Brighton & Hove Albion v Southampton Preview: Can the Saints move further from the drop?
Hasenhuttl watches over training. | Source: Matt Watson / Getty

Southampton are back in action after a three-week absence from the Premier League, as the Saints travel to Brighton in the bid for three points. 

The Saints are in desperate need of a win to steer further away from the relegation zone as they sit two points from danger.  

Form before the break

It won't be an easy trip for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side with Brighton being in good form ahead of the game, winning their previous three in all competitions, including an impressive away derby win against Crystal Palace in their last Premier League fixture.  

Southampton also go into the game full of confidence following their second-half comeback win against Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary’s earlier in the month.  

Away trips haven’t been fond of the Saints this season, with just three wins away from home so far, with their last away win coming at Leicester in early January.  

A turning point for Saints?

Despite only getting three wins from their previous five, Southampton have continued to impress as the season goes on, and as their time with Hasenhuttl increases.  

Impressive performances against both Arsenal and Manchester United away from home ended without any points, however, can the Saints change their destiny on Saturday? 

Now would be the time for Southampton to turn their good performances into points, as with under two months left of football remaining, the race for survival is still close.  

It’s the last eight games now and we know how important they are. It’s good that we can start being focused for them.” Said Hasenhuttl prior to his side’s trip to Brighton.  

Team news

Last season’s fixture between the two saw a 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium, with goals from Steven Davies and the in-form Glenn Murray sharing the points.  

Murray will be one for the Saints to watch on Saturday, as he continues to prove his worth on the south coast, the striker is expected to lead the line for the Seagulls.  

Pascal Groß will be out of action with a hamstring injury, Florin Andone is a doubt with a thigh problem.  

Danny Ings is finally due to return to contention for Southampton after nursing a hamstring injury for eight weeks, Shane Long is unavailable however Mario Lemina may return for the first time this year.  

The last three meetings between the two in the Premier League have ended in draws, however, with both sides desperate to clinch survival, Saturday’s game could be different.  

Predicted XIs:

Brighton: Ryan; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Bernardo; Propper, Stephens, Bissouma; Knockaert, Jahanbakhsh, Murray. 

Southampton: Gunn; Bertrand, Vestergaard, Yoshida, Bednarek, Valery; Hojbjerg, Romeu; Redmond, Ward-Prowse, Austin.