Southampton v Swansea City: PPI Preview

Southampton vs Swansea – Sunday 1st February, 16:00

Southampton continue to push for Champions League qualification and remain in third place in the league. Southampton are unbeaten in six in the league, including wins against Everton, Arsenal and Manchester United, as well as a draw against Chelsea.

Nathaniel Clyne has been one of the key factors in Southampton’s form, putting in solid displays both offensively and defensively. The right back has made the most tackles of any Premier League player with 83, averaging out at 4.15 successful tackles per game, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Ryan Bertrand, on the other side of the Southampton defence, has been equally impressive. Bertrand has covered more ground than any other Saints player this season, covering a total of 22.1km, averaging out at 10.5km per game, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Ahead of Bertrand and Clyne, Southampton’s wingers have been in top form this season, particularly Dusan Tadic. Tadic is joint second in the Premier League assists chart having set up his teammates on eight occasions, largely due to the quality of his crossing. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Tadic has put in the second most successful crosses in the Premier League, finding a man 34 times in total this season. Tadic is 6/1 to score first with 888sport.com.


Swansea sit in 9th place in the league, but are currently on a run of four games without a win and will be hoping to bounce back to winning ways against Southampton.

Swansea captain Ashley Williams has had a great season at the back for Swansea and has recorded some very impressive statistics on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Williams has made the most clearances of any Premier League player (263) as well as making the fourth most interceptions in the division (55).

Gylfi Sigurdsson will definitely be a big miss for Swansea following his suspension. Sigurdsson is joint second in the Premier League assists charts, alongside Southampton’s Dusan Tadic, on eight assists. Sigurdsson has made 445 passes in the opposition half, more than any other player in the Swans’ squad, and in addition to his assists he has netted four goals in the Premier League. Swansea will be looking to their other attacking players to step up in his absence.

One of the players looking to step up in his place will be Jefferson Montero. The pacey winger has completed the eighth most successful dribbles in the Premier League according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, with 52, which is especially impressive as Montero has only featured in seventeen of the 22 Premier League fixtures so far. Montero is 20/1 to score first with 888sport.com.



Data supplied by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Select and manage your own team of stars at http://fantasy.premierleague.com/ or with FIFA Ultimate team.


Is the transfer window about to get busy for Saints?

As I have just about got used to the fact that this probably won’t now be the quiet transfer deadline day I, and many Southampton fans, would have hoped for, it is perhaps a time to reflect.

With Shane Long now out injured and Jack Cork’s position at the club starting to look shaky, the likes of Jordy Clasie, Tonny Vilhena (both from Ronald Koeman’s former club Feyenoord) and forward Danny Ings have been linked with January moves to St Mary’s.

It seems like it would be too risky for the club to not at least bring in another striking option.

It’s a privileged position to find ourselves in and we should be quick to remember that times haven’t always been this rosy.

As the club decide whether or not to stick or twist on their potential European qualification it should not go unnoticed that this week is the 10th…

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Cup dream is over, but for some it isn’t a dream anyway!

As I watched Southampton crash out of the FA Cup to an impressive Crystal Palace performance I was absolutely gutted.

Another year and another without a major trophy for my beloved club, taking the tally up to 40 years come next seasons cup final. Soul destroying, especially given the team we have this season and the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Spurs are already out.

Bob Dylan once said ‘For the times they, they are a’changin’ and what I found to my dismay, with regards to my fellow Saints fans that certainly rings true now.

Some of them seemed genuinely pleased that we were out, with the rhetoric that we ‘can concentrate on the league’ very much the reason. I was so stunned to see such a lack of regard for actually ‘winning’ a competition…

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Saints v Crystal Palace (FA Cup): Player Ratings

Please submit your ratings for the players against Crystal Palace below:-


Cup dream is very much alive for fans of Saints and Palace!

Saints prepare to take on Crystal Palace in the FA Cup on Saturday, the first time the two sides have met in the competition since 1976, and I’ve heard it on the grapevine that that was a particularly good year.

At this early stage, the current generation of Saints fans is still dreaming of its own ’76 and that is what makes this competition still special. For fans of clubs like ours and Palace, winning trophies is not a regular occurrence and no matter how much the FA promotes its flagship competition to the sponsors they will not dampen the dreams of 32,000 people at St Mary’s.

As is so often the case these days, the victor may be the manager who ‘shuffles their pack’ with the least vigour. In that respect, Ronald Koeman has resisted the urge to tinker too much in cup…

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Who are the Premier League’s best ever penalty takers?

After the strangeness surrounding Leighton Baines not taking Everton’s penalty against West Brom on Monday night, our friends at Oulala.com decided to have a look at the the Premier League’s best ever penalty takers with some interesting result for Saints fans…. – Chris

Following ‘Mirallas-gate’ on Monday night we have taken a closer look to who the five best ever Premier League penalty takers are.

It’s no surprise that Kevin Mirallas failed to make the cut…

Of course it’s Saints own Matt Le Tissier that leads the way in terms of conversion-rate based on a minimum 10 spot-kicks taken.

Nicknamed ‘Le God’, Le Tissier found the back of the net with an incredible 25 of the 26 penalties he took during 10 seasons in the Premier League with the Saints. An outstanding 96.2% success-rate from the spot. Considered as one of the greatest ever from 12 yards his overall record is 47 goals from 48 penalties.

Danny Murphy enjoyed Premier League spells at Liverpool, Charlton, Tottenham and Fulham during his professional career converting 18 of his 19 EPL penalties at a more than modest rate of 94.7%, just enough to take second spot.

In third comes another ex-Saint, James Beattie. The striker spent much of his career in the Premier League which included time at four other clubs, Blackburn, Everton, Stoke City and Blackpool. With success from 16 of the 17 Premier League penalties he took gave him a conversion-rate of 94.1%.

Defender Julian Dicks spent the majority of his career at West Ham United, with a short stint at Liverpool, comes in fourth alongside the only current Premier League player in the top 5, Everton and England left-back Leighton Baines, both sharing the same record. The pair have converted 15 of the 16 penalties they have taken, a rate of 93.8%.

Of the chasing pack two current players have 100% records from the spot, however have taken less than 10 penalties. Chelsea’s Eden Hazard has converted all 8 of the penalties that he has stepped up to in the Premier League while Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has converted all 7 of his spot-kicks.

Note. Six out of Six for Rickie Lambert in a Premier League Saints shirt too! – Chris

Are Officials starting to treat Saints like a ‘big’ club?

For years Southampton have been the victims of terrible refereeing decisions.

Whether it was in terms of clear penalties being denied us, and being punished for those that clearly weren’t or hideous offside calls and a plethora of other injustices,  I was told by those that support the traditional ‘big’ clubs that ‘it all evens itself out at the end of the season’.

My stock response to this was always the same. Nonsense. It might do for you, it certainly doesn’t for us; but recent events have made me ponder whether Saints elevated position this season is starting to make that suggestion a reality.

Are the officials now treating us like one of the big boys? We’ve been in and around the top four now since early September and it suddenly feels like we are getting the odd rub…

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Newcastle United v Saints: Player Ratings

Please submit your player ratings for the Newcastle United game here:-


Saints can keep Euro dream alive if they banish another poor stadium record on Saturday!

Saints head to St. James’ Park for Saturday’s Premier League evening kick off knowing they will have to banish another poor stadium record to the annals of history, much like they did last weekend at Old Trafford.

Given the form of both teams, a Newcastle United victory seems as incomprehensible as the lyrics to Lindisfarne’s ‘Fog on the Tyne’ and as unlikely as Mike Ashley being given the freedom of the city. However, this is not a ground where Saints fare well and amongst the furore of recent results, a point would be an extremely positive result at the end of an arduous week travelling wise.

Ronald Koeman has a midfield dilemma to sort out, with Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama both injured this week, so it will be interesting to see if he throws the returning…

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Newcastle United v Southampton – Saturday 17th January 17:30

This weekend will see Newcastle look to get back to winning ways having suffered a defeat to league leaders Chelsea in their last outing. The Geordies sit in tenth place in the league at the moment and will look to solidify their position with another victory this weekend.

Newcastle will look to please the toon faithful with a victory this weekend, and there is nothing that fans like to see more than hard work. The EA SPORTS Player Performance can highlight that Jack Colback has been an instant hit in Newcastle having covered a squad best 232.9km already this term. That hard work will be vital in an engine room going up against Southampton’s talented array of midfielders.

Moussa Sissoko will join him in midfield, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index also demonstrates what a fabulous season he is having in the black and white stripes. Sissoko has proved his box to box nature by bagging two goals, winning 63.3% of his 30 tackles and racking up 580 completed passes, with an accuracy of 79.3%.

At the back, yet also a threat going forward, Daryl Janmaat has had a great first half to his debut season on Tyneside. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights that he has won 57 tackles so far this term, winning 76% of his tackles overall, racking up 52 clearances and 48 interceptions. Having already found the net once this season, he is 15/1 to score anytime with 888sport.com.


This weekend’s visitors to St. James’ Park will come into the Saturday fixture brimming with confidence after a fantastic victory at Old Trafford saw them leapfrog the Manchester side and climb into third place. The Saints are now unbeaten in five, winning four of those matches, and will look to make it five wins from six.

A massive part of their form has been keeper Fraser Forster, as Southampton have the best defensive record in the league. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that the England international shot stopper has now made 42 saves this season, at an average of 2.8 saves per goal conceded. He will be looking to keep his third consecutive clean sheet.

It should be no great surprise that Dusan Tadic was Southampton’s match winner last weekend, as explained by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He has had a fine debut campaign with the Saints, netting three times and also completing a squad best 34 crosses. He will both be a danger in front of goal and when he looks to turn provider.

One man who will thrive off that service is Graziano Pelle. The Saints top scorer has been in scintillating form this season, as demonstrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He has now scored eight times, converting 36.3% of his 22 shots on target. Like Tadic, he has the ability to both score and turn provider having also racked up five assists. He is 16/4 to score anytime with 888sport.com.


Data supplied by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Select and manage your own team of stars at http://fantasy.premierleague.com/ or with FIFA Ultimate team.

Despairing Southampton fan, Blogger for Metro & ESPN, Ex-Squaddie, Hugely Sarcastic, Occasionally Witty, Bert from Sesame Street Lookalike gives his thoughts on all things Saints!