Saints will look to round off a mixed week with a win when they travel to Yorkshire for their first ever Premier League meeting with Huddersfield on Saturday.
Having won their first league game of the season with a 3-2 win over West Ham last weekend, saints took a step backwards losing 2-0 to championship side Wolves in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday. The only positive from that game as that they have a chance to put it right at John Smith’s Stadium, after just 3 days.
Huddersfield have endured a perfect start to their first season in the Premier League with maximum points. As well as coming from behind to beat Rotherham in the second round of the League Cup. Throughout the course of last season, the terriers proved tough to beat at home, so this game will prove a difficult test for the men from the south coast.
Aaron Mooy – The Australian has hit the ground running in the Premier League thus far, with a great goal in the game last week against Newcastle. He’s really what makes Huddersfield tick..
Manolo Gabbiadini – He’s always got to be on there for me. In the 4231 he excels and remains saints’ only player to score from open play this season.
Tom Ince – The once considered ‘wonderkid’ is finally getting another real chance to establish himself in the premier league. He has the ability, but will he turn it on this Saturday?
Cedric – Bertrand is very much in the conversation too, but he’s integral to the way that the saints play and he was missed on Wednesday night. The result could be determined by his service from the right-hand side.
As for the game itself, It really could go either way in my opinion. two very promising weeks have been dampened by arguably the worst performance saints have put on in 2/3 seasons on Wednesday. You would expect the side to return to the more reliable 4231 shape that saw Pellegrino’s side through the opening two games of the season, but if he sees the side playing in the 5-2-3 or 3-4-3 (depending on how you view the wing backs), the saints must continue to build on framework, that has been put down in training with more game time.
The addition of Wesley Hoedt this week was greeted with a great amount of optimism, and images have emerged of Virgil Van Dijk back in training (with the under 18s), we expect that the two will be the clubs centre-back pairing for the majority of the season. Though the introduction of the 3, could mean that Jack Stephens will be rewarded for his good performances. I think it’s a little early for Hoedt this weekend, but he’s fit from his time at Lazio, so watch this space.
As for Huddersfield, Wagner’s side will be expected to go for their comfortable 4231 shape that has seen them through their opening three games. The side like to utilise wing play, but keep the ball well, and so expect a lot of battling for the ball in the midfield third.
As for the history of this fixture, both sides have won three and lost three of the last six encounters between them. With the last game between the two being around 6 years ago in the third tier of English football.
Despite form, the bookies have the home side as huge underdogs for the game though I’ve got it down for a great contest. Whatever the result, both sides have got something to prove. The terriers have to show that their dream start is as they mean to go on, and saints have got to pick themselves up from the embarrassment of midweek.
Either sides’ 12th man could be the ones to carry them across the line. COYS.