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NEW BBC Sport predictions pundit, Chris Sutton, has estimated a 2-1 defeat for Saints at Tottenham Hotspur, in the season opener tomorrow.
Former Blackburn Rovers star Sutton has replaced Mark Lawrenson as the BBC’s predictor pundit for the upcoming Premier League season.
Sutton predicts Saints to have more opening day woe, with a tough trip to the capital one of as many as four ‘difficult’ fixtures in August.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side are likely to line up with their five-at-the-back shape and match Antonio Conte’s system, after the Italian dragged Spurs into Champions League places last campaign.
“There is a lot of excitement around Tottenham, but then it is the same at the start of every season,” Sutton said, on BBC Sport.
The era of Mark Lawrenson is over. Chris Sutton now doing the BBC Sport match predictions. #SaintsFC
💬 "2-1 Spurs. But a lot of people seem to be predicting Southampton will get relegated. Saints seem to get written off every season and then prove people wrong..." pic.twitter.com/uqXPHBX8kv
— Alfie House (@AlfieHouseEcho) August 5, 2022
“I know Richarlison is suspended for this game but it is going to be interesting to see how he fits into their team after joining from Everton.
“Dejan Kulusevski did really well after arriving in January and we know how good Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane are, so I don't know how Antonio Conte will fit them all into his team. Still, it's not a bad problem to have.”
He continued: “In contrast to what is expected from Spurs, a lot of people seem to be predicting Southampton will get relegated. But Saints seem to get written off every season and then prove people wrong.
“They have suffered some heavy defeats in recent years but they have also picked up some impressive results under Ralph Hasenhuttl - they drew home and away with Manchester City in the league last season and also won at Conte's Spurs.
“I don't see a repeat of that result on Saturday, though. Instead, I'm going for the old Kane and Son one-two to get the job done for Spurs again.”
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