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    Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton: Match Preview

    By Tom Regan

    They put up a good fight, but Tottenham Hotspur’s title bid ended in heart-breaking fashion on Monday after drawing with Chelsea. To add further insult to injury, Mousa Dembele’s eye gouge on Diego Costa has led to a six game ban that will roll over to next season.
    Spurs can’t afford to slip up, with bitter North London rivals Arsenal just three points behind with two games remaining. Mauricio Pochettino’s side are looking to finish above their rivals for the first time in 20 years.

    The north Londoners host a Southampton side that sits in 7th place on 57 points. The Saints are enjoying another strong campaign under the guidance of Ronald Koeman, as he has assembled a solid outfit.
    Shane Long, Sadio Mane, Dusan Tadic and Graziano Pelle have scored 37 goals between them, while the likes of Victor Wanayama and Steven Davis have shown they are capable of creating plenty of opportunities for their team-mates despite their deeper roles.

    Virgil van Dijk and Jose Fonte have formed a formidable partnership in front of their excellent goalkeeper Fraser Forster, so the Lilywhites are up against it with two of their most creative individuals missing.
    Team News

    Mousa Dembele will miss the rest of the term and the first four games of next with his ban. Dele Alli is suspended and Nabil Bentaleb injured, so Ryan Mason is in contention to partner Eric Dier in midfield.
    Danny Rose (hamstring) and Toby Alderweireld (knee) have overcome their injuries and should make the starting XI.

    Koeman may opt for an unchanged side after their impressive 4-2 win over Manchester City last weekend. The Dutchman has a fully-fit squad to pick from, but Florin Gardos is likely to miss out because of a lack of game time having just returned from a long-term absence.
    Head To Head

    Tottenham boast a fantastic record against their opponents having won six of their last seven meetings against the Saints, including a 2-0 win at St Mary’s in December.
    Southampton haven’t beaten Spurs since March 2005. You have to go all the way back to September 2003 for their last win at White Hart Lane.

    Betting Odds (bet365)
    Tottenham: 6/5
    Draw: 12/5
    Southampton: 13/5

    Match Prediction
    The hosts will be downbeat after surrendering the title on Monday, but they must lick their wounds and make sure they finish above their bitter North London rivals Arsenal. This is the last time they will be playing in front of a full capacity White Hart Lane, and also their last home game of the campaign, so three points are a must. Pochettino’s side to just edge victory in a hard fought encounter.

    Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Southampton (17/2 with bet365)
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    Item Reviewed: Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton: Match Preview Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Tom Regan
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