Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Southampton

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas on the touchline during the match against Manchester City on April 21, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton at White Hart Lane.

Tottenham Hotspur will attempt to continue their push for the Champions League when they welcome Southampton to White Hart Lane on Saturday.

A run of just eight points from their last six matches has left Spurs in fifth position in the table, two points behind fourth-placed Arsenal and three behind third-placed Chelsea with four matches remaining.

They will be confident of closing that gap this weekend having won nine of their 17 matches on their own patch this season, while Southampton have managed just three wins on the road from the same number of fixtures.

The Saints will be boosted by their recent performances, however, having lost just one of their last five matches in the league, a run of form that has left them in 13th position in the table, just three points off the top half.

The reverse fixture earlier in the season ended in a 2-1 win for Spurs, but the capital outfit have won just one of their last five matches in all competitions.

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas could welcome back Aaron Lennon following a period on the sidelines, while Steven Caulker is also pushing for inclusion in place of Kyle Naughton. Meanwhile, Jermain Defoe will continue in his lone role in attack.

Tom Huddlestone should edge off competition from Lewis Holtby and Gylfi Sigurdsson to form part of a midfield three with Scott Parker and Moussa Dembele, but Benoit Assou-Ekotto is expected to be named on the bench once more.

Southampton will be without the services of Daniel Fox and Gaston Ramirez, who were both dismissed in their 3-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion last time out. That should allow Jose Fonte and Jason Puncheon both to return to the team.

Emmanuel Mayuka is also pushing for inclusion after an impressive cameo last time out, but January signing Vegard Forren is expected to once more be consigned to the bench.

Recent form

Tottenham: DDDWD

Southampton: WWDDL

Possible lineups

Tottenham: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Caulker, Vertonghen; Dembele, Parker, Huddlestone; Lennon, Defoe, Bale

Southampton: Boruc; Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Hooiveld; Cork, Davis, Schneiderlin; Lambert, Rodriguez, Mayuka

Sports Mole says: 2-0

Tottenham Hotspur's Jermain Defoe scores against Manchester City during the Premier League clash on April 21, 2013
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