So...we go again....a quick turnaround from the Burnley game for a long trip down to St Mary’s to play 14th place Southampton. Don’t forget to get home from work quickly as it is a 6pm kick off and it’s on Sky.
I think the quick turnaround is no bad thing after a great display against Burnley. When you look at the stats it should have been a pretty even game...possession, shots etc were pretty equal...but we appeared to be a class above on the day. We were clinical, and that was great to see...let’s push on and see the ManxWhite bandwagon roll on to the end of the season and 59 points. We have every chance of finishing ahead of Arsenal and Everton, even if we don’t make 7th.
Now, it turns out I don’t know much about Southampton, or their players it seems. So, as ever, I had a look on google....at least that cleaned up my browsing history a bit...
My random fact of the day is Southampton were such a popular club in the early 1900’s a batch of their shirts were taken to Spain and that is why Athletico Bilbao and Athletico Madrid both play in red and white.
Southampton were, like Leeds, a founder member of the Premier League, and like Leeds spent a number of years since then outside it, spending a year in League 1, but bouncing back with consecutive promotions. They have been pretty much a mid table side since then, flirting a couple of times with relegation and as high as 6th in 2016. They also hold the record (jointly with Ipswich) for the worst Premier League defeat at 9-0. So, in comparison we are doing pretty well in our first year back...not that we should necessarily judge ourselves against Southampton.
Their recent form is a bit mixed, with 3-1 wins in the last two games against Fulham and Palace, losses to Liverpool and Spurs and a draw with Leicester, so not too shabby, but they have nothing to play for and I think we can handle them. We haven’t actually played at St Mary’s since 2012 when we lost 3-1 in the Championship.
Famous Saints fans include:
Pop star Craig David
Chancellor Rishi Sunak
Coldplay’s Will Chamberlain
Naturalist Chris Packham
Sprinter Iwan Thomas
Glamour model Lucy Pinder (whoever she is....)
Southampton appear to be without Smallbone, Bertrand and Bednarek. Leeds team news is that Koch and Klich will not play for us again this season and they are allowed to go early to International duty. A grand gesture from Bielsa, and I hope one we will not regret. I did wonder if there will be any reaction to the Alioski ‘incident’ but I think he will play. There seems to be a rumour about Hernandez playing, but not sure I can see that and I suspect Rodrigo will make the team instead of Tyler. I am predicting no youngsters making the starting XI again and we will go with :
Ayling Llorente Struijk Alioski
Rafa Dallas Harrison
The bench looks a little thin with Cooper, Roberts and Hernandez. I really think at this stage of the season he will give some of the young ones a run out if things are going well...or badly come to think of it, given how El Loco changes things if he doesn’t like them!
The weather will be cloudy with a small chance of rain, and little wind, and only a light jacket needed at 14 degrees... or more probably a beer and shirtsleeves watching it on telly. The big news where you are seems to be you can go to the pub so enjoy yourselves. The weather will suit our free flowing passing game and with the confidence from Saturday I am predicting a 1 - 3 result, with our goals from Bamford, Rafa and Rodrigo.
And I know you will be all dying for the latest instalment of ManxWhites favourite charts...so I proudly give you....Government Spending....a simple way to show where our (your!) tax money comes from and goes...(not sure where the other £200bn of expense is, but at least 50bn would be debt interest)