Saints To See Off Seagulls At St Mary's

An in-form Southampton side will be hoping to make it two home wins in a row for the first time since December when they host Brighton at St Mary's Stadium on Thursday.

Fresh off their last-gasp equaliser against Manchester United on Monday, Ralph Hasenhuttl will be hoping to continue his climb for a potential top-half finish to continue his side's great run of form since their return-to-action.

'The Saints' have accumulated 11 points from their last six games since the Premier League season resumed in June, which included an inspiring 1-0 victory over last season’s champions, Manchester City, that helped to further cement their top-flight status for another season.

Only an hour-and-a-half down the road lies the home of Brighton and Hove Albion, who will be fresh in the face after two difficult results against league winners Liverpool and a 5-0 humbling by Pep Guardiola's 'Citizens'.

Graham Potter has been implementing an attractive brand of football ever since he swapped the Welsh cityscape of Swansea for the beaches of Brighton at the start of the season. With their return from lockdown opening with a shocking 2-1 toppling of Arsenal and a draw with Champions League-chasing Leicester City

Potter, who had a brief stint as a player for Southampton back in 1996, will be hoping to consolidate his Seagulls' place in the division as they currently sit a measly five-points above the dreaded drop-zone.

The former full-back's mind will be eased by the fact he has no additional injury concerns going into the fixture mid-week, with Jose Izquierdo and Steven Alzate the only absentees.

Whilst Ralph Hasenhuttl will have to make do without the trio of Sofiane Boufal, Yan Valery and Moussa Djenepo once more, with Irish forward Michael Obafemi hoping his dramatic equaliser mid-week, warrants him a start alongside golden boot hopeful Danny Ings.

In regards to their head-to-head, this is a fixture that has been overtly dominated by 'The Saints' who have won twice in their last two encounters, with Brighton’s last victory being back when both sides were playing their trade in the English second-tier in 2012.

Southampton have returned to the field of play with mesmerising quality, being the third most effective ball-retention team in Europe's top five leagues highlighting the fitness that this in-form Saints squad has to offer. Brighton will have their eyes laser-focused on this fixture hoping to walk away with all three points, especially as four of the five teams below them came out with the victory in their last outing. Hasenhuttl's men should just about have too much quality and consistency for Potter's 'Seagulls', as I expect them to continue their impressive vein of form.

Match Preview written by Ethan Evans