Burnley

Mauricio Pellegrino must start this £13.5m-rated midfielder today to unlock Burnley’s defence

The Southampton fans in the Transfer Tavern are becoming increasingly concerned by the prospect of relegation this season. 

The Saints faithful propping up our bar in the Tavern have been relatively downbeat for almost the entirety of the season so far, as their poor form since Mauricio Pellegrino took charge has dragged them into a relegation battle that very few would have predicted at the beginning of the season. Of course, they are hoping that the unpopular Argentine manager can turn things around during the final weeks of the season, but they are far from confident considering what they’ve witnessed so far.

Southampton start the weekend in 18th position with just 26 points from their 27 fixtures so far, and facing the prospect of an extremely difficult looking trip to Turf Moor to face Burnley today. The visiting side should be encouraged by the fact that The Clarets have lost 3 of their last 4 fixtures at home, even if those defeats were at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Liverpool.

Despite Burnley’s poor record of late, there is no doubt that they will be a difficult side to break down today due to the excellent organisation and astute tactical philosophy injected into the side by Sean Dyche – a manager who has famously been dubbed as ‘the ginger Mourinho’.

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With that being said, Southampton’s most creative attacking players will need to be at their very best today to carve open a defensively solid Burnley side, especially Dusan Tadic (valued at £13.5 million by Transfermarkt) who has struggled to find his best form for the south-coast outfit this season.

On his day, Tadic is a player who can cause genuine problems for quality defenders with dazzling quick-feet and incisive passing. However, Tadic’s inability to rediscover his confidence and provide Southampton with a creative attacking outlet has been a significant factor in their struggle to achieve results so far this season. That simply must change today, as Southampton will need to find at least one moment of intelligent craft and guile in the final-third to prise Burnley’s sturdy defensive unit apart.

The Serbian international managed to score a goal of the highest quality against West Brom last weekend as he delicately looped the ball over the onrushing James McCarthy after he brilliantly controlled a lofted pass from Guido Carrillo, and he will need to bring that type of quality to Turf Moor today if Southampton are to leave with three valuable points.

Thoughts? 

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