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Why are Southampton terrible at home and excellent on the road?

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl struggles to explain why his team's home form is dire while ...

Why are Southampton terrible a...

Why are Southampton terrible at home and excellent on the road?

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl struggles to explain why his team's home form is dire while they have been excellent on the road this season.

Since the return of the Premier League the Saints have pulled away from the relegation battle and sit in 13th position with the chance to climb higher if they can bag a few more points from the 15 left on offer.

Analysing the south-coast club's position gets a lot more interesting when you look at their home and away points tallies.

Based only on results at home, Southampton are propped up on the table by bottom club Norwich City who have won just two fewer points on their own patch.

Hasenhuttl's team have won five and drawn two while also losing ten matches at St Mary's Stadium, the only club - along with the Canaries - to hit double figures in home defeats.

"I wouldn't say we have "no problem" in winning football matches," said Hasenhuttl ahead of their Thursday excursion to Goodison Park to face Everton.

"I don't know why we have won more away than at home.

"We don't do anything different. We are preparing as hard as possible. We are focusing on our opponents as much as possible.

"The way the games went was different. Very often we are winning 1-0 and then it is easier to play. When you score the first goal it's easier.

"When you concede the first one like we would always at home then it is very difficult so that is maybe the biggest difference."

This bears out when you look at the home win statistics, with four out of the five achieved after Southampton had scored first and interestingly, like the brilliant win against Manchester City last Sunday, the goals were all scored early - and no later than the 22nd minute.

Looking at their ten losses at St Mary's, in nine of those matches the visitors scored first with the 3-2 defeat to Wolves in January being the only exception.

Away from home Southampton have won an impressive 26 points which is just two less than City who are second overall, and on the 'away table', on which the Saints lie in fifth position.

They have won eight matches on their travels, one less than City, and in seven of those victories they scored first but the the boss struggles for a reason as to explain why this has been the case.

"I think the pitches are the same size and the goals are not smaller or bigger so when you go away, there is no difference," added Hasenhuttl

"I think they are focused, the players, when we go away. They are also focused at home hopefully but yeah, it's the whole story this season. It is not always easy to explain why it is like this.

"It's important that we now have also won at home so this is not such an important topic for us."

Hasenhuttl will be hoping to avenge one of those home defeats when they travel to Merseyside on Thursday - Tom Davies and Richarlison scored either side of a Danny Ings goal to earn all three points for Everton last November.

He will have to do it without Moussa Djenepo who misses out with a calf injury having only completed a three-match suspension.

"We have another injury with Moussa, which is not a conincidence for a player who has had a longer time off with a suspension," said Hasenhuttl.

"He’s had less training and games and sometimes this can lead to injuries during an intense programme like this.

"We have a few injuries, but I cannot say how many changes I will have to make. At the moment they’re all a little bit tired, but tomorrow we will look and decide who is and isn’t available to play.

"Jannik [Vestergaard] will not make it with his quad injury, Sofiane [Boufal] is also still out and Yan Valery has a muscle injury still.

"Pierre [Højbjerg] is an option and could possibly make the bench."

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Premier League Ralph Hasenhuttl Southampton St Mary's Stadium The Saints