Southampton’s FA Cup campaign begins with the visit of Huddersfield


Following a recent resurgence, Southampton’s attentions now turn to the FA Cup and the visit of Huddersfield Town in the 3rd Round.

Winning five out of the previous eight Premier League matches, it’s fair to say Ralph Hasenhuttl has injected life back into a wilting Southampton side. The league’s second most in-form team – behind runaway leaders Liverpool – the south coast outfit have gone from certain relegation candidates to contenders for a top 10 finish.

The serial goal-scoring form of Danny Ings appears to show no signs of slowing after his Paul Gascoigne-esque finish on New Years Day lifted him up to second in the top scorers table. It was his 13th Premier League goal of the season and with that, became the only player to rack-up over half of his team’s goals (52%).

Saturday’s FA Cup clash might provide a welcomed relief to Huddersfield and boss Danny Cowley. The Terriers have endured a tough return to the Championship, where their current battle of attrition sees them in 20th place and five points clear of danger.

Team News:

The hosts are likely to be without Yan Valery, who continues to suffer from a viral infection. The illness has limited the French full-back’s playing time this season, making just eight league appearances. Sofiane Boufal remains a doubt after a long-running toe issue.

Huddersfield will be without Tommy Elphick (knee), Alex Pritchard (knee), Colin Quaner (hip) and Elias Kachunga (ankle).

Despite a mounting list of absentees, there is good news for Danny Cowley as Jonathan Hogg is available due to his two-game suspension only applying to Championship fixtures.

After a busy Christmas schedule, Ralph Hasenhuttl has revealed changes to the side are needed:

“Everybody has the feeling that we have pushed now the right buttons and found a way to play in the way we really want to show the fans. It’s an intense way – especially the last game, which from what the stats show was maybe the most intense one in the whole Christmas period.

“It’s unbelievable that, after the three games before, we again topped this level and this is fantastic and the team deserve the highest praise.

“We didn’t change a lot in those games. We didn’t want to lose our automatism, and the players went to the limit I think, and pushed the limits higher. But you see at the weekend as well the best example was Harry Kane, that even the fittest players have a danger of getting a hamstring injury in these moments, so we really have to take care now of what we do.

“The team will look a little bit different at the weekend. How different, we have to look at how they feel. They are tired at the moment, and this is normal.”

Meanwhile, Danny Cowley has admitted Huddersfield’s ‘small cohort of players’ means he is forced to pick the best team available:

“The challenge for us as a group is that there has been a lot of games in a small space of time. The games come thick and fast and we only have a small cohort of players to pick from.
“We have got some injuries within the group so we have to try and pick the best team we can. But it’s a cup competition that we love. We understand how big that challenge is, but it is a game that we are looking forward to.”


Southampton wins: 12

Draws: 5

Huddersfield wins: 11


About Author

Football, Boxing and Cricket correspondent from Hampshire, covering southern sport. Editor and Head of Boxing at Prost International. Accreditated EFL & EPL journalist.

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