— Kickoff: 1000hrs (EST)
Cardiff City slumped to a fifth straight defeat away from home on Tuesday night with a heavy 3-1 loss at West Ham as the Welsh club still remain without a Premier League win on their travels this season.
Cardiff return to their Cardiff City Stadium this Saturday though as they look to pick up a fourth win in five home matches, and it looks highly likely that Cardiff’s Premier League survival will hinge upon the results that they gain on home turf now.
Following the recent 2-1 win over fellow new-boys Wolves, Cardiff have lifted themselves out of the bottom three and up into the relative safety of 16th place and more importantly, two points above the relegation zone.
Another ‘six-pointer’ beckons for Cardiff as they prepare for the visit of Southampton on Saturday, with Neil Warnock’s men pinning their survival hopes on picking up points on home soil,
Home Form & Team News
As mentioned earlier, Cardiff City have won three of their last four at home with wins against Fulham 4-2, along with 2-1 wins over both Brighton & Hove Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers as the goals have at last started to flow at home at least.
Prior to the wins, Cardiff had managed to score just 3 goals in their first four league matches at the Cardiff City Stadium which was becoming a major concern for manager Warnock.
However, defender-cum-striker Callum Paterson and attacking midfielder Josh Murphy (3 goals apiece) have hit the back of the net in recent times to alleviate the host’s goalscoring fears for now.
Warnock now needs his side to keep things tighter at the back as The Bluebirds have managed just one clean sheet at home so far this season, which was in a 0-0 draw with Newcastle United in their opening home fixture of the campaign.
Cardiff will be without long-term injured list of Kenneth Zohore, Jazz Richards, Greg Cunningham, Danny Ward and Gary Madine for this clash.
Southampton parted ways with former manager Mark Hughes following their recent 2-2 draw at home with Manchester United which seemed a harsh and slightly strange decision.
Sure, show Hughes the door after his Southampton lost 3-2 away at fellow relegation strugglers Fulham, but to still have him in charge for the next game against Manchester United, you’d have to assume that he’d have another game at least in charge.
A point against Manchester United is a good result in anyone’s books, but to then sack Hughes after that result seems a weird reaction to say the least.
Anyway, Hughes has departed, and in comes former RB Leipzig manager, Ralph Hasenhuttl to attempt another rescue mission for the floundering south coast club.
Southampton are without a Premier League win from 11 matches now, and Hasenhuttl faces a mammoth task of lifting his new charges out of the bottom three, even with a trip to face an up-beat Cardiff City side on Saturday.
The Saints possess the fourth lowest goalscoring tally in the top flight ahead of this vital encounter, and this is something that Hasenhuttl will need to address as his side failed to score in 5 of these last 11 matches.
In addition, Southampton have kept just two clean sheets within this 11-match sequence – both of which were 0-0 draws against Bournemouth (away) and Newcastle United (home).
Away Form & Team News
The story doesn’t get any brighter I’m afraid when looking at Southampton’s results away from home so far in this season’s campaign with an overall poor record of 1-1-6 7/19 to their name.
A 2-0 win away at Crystal Palace earlier in the season prompted early promise from the south coast club, but since then, the visitors have slumped to six matches without a win, losing five of these.
Defeats at Liverpool 3-0, Wolves 2-0, Manchester City 6-1, Fulham 3-2 and Tottenham 3-1 – the latter saw caretaker-manager Kelvin Davis in charge, has resulted in conceding a total of 17 goals and scoring just 4 in reply during this miserable sequence.
Overall, Southampton have managed just 3 away wins from their last 25 matches on the road which is an appalling record for a top flight club.
Hasenhuttl may also be missing a couple of key strikers in the shape of Shane Long and Danny Ings (4 goals, 1 assist) along with defender Ryan Bertrand and forward Michael Obafemi who are all rated as doubtful for the trip to Cardiff.
Cardiff are in good form recently at home while Southampton are hoping that a fresh face in charge in the shape of Hasenhuttl will give them a timely boost for this clash. This could end all square in Wales today.