Tottenham Hotspur, who will look back on 2016 with some fond memories, visit St Mary’s tomorrow hoping to end the year on a positive note.
Despite the festive period being a traditionally hectic period in the English football calendar, the side from North London have had a ten day break since their 2-1 victory at home to Burnley last time out.
Having seen many of their rivals in the race for the Premier League title win over the past few days, Tottenham go into the fixture level on points with Manchester United and four points behind local rivals Arsenal.
With two London derbies kicking off 2017, away to Watford before hosting league leaders Chelsea, Pochettino will be looking to come away from St Mary’s with all three points, as his side achieved in the corresponding fixture last season.
Southampton Team News
The hosts, having come off an impressive victory at the Vitality Stadium against Bournemouth last time out, come into the fixture boosted by the return of Oriol Romeu who missed the previous game due to suspension.
Charlie Austin remains a long term injury concern, so Jay Rodriguez could once again deputise as the main striker against Pochettino, who arguably benefited from the best season in the career of Rodriguez.
Forster; Cédric, Van Dijk, Fonte, Bertrand; Højbjerg, Romeu, Davis; Redmond, Rodriguez, Boufal
Tottenham Hotspur Team News
Spurs should have the returning Vincent Janssen available following his recent injury troubles, whilst Toby Alderweireld is likely to return to the starting line up against his former side.
Érik Lamela remains the main concern for Pochettino, with the Argentinian international winger expected to return to first team action early in the New Year.
Hugo Lloris - club captain Lloris, who recently celebrated his birthday by signing a new long term contract with Tottenham will lead his side out once again at St Mary’s.
Kyle Walker - with Pochettino potentially employing a 3-4-2-1 formation, the England international full back will once again be tasked with providing some valuable width down the right flank
Eric Dier - having struggled to cement himself in one position so far this season, Dier could revert back to his original position in the heart of defence to offer Walker and Danny Rose the freedom further up the field
Toby Alderweireld - despite recently returning to full fitness, Alderweireld was rested last time out against Burnley but is fully expected to return against his former side on Wednesday
Jan Vertonghen - along with compatriot Alderweireld, Vertonghen has been pivotal in Tottenham’s impressive defensive displays this season, which have seen them concede the fewest goals so far
Danny Rose - fresh from his match winning, and man of the match performance against Burnley, Rose will be expected to bomb up and down the left wing all evening in the hope of adding to his goals tally
Victor Wanyama - like Alderweireld, Wanyama is likely to be in the starting line up at his old stomping ground. Having left Southampton in the summer, the Kenyan international has seamlessly taken to life in North London
Mousa Dembélé - having been one of the players of the season last time around, the Belgian midfielder has yet to find top form this time around following a number of injury problems. Alongside Wanyama, however, Dembélé should have more freedom to dictate play further up the field
Dele Alli - like Dembélé, Dele has found life more difficult so far this season, despite scoring last time out. The regular switch of formation by Pochettino hasn't helped the attacking midfielders cause, but the former Milton Keynes Dons man will be hoping to follow up his goal in the corresponding fixture last season
Christian Eriksen - despite struggling in the early months of the season, the Denmark star has found his form in recent weeks. Operating with more freedom in Pochettino’s recent lineups, the former Ajax man has once again began to dominate games
Harry Kane - the return to fitness of Janssen may help Kane. Having been without a rest since the Dutchman got injured, Tottenham’s top goalscorer in the past two seasons may begin to feel the benefit of having added competition in the match day squad