Southampton vs Hapoel Be'er Sheva Preview: Will the Saints qualify for the knockout stages?

Southampton vs Hapoel Be'er Sheva Preview: Will the Saints qualify for the knockout stages?

Winner takes all in the crunch match for qualification at St Mary's.

liam-billo
Liam Billo

Southampton will qualify for the last 32 of the Europa League if they can get at least a point at home to Hapoel Be'er Sheva on Thursday evening.

The Saints were thrashed 3-0 away at a struggling Crystal Palace last weekend, with Christian Benteke scoring twice and Saints could do with a quick bounce back.

Long and co. will be out to see Southampton through. Getty/
Long and co. will be out to see Southampton through. Getty/NurPhoto

Pastures New

Last time out in the Europa League they suffered a surprise loss away at Sparta Prague, who sit top of the group and look most likely to qualify as group leaders, as they only need a point.

Joshua Sims is likely to be given another chance to impress here after his great display against Everton, with Dusan Tadic remaining a doubt with a broken nose.

Sims had a great debut. Getty
Sims had a great debut. Getty/ Catherine Ivill/AMA

Charlie Austin and Shane Long will battle it out to lead the line, while Jose Fonte is unlikely to be involved for the first time in this campaign so far this year.

Hapoel Beer Sheva have claimed six of their points against Inter Milan, winning home and away to the Italian giants, who can’t qualify and have had a dreadful tournament all round.

Sheva currently have a huge 10 point lead at the top of the Israeli League and won 5-0 against FC Ashdod on the weekend.

Hapoel have a near fully fit squad to choose from and are set to name a similar team to the one that defeated Inter in the last fixture.

The meeting between the two earlier in the competition finished goalless in Israel were both sides could have snatched the victory.

Will this be Saints' last outing in the Europa this season? Photo: Getty/Michael Steele
Will this be Saints' last outing in the Europa this season? Photo: Getty/Michael Steele

Form

Europa League form: Southampton W2 D1 L2; Hapoel Beer Sheva W2 D1 L2

Expected starting XI’s

Southampton (4-3-3): Forster; Martina, Yoshida, Van Dijk, McQueen; Clasie, Romeu, Davis; Sims, Long, Boufal

Hapoel Beer Sheva (4-5-1): Goresh; Bitton, Taha, Tzdek, Korhut; Buzgalo, Radi, Ogu, Vitor, Nwaka; Maranhao

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