Southampton will look to bounce back from their gut-wrenching defeat last Sunday. It was all a familiar story for the Southampton faithful, having dropped 25 points from winning positions since the start of last season (The second-worst in the league). Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men will look to put things right and see out the game to push towards the Europa League spots this coming Monday.
Southampton's unbeaten run of seven games came to an abrupt end last weekend in a climactic 3-2 loss. Hasenhuttl will rally his troops again in the hope to gather some momentum, going into a tough festive period.
Brighton have picked up five points in their last three games and will be looking to continue their fine run of form with what could be a huge result against Southampton in the Premier League to aid their aim of pushing away from the relegation zone. They will be keen to impress with 2000 returning fans in attendance.
Southampton may be boosted with the potential return of their talisman, Danny Ings. The striker will look to add to his five goals on his return.
Along with Ings, Nathan Redmond could also feature in the matchday squad having missed last week’s game against Manchester United. Mohammed Salisu could feature for the very first time in a Saints shirt. This gives Hasenhuttl much needed depth, approaching a hard festive period with games coming thick and fast.
Brighton will be bolstered with the return of Tariq Lamptey who has proven to be influential so far this campaign. However, they face a setback as former Saint, Adam Lallana is due to miss out again with a short term injury.
Neal Maupay suffered a knock against Liverpool last week and will be assessed ahead of the game.
Predicted line ups
Brighton (3-5-2): Ryan, Lamptey, Webster, Dunk, White, March, Groß, Bissouma, Connolly, Maupay, Welbeck
Southampton (4-2-2-2): Mccarthy, Walker-Peters, Vestergaard, Bednarek, Bertrand, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Armstrong, Djenepo, Walcott, Adams
The last time the sides faced off was in July in a 1-1 stalemate. Maupay broke the deadlock in the 17th minute but Southampton had a response of their own through their talisman, Danny Ings, netting in the 66th minute.
Southampton came out on top in the return fixture at the Amex Stadium, with the Saints claiming their first win of the season courtesy of goals from Moussa Djenepo and Nathan Redmond.
Ones to watch
After another eye-catching display from Southampton’s skipper last Sunday, James Ward-Prowse could prove to be pivotal yet again in dominating the middle of the park beside his partner Oriol Romeu. Southampton’s number eight has proven to be instrumental to Hasenhuttl’s side, making the team tick with swift interceptions and scintillating passes out wide forcing the opposition’s backline to become stretched.
The England international has started the season in exceptional form, netting four and assisting two. It goes without saying, Ward-Prowse possesses a wand of a right foot from dead ball situations which could force Matt Ryan to scramble across his goal. Needless to say, Brighton won’t want to give away any fouls in shooting range considering the ability Ward-Prowse attains.
Undeniably, a player that has also impressed so far this season has been the Leicester born striker, Che Adams. His graft and persistence has payed off and is reaping the rewards, improving in all aspects of his game. After a rough start to his Premier League career, Adams has begun to find his feet and is beginning to reach the heights Southampton fans knew he was capable of achieving, scoring three goals and assisting three. Adams’ ability on and off the ball has been a significant factor in Southampton’s success so far.
Hasenhuttl told the club website, “He had a tough first year, but it just shows that if you never stop working and never stop believing in what you are doing, anything is possible.”
Brighton’s summer acquisition, Danny Welbeck, had raised a few eyebrows at the time, however, to the surprise of some Brighton supporters, Graham Potter seems to have revitalised Welbeck’s career and has now become an important asset to his system.
Brighton’s number 18 has experience in causing Southampton problems, netting five times against the Saints in his career. Welbeck looks like he could be the natural finisher that Brighton have been craving for, potentially being the key to Brighton’s success this season.
Potter has opted to play a system with wing-backs this season. The decision to do so is looking like a shrewd move, with Brighton gaining the rewards. The system has got the most out of Solly March and Tariq Lamptey, giving Brighton much-needed depth as well as dynamism. The young English Wing back, Lamptey, is looking like a real prospect. The latter’s sheer pace and directness has caused nightmares for the opposition’s full-backs. Lamptey has excelled substantially in his role.
What the managers have said
Hasenhuttl on the challenge against Brighton:
“Really tough opponents to play against, always tough to go there and win games. They do a really good job there”
Potter on the return of fans to the Amex:
“It is a step in the right direction and we are all excited”
“They bring an extra challenge and another dimension to the match, you want that.”
Where to watch
The match will kick off at 20:00 on Monday and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League in the UK and Ireland. As always you can catch all the build-up, live coverage and reaction here on VAVEL.