Southampton will pay tribute to manager Ronald Koeman’s sterling work in the St Mary’s dugout by wearing the orange of his native Netherlands for the visit of Tottenham.
Koeman has expressed his pleasure at the club’s first ‘Ronald Koeman Day’ telling the Daily Echo:
“I heard something about that and I think it’s nice because it’s a nice appreciation of the fans about my job and I know the connection between the manager and the fans is on a very good level and I like to keep that.”
However, he remained under no illusions that the terrace love in which he currently bathes would continue to be contingent on results, saying:
“To keep that we have to win games. It’s all about winning games, winning points and always that connection is more easy to keep.”
It’s unlikely to have been a coincidence that Saints diehards have chosen the visit of Tottenham, for whom they were deserted by former manager Mauricio Pochettino in the close season, to express their devotion to the club’s current coach.
Yet they could have selected better opponents than the Lilywhites to cultivate a laudatory air against, with three factors suggesting the 27/10 about a visiting victory is a bet worth backing…
Southampton have take four points from a possible 18 at home to the top eight
During those six outings they’ve scored just twice, suggesting the business of taking the game to the division’s better sides does not come easily to Koeman’s charges.
Tottenham have won eight, drawn two and lost one away to teams below them
The Lilywhites would be in third place with a decent chance of claiming second in a Premier League based purely on away form.
It’s a surprisingly strong record founded on profiting against those stationed underneath them in the standings.
Spurs inflicted the only blot on the Saints’ autumn run of 11 wins in 12 games
Fears that Southampton retain enough of the Pochettino DNA for their former leader to exploit them were stoked amid the glory days of October.
The fact that the north London men were able to best an otherwise flying side earlier this term suggests that the hosts have plenty to fear now their form is rather more mortal.
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Disagree? Back the Saints at 11/10 or the draw at 12/5.