- Venue: St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton
- Saturday: January 25th, 15:00
- Referee: Peter Bankes
An all-Premier League clash between Southampton and Tottenham is one of the main features of FA Cup Fourth Round Saturday, and this match is a repeat of their New Year’s Day contest at St Mary’s when the hosts claimed a 1-0 victory. A winner of the cup in 2007 when managing Chelsea, Jose Mourinho will now hope to end Spurs’ wait to lift the trophy last won by the team in 1991. However, the Saints last won this tournament in 1976, and as they are now relatively free from any relegation concerns amid an improvement in form, they could prove dangerous opponents for their ambitious visitors.
Southampton will enter this FA Cup tie having won six of their last eight competitive matches, and they have also moved into the top ten positions of the Premier League table. Four successive league victories on the road including a midweek 2-0 win at Crystal Palace proves their capabilities but the Saints can be vulnerable on home soil with four defeats incurred at St Mary’s Stadium since late October. A 3-2 loss against Wolves last weekend, when 2-0 ahead at the interval, is indicative of a vulnerable defence at times although three clean sheets have also been registered this year.
Prior to a Wednesday evening 2-1 victory against Premier League bottom team Norwich, Tottenham had not won a league fixture during 2020 and needed a replay to overcome Championship team Middlesbrough in the previous round. It is also worth noting that Spurs have not been very productive on the road this season with just three competitive victories earned and five away defeats suffered in domestic league action. There is also a suggestion that the visitors may not offer their normal threat in attack without the services of long-term injury victim Harry Kane.
Cedric Soares (foot) is expected to be sidelined for Southampton, but Yan Valery is hoping to recover from an illness. There is also hope that Jan Bednarek can be declared fit following an achilles problem.
Ben Davies (ankle), Moussa Sissoko (knee ligament surgery), and Harry Kane (hamstring) will all be unavailable for Tottenham while Harry Winks (ankle) was injured in midweek and is not expected to feature.
Since suffering a 9-0 home defeat by Leicester at the end of October when reduced to ten players for most of the match, Southampton have failed to find the net in just one competitive match. The Saints have also scored twice in four consecutive games as their open style of football offers much-attacking threat. Although Spurs will be handicapped by the loss of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Son Yeung-min scored their first goals of 2020 during that 2-1 midweek victory to suggest that they could be returning to goal-scoring form. Therefore, it may be a good idea to select Both Teams to Score priced at 4/7 with Bet365, as a decent bet.
A second pick is for Over 2.5 goals and Both Teams to Score offered at 20/21 by Bet365. It is noticeable that Tottenham have registered just two clean sheets in domestic action since late October when beating Burnley 5-0 on home soil and then more lately drawing 0-0 at Watford. Mourinho will seek to tighten the Spurs defence, but that will not happen overnight, and the Saints will aim to exploit those weaknesses. Meanwhile, Tottenham still possess the attacking threat to endanger a home defence exposed by Wolves in their recent 3-2 victory at St Mary’s.
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