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For the first 15 minutes against Manchester City on Wednesday, Southampton played like they were the Pep Guardiola side. They were fabulous.It didn’t last though. Once you get past their high press, Saints seem to have a soft centre and they concede a lot of goals.
Brighton’s problem is at the other end of the pitch and, despite some decent performances, their run of results has left them in the thick of the relegation battle.
They will feel their performances have deserved far more than their haul of only two points from their past five league games, but maybe it is time for their boss Graham Potter to say ‘let’s just make sure of getting a draw’ to stop the rot.
The Seagulls have never beaten Saints in the Premier League and I don’t think that will change here, but they are good enough to get something out of it.
The only glimmers of hope are that their FA Cup form has been good, with wins over Arsenal and Wolves in the last two rounds taking them to the quarter-finals, and they have scored in five of their last seven league games.
Against that, the sole clean sheet in their last 11 league games was against Sheffield United and that is a concern as even when they were going well most of their wins were founded on good defence.
This season they have won only two out of 19 when conceding, although it is worth noting that one of those was the 2-1 win at Brighton in the reverse fixture on December 7.