Written by billythekid
After our first home win of the season by 3-1 against Everton, our next game is away, this time the short trip over the border to Southampton’s (Saints) ground for our team and fans. A frustrating place for Cherries fans over the years to visit, be it their old ground at the Dell or these days since 2001, St Mary’s Stadium, our side have never managed to win there, let’s hope this season that record is put to bed. This is the second game in a row that the game is being shown live by the Sky television cameras, this time on a Friday night at 8 pm. When is a local derby not a derby? When Southampton and AFCB meet! That seems to be the view of a number of fans, even though the two grounds are only 32 miles apart and we will have been playing them home and away for the last 5 seasons. Their ‘real derby’ will be the following week when they play Portsmouth (Pompey) at Fratton Park in the League Cup, their two grounds are only just under 20 miles apart. The last time these Hampshire rivals met was in the Championship seven years ago.
The Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl is in his second season in charge after joining the club in December 2018, replacing the previous manager Mark Hughes. Both these managers had one thing in common, they both saved Saints from relegation. The seasons of 2017-18 (Mark Hughes manager) and 2018-19 (Ralph Hasenhuttl manager), this away game was played on the Saturdays of April 27th 2018 and April 28th 2019. Both these games were significant for the Saints, in the game last season they picked up a point in the thrilling 3-3 draw to make sure of staying in the Premier League. The season of 2017-18 also saw the Saints pick up vital points against AFCB while in a relegation battle. That time they won 2-1, this was after a previous run of five games with one draw and four defeats, but that victory and 3 points helped the Hampshire club to avoid relegation at the end of the season.
In the Summer Saints signed Strikers Che Adams from Birmingham City for £15 million and Danny Ings after a season-long loan from Liverpool for £20 million. Winger Moussa Djenepo from Standard Liege for £15 million.
Southampton started the season with two defeats. First was the 3-0 defeat away at Burnley, this was followed with a 1-2 home loss against Liverpool. The Saints then gained their first win of the season away against Brighton 0-2. This was followed with a 1-1 draw at home against Manchester United. In their most recent game Saints picked up 3 points away at Sheffield United for their second away win of the season.
In our two games against Saints, last season both games ended in draws. In the four Premier League games away from home against the Hampshire side, we have come away with 2 points out of a possible 12. In all our league games against Southampton, AFCB have W 0, D 4, L 8. In all competitions, AFCB have W 7, D 9, L 13.
Saints Team News
Nathan Redmond has been out with an ankle injury and doubtful for this game.
Saints Player To Watch
Danny Ings must be a threat, always looking to sniff out a chance and will be looking to do this against his first club. On the wing, in an attacking role, Moussa Djenepo will be one our defence will need to watch.
AFCB Team News
It was good to see Lewis Cook back after such a long time out, will two games in 5 days be too much for Lewis? Will have to wait and see who Eddie chooses. Jefferson Lerma came on as a sub against Everton so will definitely be back in contention for his midfield spot alongside Philip Billing to give it some ‘bite’.
AFCB Player To Watch
A few had good games against Everton, but goals win games, so with 3 goals in his last two outings will go for Callum Wilson again. He looks full of confidence and that lob over Pickford was taken so calmly. Also, the game could be won by who gets control of midfield.
The referee is Chris Kavanagh, we had him for two away defeats last season, both involving London teams and five goals. Spurs 5-0 and Arsenal 5-1.
Ah, the most wonderful time of the year is here again. When we go rocking up to St Mary’s full of confidence , players hitting form and coming back from injury, Echo interviews when players talk about knowing how important it is to the fans, Southampton getting all precious about only being rivals with Pompey ( makes them think they’re hard ) …and then …well we all know what happens .
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