Writer: Abe Hawken
Date:Friday February 20 2009
St Mary's Stadium
High flying Preston are the next team to visit St Mary's stadium this Saturday.
The Lilywhites sit in fourth place thanks to the joint best home record in the league, winning twelve matches at Deepdale.
Alan Irvine's men haven't been so consistent away from home, having only won three times on the road.
The Saints on the other hand, need the three points to edge themselves out of the dreaded drop to League One. With home fans only seeing one win all season, matches at St Mary's haven't drawn the best crowds or best performances.
However, if the famous red and white strip is to avoid relegation again, then three points is a must on Saturday.
"It's a very important game," he said. "Especially after the results of Tuesday but I don't expect the other teams to lose all their matches so we have to do it all by ourselves starting tomorrow against Preston North End.
"The time has come to really get a result. We have to play good football and show a good fighting spirit to get the result at home."
Southampton will be without midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin who sits out after picking up his fifth yellow card against Bristol City last weekend.
Young starlet Adam Lallana returns to the team, while winger Lee Holmes is still sidelined through injury.
The midfielder will be looking to rally his team with a commanding performance. He is always a goal threat, and the talented left sided player will be looking to get on the scoresheet tomorrow.
Preston will miss striker Neil Mellor after a hernia opertaion, and Callum Davidson sits out with a calf problem.
Stephen Elliott looks set to return after being out with a hamstring injury.
The powerful striker notched in the 1-0 victory of Norwich last weekend, and the experienced forward will be looking to do the same again for Preston.
The return fixture this season saw the Saints come back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 thanks to a late solo goal from David McGoldrick.
Mr. Pat Miller (Befordshire)
Saints 2-1 Preston. Southampton NEED a win tomorrow and if they are to avoid the drop again, a home win is a MUST.
28th February - Cardiff (H)
3rd March - Ipswich (A)
Date:Friday February 20 2009
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