Three England players; three points needed

Posted by Chris Rann

Jay Rodriguez Southampton celeb StokePA PhotosJay Rodriguez celebrates salvaging a point for Southampton at Stoke.

It should be celebration time at St. Mary's on Saturday after the news that Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana have justifiably joined Rickie Lambert in Roy Hodgson's latest England squad.

Saints might want to put the celebrations on hold for 90 minutes though as they look to get back on track against Hull City. After last week's bizarre draw with Stoke City and defeat for the fringe players at Sunderland in the Capital One Cup Wednesday, the Saints fans will be looking for a backlash against the Tigers.

-Rodriguez, Lallana get England callups

While Saints have been labeled this season's 'surprise package', that might be a little harsh on Steve Bruce's Hull City men, who having come up from the Championship in the summer, have looked comfortable at this level, and currently occupy 10th position, the highest of the three promoted sides.

Having said that, Hull have won just once on the road in the league (the short trip to Newcastle), and Saints will surely look upon this as a game they should be looking to leave with all three points.

On paper it looks like a game Saints should relish, with the visitors averaging just 38 percent possession on the road, which should mean Saints will have a lot of the ball and the opportunity to create chances.

The loss of Sone Aluko to injury will be a blow to the traveling support, the Nigerian having looked the most creative spark in the Hull side so far. Like Saints, Hull have looked strong defensively, with Curtis Davis and James Chester taking the plaudits in the centre while Ahmed Elmohamady and Maynor Figeuroa look decent at full-back, so it will be on for Saints -- and now England's -- attacking trio of Rodriguez, Lallana and Lambert to break them down. Dani Osvaldo might join them too after returning to training this week.

This game certainly has the hallmark of a cliched 'banana skin', with Hull difficult to break down, and Saints tending to try too hard to walk the ball into the net at times.

After the disappointments of Wednesday and last Saturday, it would be a good opportunity for Saints to take the good feeling of their international call-ups and get an early lead. If Saints have had a weakness so far at home this season, it is not finishing teams off when they have them on the ropes. Converting early dominance into goals would turn this great team into a fantastic one.

Keep the faith.


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