Huddersfield vs Southampton - Preview and Selections from a Saints Fan

  • Can Saints make it back to back EPL wins?

  • When will we see van Dijk in a Saints shirt?

  • Can Huddersfield make it 3 out of 3?

Match Preview

All good things must come to an end… And so must all bad things as well, so it seems, as Saints finally ended their goal drought at St Marys by putting three past West Ham on Saturday.

FC Southampton logo

Even with those goals, the game nearly slipped away from Southampton, after giving away a two goal lead despite playing against ten men.

The resolve shown to get the penalty that sealed the win has to be commended, but it is another performance that was, in the main, impressive, but also filled with question marks that will leave doubts remaining in the minds of fans and pundits.

Next up for Saints is a cup game against high-flying Championship side Wolves, but after that, Premier League football returns for Southampton with a trip to newly promoted Huddersfield.

After performing well in their home openers, a tough away trip against a fired up Terriers side, still basking in the glory of Premier League football, offers a completely different challenge.

Huddersfield Town FC logo

Huddersfield and their fans are jubilant after their win over Newcastle made it two wins out of two and a position of 2nd in the table after two games must make excellent reading for the Terriers and their fans.

Games against Crystal Palace and Newcastle might not look the toughest on paper, but it is those kinds of games that define a season for a team promoted to the Premier League, and to start off with two wins is a massive statement.

This is undoubtedly more of a test for Huddersfield, with Southampton impressive over the first couple of games, even if there are some doubts about the Saints and their game mentality. Huddersfield will feel they can take on the World at the moment, and will continue to play with the same verve and vigour of a fresh Premier League side.

UPDATE (24/08):Both teams lost pretty disappointingly in the cup in midweek and will be desperate to put that to bed with a good result here, although I'm not sure how disappointed either manager would actually be to write this competition off and be able to concentrate on Premier League football until the New Year.

Last 5 Head To Head

Southampton 4 - 1 Huddersfield
Huddersfield 2 - 0 Southampton
Southampton 5 - 0 Huddersfield
Huddersfield 3 - 1 Southampton
Huddersfield 0 - 2 Southampton

5 Match Form (Includes Last Season)





Team and Injury News

Another injury and suspension free weekend means, prior to the cup match against Wolves, Saints have a clean bill of health and are able to pick their first choice XI, bar club captain Virgil van Dijk, who will presumably remain unavailable until the transfer window closes, even though it now seems obvious he won't be leaving the club.

For Huddersfield, former Saint Martin Cranie, as well as Stankovic, Hogg and Nakhi Well all remain out for the time being, but there are no fresh injury concerns of yet. Although, again we need to await the result of the EFL cup in midweek.

Predicted Line Up and Formation

Pellegrino gave record signing, Mario Lemina, his first start against West Ham, and he performed well, creating a good platform with Oriol Romeu, allowing the forward players license to attack without restraint.

There is still an EFL cup game to come before the next fixture in the Premier League, so plenty could change, and Pellegrino may rotate his side slightly over the course of those games, but I would expect him to stick mainly with the side that got that first win.

We will revisit once we know if there are any injuries, of if any players that are perhaps closer to the fringe of the first XI end up playing 90 minutes or potentially more against Wolves.

UPDATE (21/08): Saints are allowing young striker, Sam Gallagher, to move on loan to Birmingham, and although he wasn't really about to break into the first team, it shows faith in Shane Long, with speculation he could leave the club.

The other transfer news is of an arrival, with Lazio confirming to Sky Sports that Dutch central defender, Wesley Hoedt, will be joining the Saints. It gives a potential selection dilemma to Mauricio Pellegrino, with Yoshida and Stephens performing well together since van Dijk's injury, and with the idea being as well that van Dijk could come back into the side once the window closes.

UPDATE (24/08): After a pretty awful attempt to play 3-4-3 against Wolves, I'm fully expecting Pellegrino to revert to the 4-2-3-1 that worked far better against West Ham last weekend, with the majority of the personnel that came in for the game against Wolves likely to drop straight back out after failing to impress. Of the players from last week's win, perhaps Tadic is the most vulnerable after another uninspiring attacking performance.

Southampton: 4-2-3-1

  1. Forster

  2. Cedric

  3. Yoshida

  4. Stephens

  5. Bertrand

  6. Romeu

  7. Lemina

  8. Davis

  9. Redmond

  10. Tadic

  11. Gabbiadini

Substitutes: McCarthy, Pied, Bednarek, Ward-Prowse, Hojbjerg, Long, Austin

Like with Southampton, I can't see any great reason why Huddersfield would go changing the side after another good performance and result, and so I would expect the same lineup to be chosen.

Of course, if there are injuries, or perhaps extra time in the EFL cup in midweek, then we might see that change.

Huddersfield: 4-2-3-1

  1. Loessl

  2. Smith

  3. Jorgensen

  4. Schindler

  5. Loewe

  6. Billing

  7. Mooy

  8. Van La Parra

  9. Ince

  10. Kachunga

  11. Mounie

Substitutes: Quaner, Palmer, Hefele, Malone, Coleman, Lolley, Williams

Key Match Statistics

The sides have only faced each other four times in the last 40+ years

The home team won every time they played in League One.

All of those wins were by two or more goals.

Huddersfield are fast starters

They won 5 of their first 6 games last season, and their first 5 at home.

Saints won once in their first 8 away games last season.

Key Player

With Huddersfield keeping two clean sheets in their openers, they will prove a tough nut to crack for Southampton. I think a lot of this game will depend on the midfield battle and that makes Saints' player of the season, Oriol Romeu a key player for the Saints.

One of the reasons why Romeu will be so important is that he will need to contain Aaron Mooy who has been Huddersfield's key player so far, and will need to be shut down if Saints want to get a positive result.

Fan Prediction

Both of these sides will be on the up after positive results in their last game, but this will be far more prevalent for Huddersfield, who have been far more convincing in their two wins.

Southampton are unbeaten after two games, but their manner of victory against 10 man West Ham leaves plenty of questions, as did their inability to score goals after a Swansea team missing their only match winner.

I remember the amazing start that Huddersfield made to their season last year, and I think David Wagner has a knack of making his teams gel, and getting them working for each other from the first moment.

Add into that their amazing home record at the start of last season, and I think they can be a good match for Southampton - I don't think you can underestimate the power of momentum, especially at this stage of the season where it is very rare.

So, probably to the dismay of Saints fans, I will continue to bet against us while our odds remain short.

Best Match Odds

Huddersfield 4

Draw 3.45

Southampton 2.15

My Tips for the Match

Huddersfield are on a roll, and won their first 5 home games last season.
Huddersfield win @ 3.9 with Betfair

Huddersfield have kept clean sheets in both of their openers, and have given few chances away
Huddersfield win to nil @ 6.5 with BetVictor

Maya Yoshida has had chances from set pieces and open play in the first two games, and has even taken free kicks. As an outside bet he seems a good option
Yoshida anytime goalscorer @ 13 with SunBets

My Best Bet for the Match

The home win looks a good value bet considering the start that has been made by Huddersfield and with both of Saints' opening home games leaving questions to be answered. Now, going away from home to a place that will be bouncing, I would take the 3.75 for the home win.

Huddersfield @ 3.9 with Betfair.