Three Southampton players that could end Tottenham title chase
By Dominic Toner
Football Insider analyses three Southampton players that will cause Tottenham difficulty in their Premier League meeting on Wednesday.
Spurs travel to St Mary’s occupying fifth in the table and are already battling for a top four spot.
The north London club are currently 10 points adrift of league leaders Chelsea and a defeat to Southampton would surely end their fading title hopes.
The Saints are expected to be difficult opponents and they are just two places behind Spurs in the league table.
Claude Puel’s side have several talented options in their squad and have the ability to cause an upset, which would leave Spurs in a difficult place.
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Virgil van Dijk
Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk is being linked with a big money move away from the club in January and his qualities will be on show against Spurs. The centre-back has emerged as one of the best in the division and is likely to give Harry Kane a torrid evening. He is extremely dominating in the air and is also clever in possession. Van Dijk is attracting the interest of Manchester City and Liverpool because he has been the rock at the heart of the Southampton defence this season. The 25-year-old is beginning to reach the peak of his career and is showing very few weaknesses in his game. The Spurs attack will need to be at their best if they are to test Fraser Forster in goal.
Southampton’s Oriol Romeu has been a direct replacement to Spurs midfielder Victor Wanyama and no one predicted the impact he would have in the side. The 25-year-old endured a mediocre spell at Chelsea during the earlier stages of his career and was deemed not good enough. He moved to the South Coast club in 2015 and has become a star player under Puel this season. The defensive midfielder has screened the backline so well and will be involved in a great battle with Spurs playmaker Dele Alli. Romeu has frustrated several attackers already this season and will be raring to go after missing the last game through suspension. The Spaniard has made 22 appearances this campaign and has been Southampton’s most improved player.
Jay Rodriguez scored his first goals since August against Bournemouth in the last game as the Saints secured a 3-1 away victory. The 27-year-old has been extremely unfortunate with injuries during his career, but the signs are emerging that he could be returning to his best. The attacker made his one England appearances in 2013 when he was in full flow and regarded as one of the top attackers in the top-flight. Rodriguez will be desperate to recapture that form and Spurs will certainly need to be wary of his threat. He will be full of confidence ahead of Wednesday’s clash and could be about to hit top form again.
In other Tottenham news, the club are set to reach a defender agreement in January.