Tottenham forward Emmanuel Adebayor celebrates after scoring against West Ham in the Capital One Cup, December 18. Reuters
Tottenham have not had the best of weeks so far - mauled by Liverpool at White Hart Lane last Sunday, which led to manager Andre Villas-Boas being sacked and then getting knocked out of the Capital One Cup by West Ham.
Something has to give at Spurs, and the North London club will be hoping for a lift in the shape of three points when they visit Southampton in the English Premier League on Sunday.
The 2-1 loss to West Ham, in a game that they led going into the final few minutes of the game, would have been particularly jarring, with interim boss Tim Sherwood unable to get his team geed up for victory.
In that encounter Sherwood brought back Emmanuel Adebayor, who scored, to the starting lineup, while going back to a 4-4-2 formation with wide players very much asked to come to the fore.
While that might look good on paper, West Ham showed the problem of playing such a formation, taking full advantage towards the end of the game as the Spurs players tired.
Sherwood might be well advised to go to a more compact formation, while not abandoning the club's attacking principles - which is easier said than done, of course.
"It's up to us to worry about what we're going to do and hopefully we can impose ourselves on them and get a positive result," Sherwood said. "We're looking for a good performance and we know if we play well we should have a good chance of winning the game.
"We'll have different personnel, down to a few injuries, so we'll have to play in a slightly different manner."
For Southampton, who are three points behind seventh-placed Spurs at the moment, it will be about getting that rhythm back which saw them near the top of the table in the first couple of months of the season.
Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino, who has been linked with the vacant Spurs job, is looking forward to the festive period fixtures, which sees Southampton play four matches in the space of ten days starting with the visit of Tottenham.
"Me and my staff are really looking forward to this [the Christmas period]," he said. "We're really prepared to enjoy this period, even though it's madness. It's going to be crazy with many games in a short period of time but I think it's a very good time for [people] to get together, come to the stadium and come together as a family.
"It's going to be a very tough period during the Christmas period but it's something that the people and many families enjoy doing in this country, we as well. We want to enjoy. We're really looking forward to it and we want to experience it as best as we can."
Team news: Southampton: Pochettino will be without Artur Boruc and Victor Wanyama with Danny Fox and Nathaniel Clyne doubts.
Tottenham: Andros Townsend has been ruled out after injuring his hamstring in the 2-1 defeat to West Ham, while Jan Vertonghen is also set to miss out, with Sandro a doubt.
Key men: Southampton: Jay Rodriguez scored a late equaliser against Newcastle last weekend, and the England international will be keen to find the back of the net yet again.
Tottenham: Emmanuel Adebayor was brought back from the cold in the League Cup encounter on Wednesday, and the Togo international answered with a goal. Another couple on Saturday will help Tottenham nicely.
Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for a 7pm IST start with live coverage on Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD2. The match can also be live streamed online by clicking HERE. To catch the action in the US click HERE, while UK viewers can click HERE. To watch the match through live streaming in the Middle East and North Africa click HERE with viewers in Australia able to avail that option HERE.
Expected lineups: Southampton: Gazzaniga; Clyne, Lovren, Fonte, Shaw; Schneiderlin, Cork; Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Rodriguez; Osvaldo.
Tottenham: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Chiriches, Rose; Capoue, Dembele; Lennon, Paulinho, Chadli; Adebayor.
Prediction: 2-1 to Southampton
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