Southampton and Burnley can finally put the international break behind them as they return to Premier League action this afternoon. Claude Puel’s side come into this game off the back of a three match unbeaten run and win today would see them move up to 8th place in the table
They play host to Sean Dyche’s Burnley who were very unfortunate not to hold Arsenal to a draw in their last run out before the break. It was a very dubious 92nd minute goal from Laurent Koscielny which broke Burnley’s resolve and meant they came away from that game empty handed, a result that was incredibly harsh on Burnley
For Southampton in there last run out they managed to hold champions Leicester to a nil-nil draw and extend their current unbeaten run to three. That draw followed their first two wins of the season against Swansea and West Ham and after a slow start it’s fair to say that Claude Puel is finally starting to make his mark on this Southampton side.
The chances of them getting into the Europa League for a third season in a row may look diminished but we said that when Ronald Koeman managed the side and look at the wonders he worked with a side that was gutted by player sales each summer. Can Puel repeat the feat come May
Well a win today would certainly see them move in the right direction but you would argue that they need to do find better consistency if they are going to match the efforts of the two previous seasons. That and goals haven’t been all that easy to come by with just an average of 1 per game so far in this campaign.
For Burnley the thought of Europa League isn’t really crossing their minds as they objective set out by Sean Dyche will be just 17th and a return to Premier League action next August. A win for them today and it would see them go onto 10 points for the campaign and give themselves even more daylight between them and the bottom three.
If Southampton’s goal plight is bad then Burnley’s is even worse, they’ve only scored 5 times this season and in every game they have lost they have failed to find the net, so if Southampton can get in front then it could already be game over for The Clarets.
We’ve got two low scoring teams facing off today but I think The Saints will just have that little bit more in their locker, don’t expect a flurry of goals later this afternoon but I’ll put my money on Southampton picking up their third win of the season and extending their unbeaten run to four matches.