Southampton without a win in two face Brighton in tight clash
Brighton to win 2-1
Southampton overall have coped well without their injured star striker Danny Ings over the past month or so. Ings was forced to have surgery on his knee, though could be fit to play some part this weekend.
The Saints have faltered over the past couple of games, drawing at Wolves before losing at home to Manchester United to end a great run of form which had taken them into the top four.
Aside from Ings, they have some very good players, with the likes of Ward-Prowse performing at a very high level in recent matches.
Brighton will be hoping that they can make the most of their opponents’ dip in form recently, with their own form improving in the last couple of weeks.
With just one defeat from the last five, including taking a point off champions Liverpool and beating the dangerous Aston Villa on the road.
Their 16th placing is likely a false position and they’ll give Southampton a great game.
Form Guide (all comps): DLDWD
Reasons to be cheerful:
Just six goals conceded from last six games
Danny Welbeck has been a top addition for them
Reasons to be fearful:
Teams below them are keeping up pace
Injury doubts for Maupay and Lallana
Brighton have finally got things right at the back, which has seen their overall performances improve. Conceding only six goals from as many games is far better than 10 from their previous four.
Danny Welbeck has impressed up front as well, providing a pacey alternative to Neal Maupay, who may miss out on this one with a hamstring issue.
Welbeck still has plenty of pace, and although only has the one goal so far, brings far more to the team with his all-round ability.
The Seagulls must be wary of the teams below them, who have started to pick up points of late. Recent wins for Fulham, West Brom and Burnley have all closed the gap on Brighton in 16th, so they must continue to pick up points.
Star Man – Danny Welbeck
Has one goal to his name, but his ability to run in behind and stretch defences brings another dimension to Brighton.
Form Guide (all comps): WWWDL
Reasons to be cheerful
Form is good, despite last weekend’s defeat
Danny Ings could return after injury
Reasons to be fearful
Winless in their last 14 Monday matches (UK time)
Conceded seven goals in last four matches
The Saints initially coped brilliantly following the loss of their talisman Danny Ings to injury, winning their first two games as though nothing had changed.
The two matches which followed, however, have been without victory, although Wolves and Manchester United certainly present tougher challenges than most.
The good news is that Ings could return against Brighton having taken part in full training last week – he has proved to be one of the top strikers in the league over the past season or so.
It is their defence which has slipped in recent weeks, conceding seven goals in their last four, as well as three second-half goals against Man United last week.
However, they have some terrific, underrated players in attack who can cause problems for any side.
Star Man – James Ward-Prowse
His set piece ability is arguably second-to-none in the league, as we saw last weekend. Such a threat from around the box
Plenty of attacking players on both sides
Brighton will be tough to play against
Returning players could be vital
Danny Ings’ return will be vital for Southampton, if he passes a final fitness test, but don’t underestimate the impact Tariq Lamptey will have for Brighton after returning from injury.
The young right back has been sensational so far in his young career and could be key to Brighton’s chances this week.
Both teams are likely to score due to the way which they throw players forward when they attack, though Brighton showed against Liverpool last weekend that they are no pushovers.
Brighton to win 2-1