PREM: Watford v Southampton preview


Watford v Southampton preview

Southampton will look to put the disappointment of their EFL Cup final defeat behind them when they travel to Watford on Saturday.


The Saints fell to a late Zlatan Ibrahimovic header at Wembley as Manchester United won 3-2 and now Claude Puel's side need to focus on climbing the Premier League table, having lost six of their last eight games.

It's a run of form which has seen them slip from seventh on Christmas Day to a current position of 13th.

The arrival of Manolo Gabbiadini has boosted the outlook for Southampton - he's scored five goals in his three appearances and is already the club's joint-second top goalscorer behind Charlie Austin.

After a sticky run of results, Watford have lost just one of their last six matches in the league but have only kept one clean sheet in their last 16 games.
 
Watford will be without Mauro Zarate but could have Daryl Janmaat and Costel Pantilimon available.

Winger Zarate has been ruled out for the rest of the season by the knee injury that forced him off in the 1-1 draw with his former club West Ham at Vicarage Road last Saturday.

Defender Janmaat (groin), another to come off injured last weekend, is having his fitness checked ahead of potential involvement against the Saints, as is goalkeeper Pantilimon (ankle), who has been sidelined since the end of January.
 
Fraser Forster will be fit to start for Southampton.

The England goalkeeper appeared to battle a minor thigh issue in the defeat to United, but boss Puel has insisted he has not suffered any injury.

Austin remains sidelined with a shoulder problem, while Virgil van Dijk continues to recover from his ankle injury.


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