First, let me get this out of the way; for the life of me I don't know why Mark Lawrenson doesn't like us, but I'm fairly sure he doesn't. He predicted a Southampton win today and even went so far to say that because we have young players in the team that 'they will be up and down'.
Why does having young players mean the team will be up and down? How about with older players, possibly more susceptible to injury or fatigue? I know he is just baiting and that his knowledge of the modern game is, on a par with many supporters, but it's wild guess work, formed with no real justification.
So, I consider myself well and truly baited and now wound up again, but the thing with Mark Lawrenson is, you know it is just an opinion and it carries little weight.
Right, lets get this out of the way too; yes, it isn't nice that there is speculation that Nigel Adkins will be getting the sack and Harry Redknapp will be coming in to replace him and some will say it is madness that the game has gone this way, but how many sides in the last ten seasons have gone the first four games without picking up a point and survived in the Premier League?
The answer is none and the Southampton Chairman will know this and he'll also know that Harry Redknapp, who doesn't live that far away, is chomping at the bit to get back in the game and that he will probably keep Southampton up. I know it isn't nice and every Premier League manager will say this, but it is a reality of the game, especially when you are playing for the type of money teams are now playing for.
So now we come to the match and sure, it isn't going to be the easiest match we play this season, but we also know, pretty much exactly what to expect. We know that the home fans are going to be supportive throughout and probably vocal, but the players are going to be nervous. They've let in fourteen goals in four games (five at home in two) and an early goal for us is going to have them believing that they are out of their league and it's going to be another thumping.
We sit back and soak it up and give them confidence and we all know what can happen with confidence. My point is; we'll go at them today and as long as we are successful, we will get the win.
But my name isn't Mark Lawrenson and I have a lot of faith in these younger players and every minute they play, they get better, because they're good at this and they have the ability.
Updates, team news, your prediction and all that
So, don't leave just yet. Below, you'll see the odds for the game and a video of the day (coincidentally, the match I saw with the wife on our first date) and we also want your prediction. We will also add team news as soon as we get it and seeing as the wife is taking the kids into town today and I've got the house to myself for a few hours, hopefully a bit of banter, as long as nothing pops up.
So until then, my prediction and I'm going for an away win. We were unlucky against Newcastle last time away and deserved winners last time out against Swansea and I expect those performances to continue. I wont go so far as to say we'll thump them, but if we get an early goal, the first five or seven minutes, it could turn into a very nice result.