Marlon King and Guriane N’Daw are available again but Nikola Zigic may miss out after injuring his knee scoring the fourth against Leeds.
New signing Billy Sharp will be available for Saints who have most of their injured players back.
The two teams met at St Marys in mid-September with Blues being handed a bit of hiding from Saints in a 4-1 defeat. Chris Wood got the goal for Blues.
Blues sit fourth and are unbeaten in the league since before Christmas. They have won five out of their last six league games scoring nineteen goals in the process.
Southampton are second but have only won two of their last six games. They have only won four times on the road but did win their last away game 3-0 against Nottingham Forest.
Well who saw Tuesday night’s result coming? I was thinking before the game that while our recent results had been good they had mostly been against bottom half clubs, a league one club and an understrength Wolves side. A win at Leeds would be difficult to achieve and be a good indicator of how good we really are. In the end it was comfortable although we rode our luck somewhat in the first half. As for Zigic well I really wasn’t expecting that. Was it coincidence that he put in his best performance for us just as the transfer window was closing and he knew he wouldn’t be going anywhere? Let’s hope he stays fit as I remember him coming into form this time last year as well but then he never played after the cup final.
While everyone rightly focuses on our goal scoring over recent weeks it’s worth noting that since Christmas we have only conceded four goals in ten games. We have always been strong defensively at home but we have now stopped giving away soft goals away which used to happen a lot in the first half of the season. It probably hasn’t helped that we have already played most of the top ten at their own grounds with only trips to West Ham and Leicester to come. Most of our big games now will be at home with Southampton being the first of the sides around us to visit St Andrews.
Southampton are looking like being this year’s sprinter in the marathon that is the Championship. There’s usually one. It’s worth noting however that their recent poor run has coincided with a lot of injuries and suspensions (Particularly to Richie Lambert and Adam Lallana) that would derail any side. Unfortunately for us they are starting to get those players. Absentees can’t be to blame for all their recent poor results though and it is clear that this will be a lot closer game than the one in September. Our good run has to come to an end eventually but I think we can keep it going a bit longer. I reckon a narrow win is on the cards even though I’m always worried when we are live on Sky…
My prediction 2-1
C’mon you Blue Boys.