Some felt Ralph Hasenhuttl was more likely than Pochettino to be out of a job first following Southampton’s 9-0 annihilation against Leicester, but he has since steered them clear of the relegation zone and reckons that awful evening has actually been the catalyst for their recent upturn in form.
Defensive issues have been an unexpected feature of Jose Mourinho’s spell at Spurs, although the club struggled at the back on their travels throughout 2019, having gone a year without an away clean sheet in the league.
VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl: “We are a much more competitive team at the moment.
“We have found a way that works and it is not a coincidence now that we are continuously taking points and we are able to force problems for every opponent.
“The level is now clear, the benchmark is clear. We will not lean back; we will go further forward and try to extend our performances.”
I feel Tottenham have so much quality that if they get it right against Southampton, who are on a nice little run, then they will win comfortably.
Southampton’s 2-1 victory last season ended a run of six consecutive home league games without a win against Spurs.
Tottenham have won 11 of the 15 league meetings since Southampton returned to the top flight in 2012 – their most victories in that period against any Premier League club.
Southampton’s tally of 13 points from the past seven rounds of fixtures is only bettered by Liverpool and Manchester United.
Their only two Premier League home wins this season were against the current bottom two sides, Watford and Norwich City.
Saints are looking to avoid equalling their club top-flight record of 16 consecutive home fixtures without a clean sheet, set from March 1998 to January 1999.
Danny Ings has scored half of his team’s 24 league goals this season, the highest proportion of any player in the top flight.
Since Jose Mourinho took over as head coach, only Liverpool have won more Premier League points than the 16 by Spurs.
It is a year to the day since Tottenham last kept a clean sheet away from home in the league, in a 3-0 win over Cardiff.
They have conceded a goal in 17 successive away league matches, their longest top-flight run without a clean sheet since April 1976 to April 1977.
Spurs haven’t lost their first league game of a calendar year since 2009, winning eight and drawing two.
Harry Kane has scored in six consecutive league appearances against Southampton – only three players have had longer streaks versus a single Premier League opponent, led by Robin van Persie’s eight-match run against Stoke.