Writer: Abe Hawken
Date:Friday December 19 2008
St. Mary's Stadium
The Saints will be looking to give what will be the biggest crowd of the season an early Christmas present. A predicted 27,000 seats or so will be sold for tomorrow's encounter with Nottingham Forest.
Tomorrow's match is a huge six-pointer with both teams being separated by just one place and four points. Forest sit on 18 points, while the Saints are on 22 points, just four behind Watford in 17th place.
Southampton's home record remains the worst in the league, having only accumulated one win at home, coming against Norwich City way back in September. Similarly, Forest have a dire away record, having only won once away from the City Ground against Crystal Palace at the end of October.
So what happens when the team with the worst home record and the other having the worst away record? With both teams needing the win, at the start of a very tricky Christmas period, tomorrow`s being the first game of three in just eight days; it could be an exciting affair down on the South coast.
'We have a big crowd on Saturday,' he began. 'That's what I hear and there's nothing more special than playing for your own big crowd and proving what you can do.
'It's a big game. When you look at where we are at the moment in the table, we need a win to breed confidence and to get some extra motivation for the coming games, because there are a lot of big games coming.'
Winger Lee Holmes may feature after dramatically recovering from a tragic injury.
Morgan Schneirderlin is out again with an ankle injury, so Alex Pearce may start at centre back, allowing Jack Cork to move into the midfield.
The striker has not scored since the 1st November, when he scored the dramatic winner against Preston North End. McGoldrick has been talking about delivering for the Saints faithful and tomorrow may be the day when the Nottingham born striker will boost his confidence with a goal against Forest.
Midfielder Lewis McGugan remains out with a thigh injury, along with defender James Perch who is absent, picking up a suspension following his fifth yellow card of the season.
With three league goals this season, the ex-Norwich City striker will look to notch again for Forest.
Baring in mind both clubs history, the two teams have met a lot of times - 94 in total. Forest have the edge, having won 40 compared to Southampton's 33.
Mr. Iain Williamson (Berkshire)
Southampton 2-0 Nottingham Forest. The Saints to end their terrible run of home results with a dominant performance over fellow strugglers Forest.
Plymouth Argyle away on Boxing Day.
Date:Friday December 19 2008
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|16. Crystal Palace||12||3||2||7||-3||11|
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