Competition: Major League Soccer – Southampton vs. Burnley
Venue: St Mary’s Stadium – Sunday, October 16 – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET)
Match Odds: Southampton 4/11 – Draw 18/5 – Burnley 8/1
The Saints drew 0-0 at Leicester before the international break but had won back-to-back games against Swansea and West Ham before that and look to be improving under Claude Puel.
They enter the weekend in 10th place but have a squad capable of challenging for European football once again. They need to be winning games like this one to prove they are a force to be reckoned with.
Southampton are unbeaten in eight Premier League home games coming into the match but have already had to settle for frustrating home draws against Watford and Sunderland this season, so they must be more clinical in front of their own supporters.
For Burnley, it’s a tough away game in which little is expected of them. Sean Dyche’s men have yet to score a goal away from home this season and are taking on a Saints team that hasn’t conceded in 540 minutes of league action.
Burnley were harshly beaten by Arsenal thanks to a controversial late Koscielny goal in their last game but they beat Watford 2-0 before that and need to continue fighting for each other if they are to stay up this year.
They come into this week’s action in 14th place and need to try and stay out of the bottom three for as long as possible to keep pressure off the squad.
This will be just the third Premier League game between these two sides, with each team winning once when they met over the course of the 2014/15 campaign.
Southampton will be without fullback’s Ryan Bertrand and Cedric Soares, who join Florin Gardos, Jeremy Pied and Sofiane Boufal on the injury list. Charlie Austin is expected to lead the attack ahead of Shane Long once again.
Burnley will be without star striker Andre Gray, who is serving the third of his four-game suspension this weekend. Ashley Barnes is Sean Dyche’s only injury worry.
Southampton’s last five: D/L/W/W/D
Burnley’s last five: L/D/L/W/L
Key Stat: Southampton are unbeaten in their last eight home games in the Premier League and have beaten Burnley in each of the last three meetings at St Mary’s.
Key Player: Dusan Tadic – The Serbian playmaker has been in good form for club and country and helped his nation to victory by scoring in both games over the international break. He’ll be tasked with breaking down the Burnley backline on Sunday and should succeed in doing so, given his excellent vision.
Southampton 1-0 Burnley – The Saints have a great defensive run going and are unlikely to concede to a team that has yet to score an away goal in the league this term. There might not be many goals here, but the Saints are a stronger side and should have enough to seal all three points.