Two teams inside the top 10 come up against each other here and two teams who have been good so far this season. Burnley have been incredible so far, upsetting some of the big teams like Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool and playing better than anyone could’ve anticipated. Southampton haven't been spectacular but they’ve played consistently enough to get inside the top 10 and meet their expectations. Southampton might have a better squad but Burnley have been in a great run of form.
Southampton have a strong squad where every position has a player who’s decent. It’s very hard to find the weakness in this Southampton squad because of the consistency within their players and the depth of their squad. At the moment Mario Lemina is injured though which could serve a huge blow to them as he is a crucial centre-mid for them. Southampton are unbeaten in their last 3 games with a win and 2 draws meaning they’re in a good bit of form at the moment and they’ll be looking to continue that.
Van Dijk will be an important player for Southampton because he is a commanding force who controls Southampton’s back-line. I think that if he has a good game the whole Southampton defence will play better but if he lets them down Burnley will capitalize and quite possibly score a few goals. Another key defensive player for Southampton will be defensive-mid Oriel Romeu. Romeu has been a crucial midfielder for Southampton with the most passes, tackles, interceptions and aerial battles won. He’s been so good for them because he controls the game with his brilliant passing and defending ability.
Gabbiadini will be looking to provide the goal threat for Southampton this weekend after not scoring last week in their 1-1 draw with Brighton. Gabbiadini is Southampton's top scorer with 3 goals so far this season which isn’t as much as he should have considering how good a striker he is. Steven Davis is another player that has been really good for Southampton recently. He’s shown how good a attacking player he can be with 2 goals and some good attacking moves so far this season. With the new addition of Mario Lemina in the Southampton team Davis has been playing further forward in an attacking midfielder position instead of more of a defensive mid which has worked out brilliantly for him so far.
Burnley have been brilliant so far and currently sit in 7th in the league behind Liverpool on goal difference. Burnley have been doing well this season but their form is starting to decrease with only 1 win in their last 3 games. However they did win their last game against Newcastle, another side who have been doing well lately. It will be interesting to see if Burnley can keep up their form against the top teams in the league because so far, they’ve taken a lot of points off teams that you’d expect them to lose against.
On this Burnley team there haven’t been any standout stars this season but Chris Wood has played well at times. Sadly for Burnley, Chris Wood is injured and might not be available this Saturday even though there are reports that he should be fit. If he doesn’t play that will give Burnley a huge disadvantage because he is currently their top goal scorer with 3 goals this season. Without him Burnley will lose their key finisher and they might find it tough to find the back the net.
Jeff Hendrick could be important to Burnley’s success in this game as well. He plays as a centre-mid but his attacking play has been his main feature this season and he’s been very dangerous at times. He’s scored 2 times this season and he could pick up another 1 here. James Tarkowski and Ben Mee, Burnley’s 2 centre-backs have to play well in this match and hold off players like Davis and Gabbiadini if Burnley want to win this match. Burnley aren’t the highest scoring side and Southampton have a good defense meaning it’s crucial that the Burnley defense steps up to give them an advantage. Tarkowski has been decent this season and Burnley will have to hope that his form continues.
Burnley have been low-scoring so far with less goals than games and if Wood isn’t available their attack could be further damaged. However, There’s a good chance that he will be able to play. This match is all about whether Burnley’s defense can hold off the Southampton attacking players. If they do this successfully they’ll have a good match where they control the game but if they don’t I don’t think they’ll be able to outscore their opposition. Southampton need to break down this strong Burnley defense if they want to win the game but I think they’ll only be able to do this once. I also think that Burnley will only be able to score once as well. They’ll draw 1-1.