Southampton travel to the Stadium of Light for their penultimate game of the season. Having lost to a late strike by ex-Saint academy graduate Gareth Bale at Tottenham last weekend, the Saints head into todays game knowing that a win will guarantee their survival from the drop. Sunderland find themselves just a point behind Southampton (38pts) and three points away from Wigan in 18th place, having fought back to earn a point at home to Stoke in their last outing.
Southampton travel to the Liberty Stadium today to face 9th placed Swansea in their 34th league game of the season. After a 1-1 draw at home to West Ham seven days ago, the Saints are 7 points clear of the relegation zone. Whilst it is unlikely that Southampton will now go down, a win today would take them over the 40 point mark and all but cement their place in the Premier League.
Swansea haven’t played since the 6th April, when they battled back to earn a 2-2 draw with Norwich. The Swans (9th) are just three points above Southampton (12th) and will be looking to get back to winning ways, having not won since 2nd March.
If you were to ask your standard season ticket holder at St.Mary’s what he or she thought of when the word ‘Netherlands’ was uttered you would probably get your stock answers such as ‘chips and mayonnaise’, ‘tulips’, ‘windmills’ or, depending on what block said season ticket belonged to, ‘prostitutes and weed’. Some of the more obsessed faithful may even respond with ‘Jos Hooiveld’, yet if they attempted to name another current or former player from Holland I would place a significant sum of money that they would struggle.
In the recent history of Southampton (for the purposes of this article from the 1980s onwards) there have only been five, yes that’s right, five, players from the Oranje to have graced the red and white stripes. Below is a snapshot of these five players, some of which are, without a doubt, cult heroes to those of us of a certain age and there is the tragic story of one in particular who had the world at his feet, all but for an unfortunate injury that saw him never play a game for Southampton.
Southampton all but ensured their survival in the top flight with a fine 0-2 win over Reading last weekend.
A highly organized West Ham managed to negate Liverpool’s potent attacking threat as they battled to a 0-0 draw at Anfield last time out.
Southampton have enjoyed a very different season to their fellow newly promoted opponents today. They secured a stunning 2-1 victory over Chelsea in their last game thanks to goals from Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez.
Reading are now bottom of the Premier League on goal difference after falling to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Arsenal in their last league game. A Hal Robson-Kanu goal was scant consolation in that game.
Southampton are now 4 points clear of the relegation zone with 8 games to go in the Premier League after their fantastic 3-1 win over Liverpool before the international break.
The visitors to St Mary’s today leapfrogged Tottenham in their last league game to go third after beating London rivals West Ham 2-0.