Ahead of Southampton's big Premier League game at home to Brighton, we bring you our in-depth match preview...
Southampton vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Wednesday 31st January, 7.45pm GMT
Referee: Mike Dean
Assistants: Simon Long, Ian Hussin
Fourth official: John Brooks
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
There is no doubt this is a game of real significance for both sides, given their standing in the Premier League table.
Saints begin the night in the bottom three, but they are only one point behind Albion, and they could leapfrog a whole host of clubs with a victory.
With Southampton currently without a win in their last 11 in the Premier League games and Brighton having failed to achieve a victory in any of their previous five top-flight matches, a win would for either side would be a real fillip.
Southampton: Saints have a doubt over Ryan Bertrand, after he went off with an injury in the first half of Saturday’s FA Cup win over Watford. There is still hope the left-back could be involved, but a late call will be made. New signing Guido Carrillo could be in line for his full debut, but his condition will also be assessed first.
Brighton: Striker Leonardo Ulloa could make his debut after returning to the club this week, signing from Leicester City on loan. Record-signing Jurgen Locadia is absent due to a hamstring injury, though. The Seagulls lost winger Jiri Skalak to an ankle injury in their FA Cup success over Middlesbrough at the weekend, while Izzy Brown (knee) and Steve Sidwell (back) remain out.
Southampton’s previous five:
Watford (h) W 1-0 (FA Cup)
Tottenham (h) D 1-1
Watford (a) D 2-2
Fulham (a) W 1-0 (FA Cup)
Crystal Palace (h) L 1-2
Brighton’s previous five:
Middlesbrough (a) W 1-0 (FA Cup)
Chelsea (h) L 0-4
West Brom (a) L 0-2
Crystal Palace (h) W 2-1 (FA Cup)
Bournemouth (h) D 2-2
Southampton fans will no doubt be keen to see how new signing Guido Carrillo fares, should the striker get his first significant run-out. Elsewhere, Dušan Tadić could be key, with the playmaker having created a team-high 37 chances throughout the Premier League season. Fingers will also be crossed that Ryan Bertrand, whose cross created Southampton’s goal in the 1-1 draw with Spurs, will be fit, with the left-back having laid on 22 opportunities for his teammates in the league this year.
Top scorers: Charlie Austin (6), Steven Davis (3), Manolo Gabbiadini (3), Dušan Tadić (3), James Ward-Prowse (3)
Most assists: Ryan Bertrand (3), Nathan Redmond (3), Dušan Tadić (3)
Brighton may have added some additional firepower in the shape of Jürgen Locadia and Leonardo Ulloa, but it is Glenn Murray who has provided the bulk of their goals so far. The forward netted in the 1-1 draw between the sides earlier in the season, while Pascal Gross has also been an effective creative asset for the Seagulls.
Top scorers: Glenn Murray (8), Pascal Gross (5)
Most assists: Pascal Gross (5), Davy Propper (2), José Izquierdo (2), Tomer Hemed (2), Sally March (2)
Previous four meetings:
October 2017: Brighton 1-1 Southampton (Davis)
January 2012: Brighton 3-0 Southampton
November 2011: Southampton 3-0 Brighton (Lambert 3)
April 2011: Brighton 1-2 Southampton (Connolly, Fonte)
DID YOU KNOW?
– Southampton have only lost one of their last 27 Premier League home games against newly promoted teams (W17 D9) and are unbeaten in each of the last 11.
– The Seagulls have scored fewer away goals than any other Premier League side this season (5), failing to score in nine of their 12 games on the road this season, including each of the last six.
NOT AT THE GAME?
Don’t worry if you can’t make it to St Mary’s! We’ll be with you every step of the way on our interactive match centre at southamptonfc.com, where we will have all the build-up, as well as in-game updates and free live audio commentary.
Additionally, be sure to follow us on our various social channels for behind-the-scenes access and further updates from the big game: