Saturday, November 13, 2010




Saints travel North in very confident mood and now that boss Nigel Adkins has his team firing on all cylinders, the "best squad in the division" is closing in on a top two spot and promotion back to the Championship. Adkins has got the fitness levels at the club, which we have discussed previously up to near where he wants them and this combined with the exceptional talent he has at his disposal, has seen the results flow, with six wins from seven starts. Level of expectation is now so high that Adkins was critical of his side after a recent 4-0 win, saying that they have to pass the ball better !

In Lee Barnard and Rickie Lambert he has two top line strikers at this level, Lambert, along with Jose Fonte was rested in midweek and both will be eager to play today, but this is a team full of potential match winners, 17 yo Alex Chamberlain seems sure to go down the Bale and Walcott route, players like Dickson, Jaidi and Puncheon are fringe players atm, who would walk into anyother League 1 team, but two things have been key to the recent upturn in fortune. The loan signing of ultra dependable Richard Chaplow, whose deal has been extended to the end of the year and the return from injury of Adam Lallana, who makes them tick and is WAY too good to play in the third tier, he will be playing his football at a higher level next season, either with or without Saints.

Forget the league table, this is the best team in Division 1 and they like the pitch at Carlisle where the playing surface suits their style of football, weather has been bad in the UK, but forecast is dry and sunny for Brunton Park today, with not too much wind, so I am seeing few problems. I understand via an Adkins interview that training has gone unbelievably well this week and with a 4-1 utter demolition of United at Wembley in April at the hands of Saints still playing on the home team's mind, I can only see this going one way.

Southampton -0.25 2.02

Good Luck.

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