Kane could be the latest player to burst into his side.
Southampton on the other hand have been set a challenge by their new chairman Ralph Krueger, to catch Everton and Manchester United to steal the last qualifying spot for the Europa League. The Saints are currently three points behind the Toffees and United, and the former professional ice hockey player believes that sixth place is something they should be aiming for, especially as they host David Moyes’ side on the last day of the season.
The last time the Saints won in North London was 10 years ago, although they have won three of their last five, Mauricio Pochettino will be confident of getting something out a game, where the result could mean a lot in terms of both clubs’ positioning come the end of the season. He will once again be looking at the England quartet of Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and James Rodriguez to turn up on the day, with Rodriguez and Lambert both scoring in the sides last match, a 4-2 victory over Norwich City at St Mary’s. Pochettino will be missing Morgan Schneiderlin, the midfielder has a groin problem and with Victor Wanyama and Jack Cork both long-term absentees they could find themselves light in the centre of the park.
Both sides have European aspirations and with Spurs going through a rough patch, only winning twice in their last eight, the Saints will fancy their chances of breaking their White Hart Lane hoodoo.
PAST THREE MEETINGS:
22/12/2013: Southampton 2 (Lallana, Lambert) – Tottenham Hotspur 3 (Adebayor x2, Hooiveld OG)
4/5/2013: Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Bale) - Southampton 0
28/10/2012: Southampton 1 (Rodriguez) – Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Bale, Dempsey)
Southampton have not won at White Hart Lane since January 2003, convincingly beating Tottenham 4-0.
Southampton strikers James Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert have scored 21 goals between this season, whereas Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor have only managed 14 goals between them in all competitions.
Tottenham have only managed three clean sheets in their last 10 matches.
Tottenham have only won six games against other sides in the top 10 this season playing a total of sixteen.
Tottenham Hotspur: 2.25
TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at 1.30pm on Sunday 23 March.
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