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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Speedy Spurs can see off Southampton in double-quick time

Tottenham hungry for goals

Harry Kane could guide Tottenham to a Champions League spot
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Premier League
Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event, 12.30pm Tuesday

Tottenham had some teething problems with their switch to Wembley but they have won five of their last six games under the arch and should be too strong for struggling Southampton, who are at serious risk of getting dragged into the relegation battle.

In each of Spurs' last three home wins - Apoel (3-0), Stoke (5-1) and Brighton (2-0) – they have been in front at half-time.

And they are likely to make a fast start against Saints, who have major problems at both ends of the pitch.

Southampton's top scorer Charlie Austin looks set to miss the rest of the festive period after pulling a hamstring during Saturday's 1-1 draw at home to Huddersfield.

And their best defender, wantaway centre-back Virgil van Dijk, has not featured since the 4-1 loss at home to Leicester.

The pressure is increasing on Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino, who finished the weekend as Paddy Power's 6-1 second favourite in the next-manager-to-go-betting.

And the thirst for change will intensify if Saints failed to take anything from this week's games at Spurs and Manchester United.

The two dropped points against Huddersfield were significant, leaving Southampton just three points above the relegation zone.

They haven't won on their travels since September and are running into Spurs at the wrong time.

Tottenham were criticised after their 4-1 defeat at Manchester City but they responded impressively in their 3-0 victory at Burnley on Saturday.

Harry Kane grabbed the headlines with a superb hat-trick and is looking as sharp as he has been at any stage of the season.

But it was an excellent team performance and could easily have generated a bigger margin of victory.

Dele Alli was the pantomime villain, picking up an early yellow card, winning a penalty and prompting loud boos from the home supporters.

But for the most part it was a more mature performance from the 21-year-old, who played his best football for some time and had a hand in two of Kane's goals.

Defensively, Spurs looked much more solid with Davinson Sanchez back after a three-game ban.

The Colombian was composed, pacy and physical and his presence was clearly appreciated by Jan Vertonghen, who had an assured game.

From the first whistle there was a tempo and intensity to Tottenham's play which manager Mauricio Pochettino spoke of after the match.

He felt they were getting back to the standard which they were setting a year ago and will need to reach more often to secure a top-four finish.

Playing at that pace over the busy festive period won't be easy but Spurs' squad is looking healthier with Erik Lamela back in the fold and Victor Wanyama in full training.

They banked nine points from nine over last season's Christmas programme, starting with a 4-1 success at Southampton.

They will be targeting another maximum haul and can start in the same way by beating Southampton with something to spare.

Tottenham-Tottenham double result
1pt 6-5 Coral, Ladbrokes

Premier League standings

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Team news
Victor Wanyama is back in training but Toby Alderweireld (hamstring) will not return during the festive period.

Cedric Soares, Ryan Bertrand picked up knocks in the 1-0 loss at Chelsea and were unavailable for Saturday's match at home to Huddersfield. Charlie Austin (hamstring) is out.

Key stat
Tottenham have won five of their last six home games against Southampton.

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Saints haven't won on their travels since September and are running into Spurs at the wrong time
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