Bournemouth - Southampton preview: Saints looking to move past Chelsea defeat

Ronald Koeman's side travel to South Coast rivals Bournemouth following their first defeat since the return of goalkeeper Fraser Forster

Bournemouth - Southampton preview: Saints looking to move past Chelsea defeat
Southampton came out on top last time they faced Bournemouth | Photo: Guardian

Southampton will be looking to return to winning ways on Tuesday night when they travel to South-Coast rivals, AFC Bournemouth.

The Saints travel to the Vitality Stadium on the back of a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea, which ended a run of six games unbeaten.

Eddie Howe’s side have scored just eight goals in their last 10 Premier League games and the Saints, despite conceding two on Saturday, have tightened their defence and so Ronald Koeman will surely be confident.  

Forster’s clean sheet run ended

The 2-1 loss to Guus Hiddink’s men also marked the end of Fraser Forster’s clean sheet run, which began on 13th of January at home to Watford, following his return from a long-term knee injury.

Koeman’s side missed the chance stay within one point of Manchester United, who beat title-chasing Arsenal 3-2 on Sunday thanks to two goals from teenage sensation Marcus Rashford.

The Saints manager will be desperate for three points after they lost their first league match since January second.

Saints win earlier contest

In the reverse fixture back in November, first-half goals from Steven Davis and Graziano Pelle were enough to secure the three points for Southampton but the away fixture provides a much tougher test.

Koeman will be hoping his side can replicate that performance in order to bring their Europa League hunt back on track.

Steven Davis (R) celebrates his goal against Bournemouth with Cedric Soares | Photo: Sky Sports
Steven Davis (R) celebrates his goal against Bournemouth with teammate Cedric Soares | Photo: Sky Sports

The away side should fancy their chances as they have won their last five in a row against the Cherries.

The race for safety

Eddie Howe’s men can go as far as eight points clear of the Premier League relegation zone with a win.

The Cherries have failed to win in their last four outings, most recently a 0-0 draw at Watford on Saturday, in all competitions and so a win would provide a much-needed lift.

Team news

Shane Long, who was withdrawn in the second half against Chelsea, faces a late fitness test due to a hamstring problem.

Victor Wanyama is set to sit out for the third of his five-match ban on Tuesday night after he received his third red card of the season for a bad tackle on Dimitri Payet against West Ham back in January.

The Saints could also be boosted by the return of long-term absentees Jay Rodriguez and Florin Gardos, who have returned to full training.

Eddie Howe will be without forward Junior Stanislas while fellow forward Lewis Grabban faces a late fitness test on a groin injury.

The home side could have summer signing Max Gradel back, after he injured his knee in August 2015, but Howe is expected not to risk the winger.