Date: 9th March 2009 at 6:00pm
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The Saints have a chance to bounce back from their 1-0 defeat away to Birmingham City when Derby County visit St Mary’s tomorrow evening.

The Rams recorded a 2-1 win over promotion chasing Bristol City on Saturday, and the three points has given Derby some breathing space over their relegation rivals.

Southampton Head Coach Mark Wotte will be looking to get his side’s ‘great escape’ back on track with three points that would put Saints in touching distance of safety. After narrowly losing to high-flying Birmingham City at the weekend, the Saints could do with picking up maximum points in their next two home games if they are going to beat the drop once again.

Vital Quotes: Wotte’s words

“It’s a setback of course, because I thought we could have done a little better, but to get beaten at Birmingham against such a physically strong side is not a shame, it’s not the end of the world.

“But then again you always have to try to look to get the best out of a game, so now we have to move on and we focus on Derby County and there’s again three points to win tomorrow.”

Southampton Team News:

Midfielder Adam Lallana returns to the side after sitting out against Ipswich and Birmingham due to injury.

Lee Holmes is back in training but is still a few weeks away from a return to action, but other than that Mark Wotte has no fresh injury concerns.

It’s likely that the 52-year-old will select the same XI that played at Birmingham as the Saints look to get back to winning ways.

Player to watch: Jan-Paul Saeijs

The Dutch defender has settled into the side very well after joining the club on loan from Roda JC. It didn’t take Saeijs long to form a great partnership with Chris Perry in the middle of the defence, with ‘JP’ using his height and power to great effect. Southampton’s number 5 will be out to keep the Derby strike force at bay tomorrow night.

Derby County Team News:

New loan signing John Eustace goes straight into the squad after signing from Watford today.

Kris Commons, Chris Porter and Jay McEveley are all sidelined, whilst midfielder Paul Green and defender Miles Addison are out for the rest of the season after suffering long-term injuries.

Player to watch: Rob Hulse

Having already scored 15 goals this season, the 29-year-old will be looking to notch again after scoring the winner against Bristol City on Saturday.

Match Facts & Stats

This season, the Saints recorded a 1-0 victory at Pride Park, with David McGoldrick giving former Head Coach Jan Poortvliet his first league win as Southampton boss.

Ref Watch:

Mr. Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

Match Prediction:

Southampton 2-2 Derby County

Next Fixtures:

14th March – QPR (H)
21st March – Blackpool (A)

 

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