Yeovil Town take on Southampton tonight at Huish Park in a League One match at Huish Park. The two sides come into the game two places and one point apart from each other in the latest League One Table, although there are few people who would expect Saints to finish the season in their current 18th place slot. Disrupted somewhat by the decidedly bonkers decision to sack manager Alan Pardew straight after a 4-0 win at Bristol Rovers, they've had a sticky September, and until last Saturday hadn't won a game since Pardew's exit from the club.
That win was an impressive 1-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough, and so the question will be whether that match represents a turning point for their fortunes, or whether they just happened to edge out another side who is drastically under-performing this season. In Nigel Adkins they have a highly successful new manager, who took Scunthorpe United to the Championship twice, but as with all management changes, they need time to bed in new ideas, and his task won't have been easy when he has come in on the back of some unrest kick-started by Pardew's departure.
Saints defender Jose Fonte missed Saturday's win, whilst impressive midfield playmaker Adam Lallana was kept on the bench due to a recent four week layoff through injury. His 18 minute return to the fold on Saturday suggests that he may be ready to play a more prominent role in Southampton's season from now on. He replaced Saturday's goalscorer Lee Barnard, who should partner Yeovil's nemesis Rickie Lambert up front tonight. Oddly, Southampton's problem so far this season has been finding the net, with just six goals in eight games so far, and given four of those came against Bristol Rovers their strike force will be under pressure to change that statistic.
The Glovers go into the game with question marks over Craig Alcock (back), Jean-Paul Kalala (knee) and John Sullivan (shoulder). The latter returned to training yesterday but may not be quite ready to be thrust straight into the action, with Stephen Henderson available for selection otherwise.
Manager Terry Skiverton's problem is very obvious indeed. His side are currently leaking goals like a sieve, and they have the worst record in the division, with 17 in eight League One matches. Once cup matches are considered, it becomes a fairly startling 15 in their last five matches - three goals a game - and that and a record of one win in nine games has to be arrested quickly. With the bottom four teams all one point behind them, any slip-up tonight will probably put the Glovers back into the drop zone and they'll need at least a point to avoid that happening ahead of two difficult away trips at Walsall and Rochdale.
Past meetings between the two sides don't paint too much hope of a Yeovil win, with Saints victorious in the last six meetings between the two sides, once friendlies are taken into account. That said, the two meetings last season provoked refereeing outrage to an extreme, with Yeovil's 0-1 home defeat in April spoilt by referee Oliver Langford bottling a second red card for the sinning Saints, whilst Southampton won the September 2009 clash at St Mary's thanks to two penalties, one of which was one of the most incredulous decisions seen in football last season. The Glovers will need to be on form tonight if they are to beat their illustrious counterparts, but they'll also need tonight's referee Simon Hooper to be on the ball as well.
Tonight's match kicks off at 7.45p.m. and tickets for the match are available right up until kick-off from the Huish Park Ticket Office, subject to the usual matchday surcharge. We'll be on Twitter as usual if you're not there, whilst BBC Somerset will be doing live commentary on the match on 95.5FM with coverage starting just after the 7.00p.m. news.
Link: Officials For Yeovil Town vs Southampton.
Link: Saints Away Following To Boost Tonight's Crowd.
Link: Doubts Remain Over Injured Glovers Duo.
Update: As of 3.00p.m. this afternoon, Southampton had sold 1,300 terrace tickets and 330 stand tickets, with tickets for Saints fans available from the Huish Park Ticket Office - 170 seats and 200 terrace places available to away fans.
Comment on this News Item on Facebook
or Go back to Top of Page