Spotlight on... Southampton
Tue 31 December 2019, 12:09|Tottenham Hotspur
We begin 2020 with a trip to Southampton on New Year’s Day (3pm kick-off).
Having not lost once in the opening fixture of a new calendar year in the last decade, we’ll be looking to keep that run going on the south coast.
But we know we will be in for a tough afternoon with the test of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s resurgent Saints.
Striker Michael Obafemi was rested for the Saints’ 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on Saturday as a precautionary measure, but he could return for Wednesday’s clash at St Mary’s.
Despite a difficult start to proceedings this season and a run of just one win in 13 games - a period which included a 9-0 home defeat to Leicester City - things have begun to turn around at St Mary’s in recent weeks for Hasenhuttl. It is now four wins in seven for the Saints, an upturn in fortunes which has lifted the south coast outfit out of the bottom three and into 15th spot. Those wins included crucial victories over the three sides which now occupy the drop zone (Aston Villa, Watford and Norwich City) as well as an impressive 2-0 triumph over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
One to watch
Danny Ings is enjoying his best ever season in the Premier League - 12 goals in 20 games so far this campaign is his highest ever return in the English top flight. And it is recent weeks in which the striker has hit his most impressive streak as he has found the target eight times in his last nine outings - just when Southampton needed him most.
Last five meetings
28 September, 2019 – Spurs 2-1 Southampton – Premier League
9 March, 2019 - Southampton 2-1 Spurs – Premier League
5 December, 2018 - Spurs 3-1 Southampton – Premier League
21 January, 2018 - Southampton 1-1 Spurs – Premier League
26 December, 2017 - Spurs 5-2 Southampton – Premier League
Last time out
A battling performance against the Saints back in September saw us take all three points with a 2-1 win in N17, despite having played an hour of the game with just 10 men. We had taken the lead through a fine finish from Tanguy Ndombele on 24 minutes, but our momentum took a knock just eight minutes later as Serge Aurier was dismissed after picking up his second yellow card of the afternoon. On 39 minutes, our visitors were then level through Danny Ings but we showed spirit and managed to get back in front just before the break as Harry Kane finished off a quick counter-attacking move. And in the second half, we remained resolute and secured the win which saw us move back into the top four.
Played for both
One of the great players of the modern era, Gareth Bale delighted the White Hart Lane faithful season after season following his arrival from Southampton. It was with the Saints that he began his career, coming through their academy before making his debut as a 16-year-old and enjoying an encouraging breakthrough season in the Championship.
It was in the following summer of 2007 that Gareth moved to N17 and despite a slow start to life in north London, as we moved into 2010, the Welshman started to dazzle with his magic at the Lane. He may have joined us as a defender, but we would see him develop into a world-class forward. A burst of pace, an exceptional whip of the ball and an eye for the spectacular, Cardiff-born Bale gave us many a memory in his six years here. From that hat-trick in the San Siro to his volley at Stoke, from that last-minute cracker at Upton Park to his just as sublime winner against Sunderland in his final appearance at the Lane in 2013.
He left that summer for Real Madrid where he has helped the record winners of the European Cup to four more Champions League titles as well as three FIFA Club World Cup titles.
Quick quiz on the Saints
- Which of the following seasons did Toby Alderweireld spend on loan at Southampton from Atletico Madrid before joining us permanently in the subsequent summer?
- Before joining us in 2016, Victor Wanyama spent three years at Southampton, having joined the Saints from which club in 2013?
- Celta Vigo
- Prior to joining Southampton in 2012, goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga began his career in English football at which Football League side?
- Southend United
- Who was not one of the goalscorers in last season’s 3-1 home win over the Saints in December, 2018?
- Heung-Min Son
- Lucas Moura
- Christian Eriksen
- Which of the following former Spurs goalkeepers also represented the Saints during his career?
- Kasey Keller
- Radek Cerny
- Neil Sullivan
Answers at the bottom of the page.
Pictures from the past
Venue – St Mary’s Stadium.
Opposition colours – Red and white striped shirts, black shorts, red and white hooped socks.
Referee – Mike Dean.
Weather – Mostly cloudy, eight degrees.
Answers: 1 – 2014/15; 2 – Celtic; 3 – Gillingham; 4 – Christian Eriksen; 5 – Kasey Keller.