Tottenham Hotspur-Southampton Preview
Jose Mourinho did not hold back in his criticism of the Tottenham's hectic schedule, labeling their frantic start to the season a "total joke".
Spurs, who lost 1-0 to Everton in their opening Premier League fixture, scraped a 2-1 victory over Lokomotiv Plovdiv in Europa League qualifying on Wednesday, meaning they will travel to Macedonia to face Shkendija next week.
Before that, Tottenham, who are set to sign Gareth Bale and Sergio Reguilon, face Southampton on Sunday and Leyton Orient in the EFL Cup on Tuesday, while victories in the knockout ties would ensure a similarly packed run of fixtures the week after, and Mourinho is unhappy with the governing bodies who have organised the calendar – which has been congested due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"I hope it is [a busy schedule], because I wouldn't like to be knocked out of the Europa League or even the EFL Cup," he said. "But the people who make these decisions...forgot this situation is not possible, this is a joke, a total joke.
"We were very, very lucky that Leyton [Orient] beat Plymouth, because Plymouth would be very, very far for us. We're in Bulgaria, then in Southampton, then Wednesday we will be again flying to Macedonia, and so on and so on.
"It's quite dramatic but I prefer the drama of being in these competitions."
Southampton also lost their opening game of the campaign, going down 1-0 to Crystal Palace, and followed that up with a defeat to Brentford in the EFL Cup.
"It was not the start we wanted to have. As always, when you step out of pre-season you don't know where you are," Ralph Hasenhuttl told a news conference. "We have to use these games we have now to get back to our normal level."
Southampton – Danny Ings
Ings scored 22 league goals last season, and has reportedly been the subject of interest from Tottenham, who wish to add another striker to their squad. He has scored in both of his Premier League appearances for the Saints against Spurs.
Tottenham – Tanguy Ndombele
France international Ndombele seemed to have been frozen out by Mourinho by the end of last season, but he is now back in the fold and helped turn things around for Spurs against Plovdiv after coming on from the bench. With Dele Alli having been taken off at half-time in the loss to Everton, Ndombele may well be given the nod on Sunday.
• Southampton have won both of their last two home league games against Tottenham.
• Against no other current Premier League side are Spurs on a longer wait for a clean sheet than they are versus Southampton, failing to keep a shutout in any of their last nine meetings with the Saints.
• Tottenham have not started a Premier League campaign with back-to-back defeats since 2011-12.
• Spurs' Alli has been involved in more Premier League goals against Southampton than he has any other side in the competition (nine - five goals, four assists).
• Harry Kane has scored nine goals in his last nine league appearances against Southampton; the England captain only has more Premier League goals against Leicester City (15) and Arsenal (10).
Updated September 18, 2020