It's another #narrative match for Tottenham Hotspur as Spurs head to St. Mary's this Saturday to take on Southampton. It's the first time that manager Mauricio Pochettino has returned to his former club since he left the south coast club to take control of Tottenham last summer.
It's unknown what sort of a reception Pochettino will receive from the home support at St. Mary's. He was a beloved figure who helped the club achieve new heights during his years as Soton manager, and he is apparently still well liked by members of the Southampton staff, but it's unlikely he'll get a warm welcome from Saints fans, who are still bitter about the way he left the club.
Spurs and Saints are both competing for that "coveted" fifth-sixth spot in the Premier League, which likely means Europa League without benefit of a play-in. At present, Spurs are in sixth place, just point above Southampton, and this match does have a sense that it could encapsulate the trend of the season for both clubs.
Date: Saturday, April 25, 2015
Time: 12:45 p.m. (UK) 7:45 a.m. ET
Location: St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton, England
TV: BT Sport 1 (UK), NBC Sports Network (USA)
As previously reported, Kyle Walker is expected to be out for at least four weeks and probably for the remainder of the season. Hugo Lloris could be ready for his return after missing several games with a gash in his knee (inflicted by Walker), but it's not yet known if he will in fact start. There are rumors that Rose is nursing an injury as well and Ben Davies could deputize at left back, though this is an unconfirmed rumor and based on Rose limping off during the Newcastle match.
For Southampton, Filip Djuricic and Fraser Forster are both injured, as is Jay Rodriguez. Victor Wanyama is serving the second match of a two-match suspension after picking up ten yellow cards over the course of the season.
Projected Tottenham lineup
Sometimes you don't really know what you're going to get from Pochettino when it comes to lineups. Just when you thought you knew what he would do in central midfield he goes and throws Paulinho in there. Little Paul did pretty well last week, so it wouldn't shock me to see the Bentaleb-Paulinho midfield subsist for now. For right back, as much as we clamor for DeAndre Yedlin I think we all need to admit that he's still behind both Eric Dier and Vlad Chiriches. Fazio being slow, I bet we see Dier moved into central defense and Vlad starting wide right.