‘I don’t think’ – Paul Merson shares his Spurs v Southampton prediction

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Paul Merson
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Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has shared his score prediction ahead of Tottenham Hotspur’s match against Southampton.

Spurs and the Saints officially start their campaign in a Premier League fixture at Tottenham Hotspur stadium this afternoon

The visitors got the better of Antonio Conte’s team last season after they held the hosts to a 1-1 draw on the south coast and a late 3-2 win in north London in February.

Tottenham also has some injury concerns and a suspension to deal with, adding to the obstacles they have to face in the opening match of this season. Richarlison serving a one-match suspension, Oliver Skipp is ruled out while Yves Bissouma, Ivan Perisic and Matt Doherty are all considered to be doubtful (Evening Standard).

Merson has expressed that he expects Spurs to beat Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side by a 2-0 scoreline.

Writing in his Sportskeeda column, Merson said: “Tottenham have done well in pre-season. They’ve bought phenomenally well, and now they need to get these players together as a team. In the Premier League, you don’t get too long. If you take too much time, you end up finding yourself six points behind the rest of the pack.”

“It’s massive that Spurs have managed to hold on to Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min. I don’t think Southampton will do too well in the Premier League this season, but I’ve got a sneaky feeling about this game. I do like the way Tottenham have bought though, and I think they’ll be able to win this game.”

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Conte has already confirmed that Skipp is set to be out of contention for today’s league clash. The boss also suggested that he would not take any risks with Bissouma, which could mean that the midfielder will be lucky to even be on the bench (Tottenham Hotspur official).

That means Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur are likely to be our starting options in midfield, with others like Harry Winks, Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele being on the transfer shortlist (Football.London). Perisic and Doherty, on the other hand, are yet to achieve full fitness, so Ryan Sessegnon and Emerson Royal could be the ones to start against Hasenhuttl’s team.

Southampton also have some injury concerns of their own, with the likes of Tino Livramento, Theo Walcott and Nathan Tella not being available for selection. However, they have also strengthened their ranks with the additions of Gavin Bazunu, Mateusz Lis, Armel Bella-Kotchap, Romeo Lavia, Joe Aribo and Sekou Mara this summer.

In such a case, it would not be an easy start for us after factoring into account the context of this league game. However, we have more than enough options in our ranks to overcome the challenge that awaits us later today. Hence, anything less than three points would be a disappointment as it is crucial to kickstart the season on a positive note.

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