‘Hard to beat’ – Mark Lawrenson predicts score for Tottenham vs Southampton

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Mark Lawrenson has admitted he is unsure about how Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur will fit into Antonio Conte’s set-up but the pundit expects a fit and firing Harry Kane to carry Spurs to victory against Southampton.

There was a sense that the feel-good factor had returned to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday as Spurs overcame Brighton 3-1 in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Spurs welcomed back two key players from injury in Son Heung-min and Cristian Romero while the two new signings also had promising debuts.

Conte praised the atmosphere at the ground on Saturday and admitted that he was pleased to see the intensity his side showed against the Seagulls (Spurs TV).

The Italian will be hoping for a similar sort of performance from his players against the Saints on Thursday.

Lawrenson believes that Kane being back to his best could be crucial for the Lilywhites heading into the business end of the campaign.

The pundit told BBC Sport: “I don’t know how Tottenham’s new signings, Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur are going to fit into Antonio Conte’s side, but the most important thing for Spurs is to see Harry Kane scoring again.

“Kane back on the goal trail is a headline we’ve been waiting a long time to see, because it doesn’t feel like he has been fully fit or at his best for much of this season.

“We know Southampton are hard to beat, and they took a point off Spurs with 10 men at St Mary’s Stadium at the end of last year, but if Kane is firing then Tottenham will be too. 2-0.”

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Southampton are in a very good run of form, having won four of their last five matches in all competitions since their 1-1 draw with Spurs at the St Mary’s and drawing the other match against Manchester City.

So Conte’s men will not have it all their own way on Wednesday and need to take an early lead as they did against Brighton to make their task easier.

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