Brighton & Hove Albion are back in Premier League action on Saturday afternoon when they host Southampton at the Amex Stadium, kick-off 3pm.
Chris Hughton’s team entertain the Saints in their first Premier League match in three weeks following their Emirates FA Cup quarter-final and the latest international break, and will be looking to build on the 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in their last top-flight contest.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side sit one place and three points before Albion heading into the game, having run out 2-1 winners over Tottenham Hotspur on home soil last time out.
The corresponding league fixture last season saw the two teams play out a 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium. Steve Davis headed the visitors into the lead after seven minutes into the game as James Ward-Prowse’s free-kick bounced back off the woodwork.
But Glenn Murray headed home shortly after the restart past Fraser Forster to level the scores and mean the spoils were shared.
Chris Hughton revealed that he would be without Pascal Gross for the game this weekend, and that Florin Andone will be assessed on Friday after training with the team on Thursday morning.
The away side have been able to welcome Danny Ings back into training over the last fortnight, Hasenhuttl confirmed in his pre-match press conference.
The Seagulls have won four of their last five matches in all competitions and are unbeaten in their last three.
Emirates FA Cup victories over Derby County and Millwall respectively have sealed the club’s place in the last four of the historic competition for only the second time in 36 years, whilst March began with a 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town at the Amex Stadium thanks to Andone's header.
A week later, goals from Murray and Anthony Knockaert sealed an impressive 2-1 victory over Selhurst Park in the side’s last league contest against Crystal Palace.
The Saints have won two of their last five across all competitions, with the aforementioned victory over Spurs last time out seeing late goals from Yan Valery and Ward-Prowse cancel out Harry Kane’s first half opener on the south coast.
A narrow 3-2 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford followed a 2-0 home success over Fulham thanks to goals from Oriol Romeu and Ward-Prowse in the final week of February – the side’s last away win in the league was the 2-1 victory away to Leicester City in the middle of January.
LAST TIME OUT:
Pearce 70, O’Brien 79
Locadia 88, March 90+5
Albion win 5-4 on penalties after extra time.
Albion: Ryan; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Bernardo; Stephens, Propper, Kayal (Izquierdo 73); Knockaert (Locadia 73), Murray, Jahanbakhsh (March 67).
Subs not used: Button (GK), Burn, Bong, Bruno.
LAST TIME OUT: SOUTHAMPTON
Valery 76, Ward-Prowse 81
Southampton: Gunn (GK); Yoshida, Vestergaard, Bednarek, Bertrand Valery, Romeu (Sims 45), Ward-Prowse, Redmond, Hojbjerg; Austin (Long 45, Armstrong 73)
Subs not used: McCarthy (GK); Stephens, Targett, Slattery.
PLAYER TO WATCH: James Ward-Prowse
James Ward-Prowse has netted six times so far this term, with three of those coming in his side’s last three contests.
All of his goals have come inside 2019, and his impressive recent form saw him called up to the England squad, where he earned his second cap in the 5-1 win over Montenegro.
The 24-year-old graduate of the Staplewood academy has amassed more than 200 first team appearances, and it seems as though the midfielder is thriving under the new Austrian manager’s guidance.