Football

Southampton Vs Exeter, Sat 1 Jan 2011

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Lee Holmes is the only absentee ahead of Southampton`s clash with Exeter on New Year's Day.

The former Derby winger underwent surgery on his injured ankle earlier in December and will miss the rest of the season.

Midfielder Danny Butterfield will hope to have recovered in time from the dead leg he suffered in the 4-1 win over Huddersfield.

Left-back Joseph Mills, winger Jason Puncheon and midfielder Anthony Pulis continue their loan spells away from the club and will not return to the Saints squad in time to face the Grecians.

Striker Rickie Lambert scored against the Terriers and will look to improve his haul of seven league goals to remain the club`s top scorer.

Nigel Adkins` side can enter the automatic promotion places but are also in danger of losing their play-off position if they fail to win.

Exeter will resume their promotion push will a clean bill of health.

Paul Tisdale's men have not played since December 18th, when they thrashed Sheffield Wednesday, keeping his charges fresh for the encounter at St Mary's.

Troy Archibald-Henville returns after missing the 5-1 defeat of the Owls through a one-match suspension.

Tisdale says he may tinker with his squad against the Saints with the Grecians one point off the play-offs.

He told thisisdevon.co.uk: "We have got a good core of 17 or 18 players and the 11 who play on Saturday will probably not be the same 11 that play the rest of the season.

"I want the squad to stay together because I think we have got a chance of pushing even further up the table."

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Topics:
Danny Butterfield
Anthony Pulis
Football
League One
Joseph Mills
Rickie Lambert
Troy Archibald-Henville
Lee Holmes
Paul Tisdale
Jason Puncheon

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