Southampton and Brentford meet in the Premier League at St Mary’s tonight.
14th placed Southampton have the opportunity to leapfrog the Brentford in the table with a victory, whilst 3 points for Thomas Frank’s side will see them move in to the top half of the standings.
The two sides clash on the South Coast 24 days later than planned, after the original game scheduled to take place on December 18th was postponed due to coronavirus cases in the Brentford camp.
The Bees have enjoyed travelling to Southampton in recent times, having won on their last two visits to St Mary’s in all competitions.
Saints meanwhile have never faced Brentford in top flight competition, but have had success against sides they have played for the first time in the Premier League on 8 of the last 9 occasions.
Brentford boss Thomas Frank proclaimed that Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse is the best set-piece taker in world football in the build up to the game, with the England midfielder having scored 11 top flight free kicks in his career – one more will make him the outright top free kick scorer in Premier League history.
In the other dugout, Ralph Hasenhuttl has expressed his desire to see clubs’ January signings omitted from any rescheduled games, citing a level of unfairness if new recruits were allowed to feature in those fixtures.
Although a controversial opinion, it will bear no relevance this evening as Brentford’s only fresh face is on-loan Midtjylland goalkeeper Jonas Lossl who is likely to be an unused substitute.
Che Adams and Mohammed Salisu will return to contention for Southampton tonight, however.
Forward Adams is available following a bout of coronavirus, while defender Salisu has completed a one-match ban.
Saints are short at right-back due to suspensions for Yan Valery and Kyle Walker-Peters and Tino Livramento’s knee injury, while Alex McCarthy (hamstring), Will Smallbone (calf) and Moussa Djenepo (international duty) are also unavailable.
Brentford will have a double fitness boost with Sergi Canos and Mathias Jensen both available.
Winger Canos has been out of action with a thigh problem, while midfielder Jensen has been battling a groin concern.
Left-back Rico Henry is on the way back from a thigh injury but Tuesday’s clash could come too soon for him to feature.
Southampton provisional squad: Forster, Caballero, Stephens, Perraud, Bednarek, Salisu, Lyanco, Simeu, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, S. Armstrong, Diallo, Chauke, Elyounoussi, Redmond, Tella, Broja, Long, A. Armstrong, Adams.
Brentford provisional squad: Lossl, Pinnock, Jansen, Sorensen, Roerslev, Norgaard, Jensen, Canos, Toney, Wissa, Fernandez, Thompson, Forss, Ghoddos, Ajer, Baptiste, Janelt, Bidstrup, Stevens, Cox.