The Saints are set to make the long trip into the heart of Yorkshire to face Barnsley. The south coast side have been busy in the transfer market with three players coming in to bolster the outfit.
Everton’s Lee Molyneux could make his debut to cover for the injured Rudi Skacel and Dutchman Jan-Paul Saeijs is set to make his debut in the heart of defence.
The Saints have struggled to find the net in recent weeks, which is reflected with the Saints occupying 23rd spot as they go into tomorrow’s game. However, Marek Saganowski returns after his loan spell with Aalborg and will be looking to stamp his authority on the Championship again.
The Tyke’s sit nervously in 16th position yet their home form is respectable having won six times at Oakwell. Simon Davey’s team will be looking to pick off the Saints and consolidate their position in the heart of the Championship.
Vital Quotes: Poortvliet on Barnsley
‘I think it will be a big battle,’ he said, ‘because they have shown this season that they are well organised, strong and have lots of movement with two centre forwards who play close together.’
‘We have to play our way, but we must learn to fight as well,’ he continued. ‘We need to do that because you see how Barnsley have switched from being a side who were scrapping to one who can now play football, so we need to be able to show that we can win another way as well.’
‘They are in a better position now than when they played us last time because they went on a run after that match and you see that they are a bit more comfortable in general as a result.’
Barnsley Team News:
Barnsley have to play without their most influential midfielder Diego Leon who has a hamstring injury.
Powerful defender Darren Moore, veteran Jon Macken and ex-Norwich Jamie Cureton set to return for the Tykes tomorrow.
Player to watch: Jamal Campbell-Ryce
With seven league goals this season, Campbell-Ryce is Barnsley’s top scorer and will be looking to notch once again for Simon Davey.
Southampton Team News:
Saints striker Marek Saganowski is set to start for the Saints after returning from his loan spell with Danish side Aalborg.
Dutch signing Jan-Paul Saeijs may start in the heart of defence along side Chris Perry thanks to Wayne Thomas and Michael Svensson having long term injuries.
Adam Lallana is not fit enough to play, however the young talent is making progress for next weekend.
Czech defender Rudi Skacel is out with a calf strain, so New Years Day signing Lee Molyneux is set to make his debut for the Saints.
Player to watch: Marek Saganowski
Having just returned from Aalborg the Polish international would love to have a fresh start by notching a goal for the struggling south coast side.
Match Facts & Stats
The fixture at St. Mary’s earlier this season finished in a boring 0-0 draw with neither team creating anything. Hopefully tomorrow’s game (with the Saints having their beloved Saganowski back) will have more goal action.
Anthony Bates (Stafforshire)
1-0 Barnsley. The Saints have been struggling to create chances and I can only see a home win…especially with Barnsley’s reliable home form.
Doncaster at St. Mary’s next Saturday. MASSIVE game.