It's time for our penultimate home game of the campaign, Southampton the visitors to the Brentford Community Stadium on Saturday afternoon. We're separated by just goal difference from the Saints with three left to play. Find all the build-up to the big game below as we look for a third home win in four.
Southampton have had an inconsistent campaign which means they come to TW8 tomorrow in 15th place with 40 points from their 35 matches so far.
Pressure appeared to be building on Ralph Hasenhüttl after just three wins in 17 to begin the campaign. However, their 3-2 Boxing Dav victory over West Ham United led to Southampton's most profitable spell of the season. They picked up 18 points in that nine-game run, lifting them into the top half at the end of February.
However, their form has deserted them again since them. Aside from a 1-0 home victory against Arsenal, they are winless in their last nine, losing six of them. In that run they've conceded 21 goals, including six to Chelsea and four to Aston Villa.
Thomas Frank described James Ward-Prowse (below) as the world's best free-kick specialist ahead of January's meeting at St Mary's with the midfielder leading Southampton's scoring charts with nine, a Premier League high five of which have come from dead-ball situations.
While they might not have the points to show for it, Southampton have performed well on their travels this season. Only Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, and Arsenal average more shots per game away from home (12.9) while only the Premier League's top three give away fewer shots on goal (12.5) on the road.
When asked for Hot Off The Press how Southampton will line up, The Athletic's Dan Sheldon, said: "I would imagine they would stick with their preferred 4-2-2-2 system. I can’t see why Ralph would want to go to a back three with wing-backs against Brentford; he didn’t do that in the previous game where Southampton were very good value and won comfortably"
Thomas Frank has ruled out Zanka (adductor) for the rest of the season while Ethan Pinnock, Sergi Canos (both hamstring), Saman Ghoddos, and Frank Onyeka (both ankle) will also miss out tomorrow.
Southampton's only absentee will be Tino Livramento, who is set to miss the rest of 2022 with a knee injury.
- Southampton have won their last two Premier League matches in London, beating both West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur by a 3-2 scoreline. Saints haven’t won three consecutive top-flight matches in the capital since March 1985.
- Brentford have kept a clean sheet in each of their last three Premier League home matches. They could become just the fourth side to record a shutout in four consecutive home matches this term after Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City.
- Ivan Toney has 12 Premier League goals for Brentford this season. The last player to score more for a side in that club’s maiden Premier League campaign was DJ Campbell for Blackpool in 2010/11 (13).
- James Ward-Prowse has been involved in 14 Premier League goals this season (9 goals, 5 assists), his second-best return in the competition after his 15 last term. His 68 chances created in 2021/22 is also his most in a single PL campaign.
Ralph Hasenhüttl took the top job at St Mary's in December 2018 after two successful years with Red Bull Leipzig. Prior to his spell with RB, which included a second-place Bundesliga finish during their first campaign back in the top flight, he earned promotions from the German third tier with VfR Aalen and second tier with FC Ingolstadt 04. He led The Saints away from the drop zone during his first months in charge, finishing 16th. His first full season saw The Saints achieve their best points total in four years, Hasenhüttl winning the Premier League Manager of the Month award for July, while last year Southampton ended the campaign in 15th.
Hasenhüttl's playing career took him from his native Austria to Germany, via Belgium. He won three consecutive Austrian Bundesliga titles, and two Austrian Cups, in the early 1990s with Austria Wien. The striker moved to Austria Salzburg in 1994, where he won another Bundesliga title as well as an Austrian Super Cup. In 1996, Hasenhüttl moved abroad, with spells at Mechelen and Lierse in Belgium before signing for 1. FC Köln in 1998. His two years at Köln brought just three goals as he finished his career with SpVgg Greuther Fürth and Bayern Munich II. Hasenhüttl played eight times for the Austria national team, scoring three goals.
THE OPPOSITION VIEW
Ralph Hasenhuttl told southamptonfc.com: "In the first year, when you see since I have been here, from the three promoted teams, there is usually one that has been high-flying. Last year it was Leeds, before that it was Sheffield United. This season it is Brentford. They have had some tough moments, but they have had some very good results, especially at home, and shown some very intense games. They are absolutely in the position they have to be, in the middle of the table, it is a big success for them"
LAST TIME OUT
Referee: Michael Salisbury
Assistant Referees: Lee Betts and Mark Scholes
Fourth Official: Jonathan Moss
Video Assistant Referee: Lee Mason
Additional Video Assistant Referee: Wade Smith
382 fouls - Third-most in Premier League
59 yellow cards - 9th in Premier League
2 red card - 4th-most in Premier League
There are no trains on Saturday between Clapham Junction and Kew Bridge. Kew Bridge will be very congested post-match with only one platform open serving out of town trains. Please consider alternative routes away from the ground.
There are extra services before (12.35pm) and after the game (5.40pm) from Kew Bridge to Woking, calling at Brentford, Hounslow, Feltham, Staines and Virginia Water.
HOW TO FOLLOW
This afternoon's game is live around the world via the Premier League's broadcast partners. Click here to see if it is on where you are
The only way to follow in the UK is on BeesPlayer as Karleigh Osborne joins Mark Burridge for live commentary.