Tottenham make the trip down to the south coast to take on a Southampton side rooted to the bottom of the Premier League. Antonio Conte’s side saw fifth-placed Newcastle cut the gap to them in fourth to just a point on Friday night and are under pressure at St Mary’s Stadium to ensure they head into the international break in the driving seat.
Spurs last time out enjoyed a routine win against Nottingham Forest to round off a difficult week for the club on a slightly positive note. With now only one game a week to focus on, following the club’s Champions League exit, the hope is that Conte’s experience will get them over the line for the second season running.
Saints, meanwhile, lost to Brentford on Wednesday but have taken points off both Chelsea and Manchester United under manager Ruben Selles’ watch. Fighting for their lives, Southampton will prove tricky for Spurs. Follow all the action LIVE with Standard Sport’s dedicated match blog! Dan Kilpatrick will be providing expert analysis from the ground.
Southampton vs Tottenham latest news
GOAL! Walcott pulls one back!
GOAL! Perisic with his first goal for the club!
GOAL! Kane heads home to restore lead
GOAL! Adams scored 45 seconds into second half
GOAL! Porro in first-half stoppage time
Southampton FC 3 - 3 Tottenham Hotspur FC
17:15 , Alex Young
Here are Dan Kilpatrick’s player ratings.
17:02 , Alex Young
97min: A late Perisic header spins wide but that is that!
16:55 , Alex Young
92min: Sarr fouls Maitland-Niles while attempting to clear the ball. VAR checks and awards.
Ward-Prowse buries it!
PENALTY TO SOUTHAMPTON!
16:52 , Alex Young
90min: As we enter injury time...
16:51 , Alex Young
88min: Sulemana is booked for dissent.
16:48 , Alex Young
85min: Kulusevski and Porro make way.
16:46 , Alex Young
83min: Sarr and Royal being readied for Spurs’ final changes.
16:44 , Alex Young
81min: Walcott goes down briefly but looks OK to continue.
Shortly after, Kulusevski is grimacing in pain.
16:43 , Alex Young
79min: Almost a third for Southampton as Mara wriggles past Hojbjerg and Skipp to fire at goal, but Forster makes a good save.
16:41 , Alex Young
77min: Hold on, game back on?
Walcott with a tap-in after Spurs fail to clear a cross.
16:39 , Alex Young
74min: That should be that!
Perisic fires home from the edge of the area for his first Spurs goal, volleying the ball into the ground.
16:35 , Alex Young
70min: Triple substitution for Southampton. Elyounoussi, Stuart Armstrong and Adams are off, Alcarez, Kamaldeen and Mara are on.
16:32 , Alex Young
Kane goal: That's Kane's 12th goal in 14 games against Southampton. Incredible record.
It's also his ninth headed goal of the league season, which matches the record held by Duncan Ferguson.
16:28 , Alex Young
65min: That’s better from Kane!
Climbs highest to head home a brilliant Kulusevski cross towards the back post.
16:26 , Alex Young
63min: It’s all very scrappy. Lots of mistakes, misplaced passes and strong tackles.
16:23 , Alex Young
60min: Spurs break over the halfway line and it’s four vs three in their favour... Kane travels and travels and travels with the ball, before ignoring his team-mates and blaxing over the bar.
A real waste, that.
16:21 , Alex Young
58min: Saints do have their tails up and the roar gets louder as Walcott is again found in space on the flank, but this time looks up to find nowhere to pass to so just... crossed the ball into Forster’s hands.
Dan Kilpatrick at St Mary’s
16:19 , Alex Young
“Spurs have made a habit of making fast starts to the second half this season but they could not have looked less prepared for the restart here.
“Saints have their tails up now and the crowd behind them.”
16:18 , Alex Young
54min: Half a penalty shout for Spurs as Perisic shot hits Maitland-Niles’ arm, VAR have a long look but aren’t convinced.
16:14 , Alex Young
51min: Skims the roof of the net but never worrying Forster.
16:13 , Alex Young
50min: More concern for Spurs as Southampton win a free kick around 35 yards out. Ward-Prowse fancies this, of course.
16:12 , Alex Young
Adams goal: It took Southampton just 45 seconds of the restart to score, with Walcott’s run and pass across the box key.
16:10 , Alex Young
47min: A dream start to the second half for the hosts as Adams scores within a minute!
Walcott is freed down the right and finds Adams inside the area to slot home!
16:07 , Alex Young
46min: Back underway!
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Southampton have the worst home record in the league and have lost 14 of the 19 games in which they have conceded first.
Tottenham in control ahead of the second half.
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Porro’s fine finish is the difference, and it was the only bit of quality in an otherwise poor half.
Four injuries, one shot on target, one goal.
15:53 , Alex Young
52min: Southampton waste another two corners... and that’s half-time!
Dan Kilpatrick at St Mary’s
15:51 , Alex Young
“Porro has been getting better with every outing for Spurs and adds the type of thrust Conte wants from his wing-backs.
“As impressive as Emerson Royal is defensively, he has never finished like that.”
15:48 , Alex Young
Porro goal: That is an absolute rocket from Porro, clipping the underside of the bar. Superb crisp assist from Son, too, to spot Porro’s run.
15:47 , Alex Young
46min: Porro with his first goal for the club! A thunderous finish into the roof of the net after being found in the area by Son.
15:46 , Alex Young
45min: Seven minutes of added time.
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43min: Spurs starting to push and Porro is seeing plenty of the ball. He combines well with Kulusevski, but as with much of Spurs’ play this season, it’s quite frantic and on then fly so Southampton are able to stick in a boot and clear.
15:42 , Alex Young
41min: Forster makes a mess of a routine collection of the ball and walks out of play, giving away another corner.
But Southampton again do nothing with it.
15:39 , Alex Young
38min: Son flashes a shot wide of the far post, grimacing at the effort straight away.
We’re yet to see a shot on target.
15:37 , Alex Young
36min: And now Davies is down and can't continue! Perisic is on.
Four first-half substitutions, two for each team and all forced. Remarkable.
15:35 , Alex Young
34min: Bednarek does go off. Maitland-Niles is on.
Look, if Spurs weren’t favourites to beat the league’s bottom club already, Southampton have now lost both their starting centre-backs. They really have no excuse.
15:34 , Alex Young
33min: First sight of goal for Kane as he carves open a space inside the area but Perraud throws himself at the shot to successfully block.
15:32 , Alex Young
32min: Saints are about to lose their second centre-back, with Bednarek still struggling. Maitland-Niles is preparing to come on.
15:31 , Alex Young
30min: It's been a slow opening half an hour at St Mary's.
Spurs starting to grow into the game but Southampton have enjoyed the better chances.
15:29 , Alex Young
26min: Another possible injury now, as Bednarek is down getting treatment.
15:26 , Alex Young
23min: Spurs break over the halfway line through Kane, who has Son scampering through the centre and in space... but the striker opts to cut inside and shoot, which Ward-Prowse blocks.
That’s a chance.
Dan Kilpatrick at St Mary’s
15:23 , Alex Young
“Spurs have had a week to prepare and are facing a Saints side rooted to the foot of the Premier League and with the worst home record in the division. They should really been stamping their authority on this game...and yet it is Saints who have had the better chances.
“Plenty of time yet but it's all a bit flat from the visitors.”
15:21 , Alex Young
19min: Spurs should be ahead!
Southampton switch off and allow Porro to float a fine ball towards the back post, which Dier connects well with but his header spins wide.
15:19 , Alex Young
18min: Walcott flies through on goal, a good five yards clear of Romero, but his shot is straight at Forster.
No wonder he’s scored once in 40 games.
15:17 , Alex Young
14min: Ward-Prowse tries to find a team-mate on the edge of the area from the set-piece but it’s easily cleared.
They have scored just once from a corner all season, and that might be why.
15:16 , Alex Young
13min: Perraud is found on the left after a fine turn and spot by Ward-Prowse, but the cross is forced behind for a corner.
15:12 , Alex Young
10min: Southampton the busier of the teams so far, though Porro is starting to get a foot on the ball down the right and linking up with Kulusevski. Nothing troubling the hosts as yet, though.
Dan Kilpatrick at St Mary’s
15:10 , Alex Young
“It’s not clear what happened to Richarlison but Spurs have tweeted ‘get well soon’, so I guess he was ill.
“Another frustrating juncture in his season, denying him a chance to build some momentum.”
15:08 , Alex Young
7min: Deary me, another early change! This time for Southampton as Bella-Kotchap is now forced off. Salisu is on.
It looks like a shoulder injury.
15:07 , Alex Young
Not entirely sure what went wrong with Richarlison, but Spurs have tweeted ‘get well soon’ - so was he feeling ill ahead of kick-off?
15:06 , Alex Young
4min: Uh oh. A big blow for Spurs and Richarlison as the forward is forced off after just three minutes.
He's in tears as he trods off the pitch. Kulusevski is on.
15:05 , Alex Young
3min: Early scare for Spurs as Ward-Prowse’s wayward drive forward is directed close to goal but still wide.
15:00 , Alex Young
1min: We’re underway on the south coast!
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Here come the teams. We are minutes away.
14:50 , Alex Young
Final prep on the south coast.
Will Richarlison add to his five career goals against Southampton? Kick-off in just under 10 minutes.
14:38 , Alex Young
The squads are in the building.
14:14 , Alex Young
So, Spurs name the same side which beat Nottingham Forest 3-1 last time out, with Richarlison and Pedro Porro keeping their places.
It's three changes for Southampton as Stuart Armstrong, Theo Walcott and Romeo Lavia come in for Ibrahima Diallo, Carlos Alcaraz and Kamaldeen Sulemana. Kyle Walker-Peters is fit to keep his place.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles is fit enough for a place on the bench.
14:03 , Alex Young
Kyle Walker-Peters is fit to face his former club.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) March 18, 2023
14:01 , Alex Young
Spurs are unchanged.
Your unchanged Spurs starting XI 🔢 pic.twitter.com/U9tNtsab8a
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 18, 2023
13:50 , Alex Young
A couple of good omens for Spurs today: Both Richarlison and Heung-min Son have scored more goals against Southampton than any other side.
Son is also on 99 Premier League goals - will he hit the century today?
13:42 , Alex Young
Both teams have started to arrive at the stadium. We’ll be getting team news shortly.
Spurs won the reverse fixture on the opening day of the season, and everything looked hunky dory as they ran out 4-1 winners. Wing-back Ryan Sessegnon opened the scoring, Emerson Royal bagged an assist along with Heung-min Son and Dejan Kulusevski both scored and assisted. A brilliant Antonio Conte-inspired display.
Kulusevski has scored just once in the league since, Son has barely contributed and the wing-backs have largely struggled.
Conte: Fourth place is vital
13:29 , Alex Young
Antonio Conte has underlined the club's need to finish fourth this season but is frustrated by a lack of silverware once again.
"To finish in the top four could be very important for everybody," he said this week. "First of all for the club, for the players, the manager and the fans. For sure if you finish in the top four many, many situations are more simple.”
He added: "In my mind and in my heart there is always the will to lift trophy. For this reason since I arrived in Tottenham I tried to push a lot the total environment in the right direction.
"After a year and a half we improved many aspects but we need to continue to work on this path and sometimes during this path I think we've failed. We failed because we weren't ready to face the right pressure and stress. This aspect I think we are working on.
"This season wasn't good to lift a trophy but at the same time I can tell the fans we are working very hard to make them proud and to try to bring this club to be optimistic for the future and be ready to lift trophies."
Selles: I respect Conte but can also beat him
13:16 , Alex Young
Southampton manager Ruben Selles has plenty of respect for Antonio Conte, but insists his struggling side can spring another surprise.
"I have big respect for Antonio," the rookie Saints boss insisted. "He fought his way to the top and had time in the Italian national team. I met him a couple of times when they played in Baku.
"Juventus, Inter Milan, Chelsea and now Tottenham, it is always an identity, always solid and always difficult to beat. He has been one of the top coaches in the last 10 years and it will be my pleasure to play against him and try to beat him, but with the biggest respect always."
He added: "I know the results at home have not been the ones we wanted but we don't feel any pressure to play in front of our fans. We have confidence in what we do.
"We are fully ready for [Spurs]. It is not extra pressure to play at home. It is the opposite. It should be a boost for us to go out there and compete at home."
Prediction: Narrow Spurs win
13:05 , Alex Young
Spurs simply have to win this. Newcastle’s injury-time win over Nottingham Forest means they will leapfrog Spurs should they win their game in hand. Brighton can draw level if they win their two games in hand.
A slip-up is out of the question, therefore. Saints may tend to up their game when playing against the bigger teams in the division but anything other than three points would be a disaster for Antonio Conte and the club.
Tottenham to win 2-1.
Richarlison and Porro to start?
12:57 , Alex Young
Tottenham are expected to name a largely unchanged side after a convincing victory over Nottingham Forest last time out.
Richarlison will hope to keep his place ahead of Dejan Kulusevski, while January loan signing Arnaut Danjuma is barely had a sniff since arriving with, bizarrely, the outgoing Lucas Moura preferred.
Further back, Pedro Porro should again start at right wing-back ahead of Emerson Royal after his key contributions against Forest. Conte’s only other decision is likely to come at left wing-back, where Ivan Perisic and Ben Davies are competing for a place. If Perisic does return, Davies will likely revert to back the three in place of Clement Lenglet.
Walker-Peters a doubt
12:45 , Alex Young
Southampton are sweating over the fitness of former Tottenham defender Kyle Walker-Peters, though it is thought the full-back should be fit to feature in some capacity.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, on loan from Arsenal, is hampered more by his own fitness issues. Theo Walcott will be pushing to start up front.
How to watch
12:36 , Alex Young
Those inside St. Mary’s will be the only ones in the UK able to watch the game live, as it falls inside the traditional 3pm television blackout.
So, there is no live UK TV coverage but BBC Radio London will be broadcasting uninterrupted commentary.
12:30 , Alex Young
Good afternoon and welcome to the Evening Standard’s LIVE coverage of the Premier League clash between Southampton and Tottenham.
Spurs head to the south coast needing to beat the league’s bottom club to maintain momentum in the top-four race. Newcastle on Friday night secured another late win to keep pace with the north Londoners. A slip-up today could be very costly.
Southampton have endured a torrid season, which Spurs may well have set the tone for with a 4-1 victory on the opening day of the season. Saints are currently two points from safety, and that gap could be considerably more before the end of the weekend.
Kick-off at St. Mary’s is at 3pm, and we have chief football correspondent Dan Kilpatrick there for us.