This Premier League season has been riddled with twists and turns, jubilee and heartbreak, and everything in between. Southampton FC is the epitome of “everything in between.” From suffering injuries to selling players and buying reinforcements, just about everything that can happen to a team mid-season has happened to the Saints of Southampton. And unfortunately, it appears that even after all of the struggles and comebacks Southampton has experienced this season are not going to pay off.
Southampton resides in an unimpressive ninth place with five teams close behind. Watford, Leicester City, Burnley FC, Stoke City, and West Ham are all four points or less behind the ninth place Saints. To make matters worse, Southampton must face Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Arsenal in the final weeks of the Premier League season.
With a tough schedule ahead for the Saints, Southampton’s chances of finishing in the top ten aren’t looking too likely; and their track record of mediocrity won’t help them here.
However, Claude Puel expects January signing Manolo Gabbiadini to return from his groin injury to face Manchester City this weekend, according to Ben Nagle for MailOnline. The former Napoli man has already made quite an impression at Southampton, netting four goals in four Premier League appearances, per WhoScored.com. The Italian striker may be the Saints’ only hope for a top ten finish, considering the defensive degradation that has occurred at Southampton over the last few months.
Southampton desperately needs a positive finish to the season. They were fortunate enough to reach the final of the English Football League Cup but fell to Manchester United. Their defense has practically fallen apart since January, and they lost their star player to an ankle injury. While the likes of Manolo Gabbiadini could rescue the Saints from sinking into the bottom half of the table, a tough schedule and mediocre defense will most likely see Southampton finish the Premier League season in a position worse than tenth place.