Preview: Hapoel Be’er Sheva v Southampton

In-form Southampton will hope to make it five wins in a row when they face Hapoel Be'er Sheva in a Europa League Group K fixture at the Turner Stadium on Thursday.

The Saints beat West Ham 3-0 in their last Premier League outing – their fourth win in four games and a period in which they have scored nine goals without conceding.

Charlie Austin has been a major factor in the south coast club's recent run – the striker has hit five goals in his last four starts in all competitions. The 27-year-old will no doubt be looking to be a thorn in the side of the Israeli champions.

However, the Camels appear to be a tough nut to crack in Israel, having won four matches in a row on home soil. In addition, they stunned Europe when they beat Italian giants Inter Milan 2-0 in their opening group encounter.

It could be a stiff test for Claude Puel's men as they have won only once in their last six European away matches. Nonetheless, influential midfielder Steven Davis believes confidence is high ahead of the tie in southern Israel.

He told the club's official website: "We worked so hard to get ourselves in the Europa League and we want to go and enjoy it now.

"We've made a good start with the 3-0 result against Sparta (Prague) and it's important we build on that again. We want to progress through the group stages and then carry on from there."

In their opening victory over Sparta Prague, Puel opted to rest some first-team regulars and so Thursday's game could be a chance for the likes of Maya Yoshida, Matt Targett and James Ward-Prowse to shine.  Another plus is that the Saints have reported no fresh injury concerns ahead of the visit to Hapoel.

Meanwhile, the hosts have the threat of Anthony Nwakaeme in attack – the Nigerian forward has hit four goals in his last three starts. Hapoel have virtually a full strength squad available for this tie.

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