Claude Puel’s Southampton will be aiming to extend their unbeaten run to five games when Tottenham Hotspur make the trip to St. Mary’s Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Saints recorded a 3-1 victory over Bournemouth in their most recent league encounter and head into the midweek fixture aiming to record a second consecutive win – a result that would see them leapfrog Everton into seventh place in the EPL table.
Spurs, meanwhile, have seemingly recovered from their 1-0 loss to Manchester United, recording wins over Hull City and Burnley. However, they trail fourth-placed Arsenal by four points, and will see this as a must-win game if they are to keep their fading title hopes alive.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) December 26, 2016
Speaking to the press ahead of Wednesday's game, Puel has urged the Jay Rodriguez to build on his two-goal haul against Bournemouth when the Saints square off against Spurs.
He said: "If he can continue with this confidence and score against Tottenham I will be happy.
"It's important for Jay and also for the other players to try different things to surprise the opponents. For me it's an obligation to make dribbles, assists, to try something.
"With all these chances it's important to become clinical. I hope Jay will continue this work."
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, meanwhile, has backed his side to stay in the race for the Premier League title, despite trailing table-topping Chelsea by a massive 13 points.
He said: "We can fight for the title at the end of the season. It's up to us to fight and be ambitious and try to be our best.
"With 17 games played, we have more than half the season ahead. All is possible in football.
"We are confident. We are working hard. We are focused on trying to win points. This is a very important period.
"We want to attack the last three or four months with the possibility to try to fight for the top four."
In team news, Puel will be able to call on Oriol Romeu again, following the midfielder's return from suspension.
However, Jordy Clasie, Matt Targett and Charlie Austin miss out through injury.
For Spurs, Mousa Dembele, Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose and Toby Alderweireld are available for selection after recovering from their respective injuries.
Argentine attacking midfielder Erik Lamela remains on the treatment table with a hip injury.