Will The Saints be able to ‘march’ back up the league table?
Welcome back to ‘The 2019-20 Premier League Season Preview’ – a feature series that previews all 20 clubs of the Premier League ahead of the new football season.
It’s time to go back to the coast and visit… Southampton.
MANAGER: Ralph Hasenhüttl
CAPTAIN: Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
ODDS TO WIN THE LEAGUE: 1000-1 (via Oddschecker)
The way in which Ralph Hasenhüttl has galvanised a dejected group of players since coming to the club last December, with St Mary’s transformed from a breeding ground of pessimism into one of positivity. Supporters are hardly giddy with enthusiasm but ‘The Austrian Klopp’ has generated a palpable degree of confidence around the place, in the same way Mauricio Pochettino and Ronald Koeman did before him.
With another wave of young, highly-rated talent determined to burst into the first team in the same way Yan Valery did so impressively last season, The Saints look to be marching once again.
HOW THEY FINISHED IN THE LAST FIVE SEASONS
2014-15 – 7th (Premier League)
2015-16 – 6th (Premier League)
2016-17 – 8th (Premier League)
2017-18 – 17th (Premier League)
2018-19 – 16th (Premier League)
Premier League – 16th
FA Cup – Third Round
Carabao Cup – Fourth Round
Top Scorer – League: Danny Ings & James Ward-Prowse (7), All: Nathan Redmond (9)
Danny Ings (Liverpool – £20m)
Che Adams (Birmingham City – Undisclosed)
Moussa Djenepo (Standard Liège – Undisclosed)
Matt Targett (Aston Villa – Undisclosed)
Sam Gallagher (Blackburn – Undisclosed)
Jordy Clasie (AZ Alkmaar – Undisclosed)
Steven Davis (Rangers – Free Transfer)
GK – McCarthy, Gunn, Forster
DF – Soares, Yoshida, Vestergaard, Stephens, Hoedt, Bertrand, Bednarek, Valery, Ramsey
MD – Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Armstrong, Lemina, Reed, Højberg, Sims, Slattery, Djenepo
FW – Ings, Austin, Elyounoussi, Boufal, Redmond, Obafemi, Adams, Carrillo
PLAYER TO LOOK OUT FOR – CHE ADAMS
After scoring 38 goals in 123 appearances across three seasons at St Andrew’s and was named in the 2018-19 EFL Championship Team of the Season, Southampton decided to be the team to take the plunge to sign Che Adams, after many clubs have circled the 23-year-old for a couple of seasons now.
Southampton’s major problem recently has been a lack of goalscoring, especially from their frontline. But if Adams is able to translate the form he has shown throughout the lower leagues of English football into performances in the Premier League at the St Mary’s Stadium, then expect their woes to be no more.
HEAD-TO-HEAD AGAINST CHELSEA
Matches played – 104
Won – 30
Drawn – 29
Lost – 45
HOW MUCH OF A THREAT WILL THEY BE TO CHELSEA?
With only two victories over the Blues in the last twenty-two meetings between the two clubs, it’s safe to say that Southampton doesn’t pose that much of a threat to Chelsea.
WHERE WILL THEY FINISH?
Southampton has always been a side who looked capable of pushing for a UEFA Europa League spot but have somewhat fallen by the wayside in recent times.
And in truth, whilst they don’t look likely to be threatened by relegation, European ambitions might be difficult to meet considering the improvements that been made by Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leicester City and West Ham United respectively this summer.
A mid-table finish looks a likely outcome for Southampton this season.
Predicted position: 14th
Come back for part 17 as we travel back to London and preview another one of the ‘Top 6’ challengers in… Tottenham Hotspur.
• Part 1 – Arsenal
• Part 2 – Aston Villa
• Part 3 – Bournemouth
• Part 4 – Brighton & Hove Albion
• Part 5 – Burnley
• Part 6 – Chelsea
• Part 7 – Crystal Palace
• Part 8 – Everton
• Part 9 – Leicester City
• Part 10 – Liverpool
• Part 11 – Manchester City
• Part 12 – Manchester United
• Part 13 – Newcastle United
• Part 14 – Norwich City
• Part 15 – Sheffield United