Southampton manager Ronald Koeman and his side’s superb form has created a fear factor that is giving them a psychological advantage going into matches.
The Saints have won nine of their last ten games and currently sit second in the Premier League table, while also reaching the Capital One Cup quarter finals for the first time in ten years thanks to a 3-2 win at Stoke City.
As a result the South coast outfit are creating a mental edge over
their upcoming opponents, due to the impressiveness of their performances and subsequent run of results.
A large part of the credit for this goes to the back line, who have conceded just five goals in the league all season. This makes them the tightest defence in England’s top four divisions.
Although they conceded twice last night at Stoke in the Capital One Cup, it is the first time they have conceded more than one goal in a game all season. Such a solid force will automatically caused doubt in opposing forwards who will surely be wondering how they will break down such an impervious barrier.
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Goals in abundance
As well as the water tight defence, the Saints have also been causing havoc in the other direction. With the creativity of Serbian winger Dusan Tadic floating into space and threading the ball through the tightest of gaps, his ability alone is enough to worry any defender.
Add to that the finishing ability of Graziano Pelle, who has continued his superb scoring run of the last two seasons, Koeman has the firepower to trouble even the best. Pelle’s double at Stoke last night included a 25 yard curler and took him to 64 goals in his last 78 matches.
Such firepower is enough to put any defence on the back foot from the beginning, and with the confidence in his side increasing game on game, Koeman might be wondering how long the run can continue.
Both of the factors above, as well as the style of play Koeman has adopted at St. Mary’s make facing Southampton a troubling proposition.
With Nathaniel Clyne and Ryan Bertrand bombing forward at every opportunity and Morgan Schneiderlin and either Jack Cork or Victor Wanyama providing power and energy in the centre of the park, the Saints have it all.
A couple of bigger fixtures lie ahead in the next few weeks with Southampton facing both Manchester clubs and Arsenal away by mid-December, if they remain unbeaten through that period, they could become serious contenders.
The Dutchman will be hoping that with the confidence flowing throughout the squad right now, they will continue to strike fear into any opposition for a long time to come.