EPL Preview – Southampton on the way up

Team: Southampton

Manager: Mauricio Pochettino

Upsides: Midway through last season, the Saints sacked Nigel Adkins and eyebrows were raised across the globe. This man had led the club from League One to the Premier League in two years with successive promotions, yet got sacked a few weeks into January. If the club fell into a heap and got relegated, no one really would have been surprised.

Well what a difference 6 months makes! New manager Mauricio Pochettino introduced a intense, high pressing game and was rewarded with the Saints positively cruising to safety. A full pre-season with the squad, and two savvy additions in Wanyama and Lovren to a squad already brimming with young talent, means Pochettino will be very confident heading into the new season.

Where it could all come apart: Inter Milan are sniffing around Gaston Ramirez like a fat kid in a bakery. Ramirez showed glimpses of his elite quality last season, without ever fully delivering on his promise. The Saints would hate to lose such a talent just as he has started to get used to life in the Premier League.

Ins: Victor Wanyama (Celtic FC), Dejan Lovren (Olympique Lyonnais)

Outs: Frazer Richardson (FC Middlesbrough), Steve de Ridder (FC Utrecht), Ryan Dickson (Colchester United), Danny Seaborne (Yeovil Town), Richard Chaplow (FC Millwall), Ben Reeves (Milton Keynes Dons), Vergard Forren (Molde FK), Tommy Forecast (Gillingham FC), Danny Butterfield (Free), Sam Hoskins (Yeovil Town), Alberto Seidi (Free)

The Blog FC Predicts: 6th – The Saints have managed to hold on to all their aces in the off season, and with the upheaval occurring at some of the other mid-table clubs (or in Swansea’s case – the extra burden of the Europa League), expect the Saints to charge up the ladder.

6th!? Are we having a laugh!?! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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