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Analysing Southampton's run-in - Man Utd, Man City, Arsenal still to face

Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at the nine fixtures Southampton still have to play in the 2019-20 Premier League season.

While the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on every club in England, there is no doubt that the stoppage has come at a better time for some teams than others.

Southampton are one of those for whom the break in play gives an opportunity to regroup and reset following a run of form that saw them lose five of their six games immediately prior to football's suspension.

Ralph Hasenhuttl's side have slipped down to 14th place as a result, but they remain seven points above the relegation zone and only six adrift of the 40-point mark.

It has certainly been a season of ups and downs for the Saints; they suffered the ignominy of losing 9-0 at home to Leicester City in October - the Premier League's largest ever home defeat - but they have also beaten Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, taken points off Manchester United and Arsenal and produced a cathartic win over Leicester in the reverse fixture to avenge their record-breaking drubbing.

The season is not over yet, though, and with that in mind Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at the nine games Southampton still have left to play in 2019-20.

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl on February 1, 2020© Reuters

Next up for Southampton was due to be an away trip to bottom-of-the-table Norwich City, which on paper would have provided an ideal chance to get back to winning ways.

The Saints are the only team in the division to have picked up more points on the road than at home this season, so the fact that their majority of their remaining matches are away will come as a relief to Hasenhuttl.

Three of the league-low tally of 14 home points Southampton have amassed this term came at Norwich's expense in December, so they would have been confident of pulling off the double over the Canaries, particularly as Daniel Farke's side have the second-worst home record in the division - ahead of only the Saints.

The poor home form is a major concern, though, especially considering that three of their remaining four games at St Mary's come against top-half opposition, namely Manchester City, Arsenal and Sheffield United.

Southampton have lost their last seven meetings with Man City and so will not expect anything out of that contest, but they may be hopeful of getting something from the other two opponents having taken four points from the reverse fixtures.

Shane Long celebrates scoring for Southampton on February 22, 2020© Reuters

Southampton's other home game comes against Brighton & Hove Albion and also provides a good chance to pick up one of the two victories they need to reach 40 points considering the Seagulls are winless so far in 2020 and were also beaten by Hasenhuttl's side in the reverse.

The Saints have taken seven points off their remaining home opponents already this season, then, which is not bad considering their average position is around 8th.

However, it may be away from St Mary's where the majority of their points come; three of Southampton's remaining five away opponents currently sit in the bottom four of the table - Norwich, Watford and Bournemouth - while Manchester United are the only top-half team left for them to visit, with Everton making up the five.

The average position of their remaining away opponents is between their own current position of 14th and 15th, and they have a decent record against many of them too.

Southampton have lost just one of their last 13 against Watford, one of their last seven against Bournemouth and have won more than they have lost against Everton in their last six meetings.

Even their record against Manchester United is improving having avoided defeat in three of the last four contests, although they remain without a victory over the Red Devils in their last eight.

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rhs 2.0
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721

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