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Optimus trousers posted this 19 October 2017

Sourced from Daily Mail article

Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino expects home anxiety

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Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino believes it is only 'normal' for his players to feel anxiety at not being able to produce winning performances at home.

The Saints faithful were again left frustrated last weekend when Newcastle headed back up to the north east with a 2-2 draw.

Midfielder Dusan Tadic admits the players can 'become a bit nervous' when finding themselves on the back foot at St Mary's Stadium, where they have recorded just one Premier League win so far this season.

Pellegrino, though, accepts that is all part and parcel of the team wanting the best for supporters - with another chance to impress at home against West Brom in Saturday's late kick-off.

'It is a fact we are not getting really good results (at home), and not just from this season,' said Pellegrino, who took charge at Southampton in the summer.

'Some players who have more time here than me can feel this anxiety, but it is something which is normal.

'At the top level, things can be up and down, but this is in every single game, and you have to survive, to challenge these kinds of moments.'

Pellegrino added at a press conference, broadcast on the club's official website: 'Dusan is experienced and I think when you explain this situation, it is because you want to challenge it.

'Sometimes anxieties can have a good relationship with excitement and when you have this, it is because you want to do things right.

'To have anxiety can be something positive, when you want to give your best performance - it would be worse when you don't feel anything.'

Pellegrino feels it is up to the team to help lift the fans.

'The fans will always receive the messages from the teams on the pitch,' the Argentinian coach said.

'We use football to be happy, every single weekend, but we cannot always be (happy), we are fighting with other teams.

'In society today, we have to be stimulated all of the time, to be exciting, be happy - sometimes, though, the movie (you are watching) is just not good enough.'

Pellegrino added: 'We want to play well, we want to score goals, that is our job.

'We have to understand the people and give our best on the pitch to show the people that we want to win, then I think the crowd will be behind us.'

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Optimus trousers posted this 19 October 2017

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DEFAULTVideo: Three key points: Southampton v West Brom

Optimus trousers posted this 19 October 2017

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Premier League predictions: Lawro v England cricket captain Joe Root

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has not lost any of his five matches against Tottenham since he took charge of the Reds in 2015, but can he continue that impressive record when he takes his team to Wembley?

BBC Sport football expert Mark Lawrenson says: "Liverpool beat Spurs pretty comfortably at Anfield last season and Klopp has got two draws against them at White Hart Lane - including his first game in charge.

"As well as being unbeaten against Tottenham, I think his team have always generally been the better side in those matches.

"Winning at Wembley is a big ask, because Spurs are playing well, but I would back Klopp to come away with something on Sunday."

Lawro is going for a 1-1 draw - do you agree? You can make your own predictions now, take on Lawro and other fans, create your own league and try to make it to the top of the table by playing the new-look BBC Sport Predictor game.

Lawro scored 150 points in week eight, which saw him climb to 3,105th place out of more than 235,000 users.

He will be making a prediction for all 380 top-flight games this season, against a variety of guests.

Lawro's opponent for this weekend's fixtures is England cricket captain Joe Root.

Root is a Sheffield United fan who is enjoying his side's fine start to the season in the Championship, and he also likes to play a bit of football.

The England team often start training sessions with a game of five-a-side, and Root says he likes to get among the goals.

"I would say I am in the Gary Lineker mould," he told BBC Sport. "I stay right at the top and am just basically quite deadly in front of goal.

"There are some really good footballers on the England team - Jos Buttler always does well and Jimmy Anderson has his moments - he can be quite feisty and there is a bit of Dennis Wise in him on occasions, and a bit of Vinnie Jones there as well.

"There are a lot of guys who think they are better than they are, though. Sam Billings is a bit of a show pony - he gives out all the chat and he is a Fifa master but, when it comes to actually playing, he takes too many touches and ruins the flow of the game.

"But it is all good fun and we really enjoy it - it gets us going and it is a great way to start a training session because everyone is right up for it when we come to the cricket."

You can hear more from Root on Football Focus at 12:00 BST on Saturday on BBC One and the BBC Sport website.

A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.

Remember you can try to beat Lawro by playing the BBC Sport Predictor game.

All kick-offs 15:00 BST unless otherwise stated.

I do feel like West Ham have turned the corner since the start of the season, even if Andy Carroll's red card probably cost them victory at Burnley last week.

Manuel Lanzini is fully fit, which makes a big difference, and I don't worry about their form at London Stadium any more either.

Brighton also shot themselves in the foot last time out, because they had put in a decent performance before Bruno gave away a last-minute penalty that allowed Everton to equalise.

The Seagulls are still doing OK, though. I look at them and think they are going to be involved in the relegation battle, but they have enough about them to sneak out of it.

They are aiming for 17th place and they are not going to try to get it by playing open football.

I am expecting them to make things difficult for the Hammers on Friday night, but I still think Slaven Bilic's side will find a way through.

If Chelsea boss Antonio Conte thinks he is short of numbers, why did he let so many players - 26 in total - go out on loan?

There must have been one or two there about whom he might have thought, 'you know what, these lads might just train on'.

They sold some squad players too, like Nathaniel Chalobah and Nathan Ake, and I don't get it - especially because you are not worried about money when you are at that football club. Why not wait until January?

Chelsea worried me a little bit in their defeat by Crystal Palace last week because they did not really turn up, but I don't think they have suddenly become a bad side.

It is more that, with the squad they have got, they must already know that their chances of defending their Premier League title are slim.

Watford are having a good time of things at the moment, especially away from home, where they have won three and drawn one of their four games.

Those victories came at Bournemouth, Southampton and Swansea; it is asking a lot for them to go to Stamford Bridge and do the same.

Also, unlike in their game against Arsenal last week, Watford will face a team this week who will put their foot in, rather than rolling over and asking for their tummy to be tickled.

I have said it before, but Huddersfield do not just need a win - they need some goals.

The Terriers have only scored once in their past six league games, but have started conceding them - four against Tottenham, then two versus a Swansea side who had been struggling.

But they are up against Manchester United at home on Saturday, so if you are Huddersfield manager David Wagner, what do you do?

His philosophy when I saw his side play in the Championship was to play with wide players, and people poured forward, which was great and ultimately got them promotion.

Do they do the same against United? You are asking for trouble if you do, so those goals might have to wait.

Wagner might be best off following the example of Sam Allardyce, when he was Bolton boss after they had just been promoted. He put each game into a category - ones they had to win and ones where they try to get a point.

This is definitely the latter for Huddersfield. They start the game with a point, can they finish with one?

I am backing United to go there and win, but the question is how hard will Huddersfield make them work for it?

Burnley have done brilliantly this season and I don't think even their most optimistic fan would have thought they would be sitting seventh in the table having lost only one of their first eight games.

The Clarets have done well when they have gone to the top clubs this season and they are used to this kind of game, where the opposition will have most of the ball.

You can almost close your eyes when you are watching Sean Dyche's side and know that, when you open them, all of his players will be in position - which shows how well he organises them.

But the way Manchester City are playing, they are creating chances from all over the pitch.

City have so many match-winners, it is going to be very hard for Burnley to stop them.

Root's prediction: Apologies to [Burnley fan] Jimmy Anderson, but I am going for a big City win. 4-1

Palace finally got off the mark by beating Chelsea last week and you could see in that game the effect Roy Hodgson has had on the players on the training ground.

The Eagles were also buoyed by Wilfried Zaha returning from injury and being extremely lively, as well as scoring the winner.

Now there will be an expectation that they go to St James' Park and get another positive result, but I think this is an extremely difficult game for them.

Newcastle should really have seen out their game against Southampton last week. They had to settle for one point instead of three, but I was still very impressed by them.

Of the three promoted teams, they are starting to look the most comfortable and - surprise, surprise - they have got a manager who is extremely experienced in the Premier League.

Magpies boss Rafael Benitez moulds teams and makes the best out of the players he has got, which is why he is getting some good results.

Hodgson follows a similar template, in that he organises his side and makes them hard to beat, but he has only just taken over so he is obviously a little bit behind Benitez in terms of where his side are at the moment.

From looking at their squads, I did not expect either of these teams to struggle this season, but they are both in the bottom four.

Stoke had the temerity to score twice against Manchester City when they were 3-0 down last weekend but they were not back in the game for long, and ended up conceding seven.

Bournemouth lost again, 1-0 at Tottenham, but at least they put in a better defensive performance.

Of the two teams, I am more worried about the Cherries.

They have some very good players, and with signings like Jermain Defoe, I was expecting more progress from them in their third season in the top flight, but it has not happened for them yet.

It is brilliant that Eddie Howe is allowed to just get on with his job without being told he is going to lose it, but he needs his side to start playing the way they are capable of, and quickly.

Leicester's owners seem to think that just because they won the league a couple of years ago, they have the divine right to be up there at the top of the table.

They spent a few quid in the summer and have made a poor start but I don't think sacking Craig Shakespeare is a sign of a sensibly run club.

It seemed a bit hasty to me. He had the job permanently for four months - is that really all you get?

So this is probably a really good time for Swansea to be playing them, especially after the Welsh side got a bit of a confidence boost by beating Huddersfield last week.

I am not convinced by the Swans this season, though. They are a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde team, and have been very inconsistent so far.

Tony Pulis will be miffed West Brom did not hold on after taking the lead at Leicester on Monday, and it is now six games since his side won in the league.

Southampton were behind twice against Newcastle on Sunday but still got a point from that game and it is good news for them that Manolo Gabbiadini is back in the goals because he looks like a striker who scores in streaks.

I suspect we might see more from him on Saturday, and I am backing Saints to continue the Baggies' poor run.

Both of these teams have issues, but Everton probably have more to worry about.

Arsenal can be undone when teams attack them and play physically, like Watford did last week, but you would not look at the Gunners and say they are unbalanced or short of goals like Everton are.

I think what will help the Toffees on Saturday is that Goodison Park will be roaring - it always is against the big teams.

There will be a different atmosphere to when Everton have played, say, Bournemouth or Burnley this season, and I think it will give them some much-needed impetus.

It has been a good week for Tottenham, who broke their Wembley hoodoo in the Premier League by beating Bournemouth, and were very good against Real in their draw in Madrid in the Champions League.

Liverpool enjoyed themselves against Maribor on Tuesday but this is obviously going to be a much tougher game for them.

It is going to be close. I can see the Reds scoring, but I don't see them keeping Spurs out.

Root's prediction: I think this is going to be a high-scoring game. I fancy Harry Kane for a few but I also think that, going forward, Liverpool are quite dangerous. 3-2

Last week, Lawro got six correct results, including four perfect scores, from 10 matches, for a total of 150 points.

He beat rapper Wretch 32, who got four results correct with two perfect scores, for a total of 100 points.

*Foster and Cram both provided predictions on week one, but only Foster's score contributes to the guest total.

Lawro's worst score: 40 points (week four v Umenyiora and Bell, and week five v Non Stanford)

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Optimus trousers posted this 19 October 2017

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Catch up on the key points from today's pre-#WBA press conference with Mauricio in a Minute! ⏰ #saintsfc

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Optimus trousers posted this 19 October 2017

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@SouthamptonFC - Southampton FC


There's still time to secure a seat for #SaintsFC's clash with #WBA this Saturday! Buy here: http://sfcne.ws/WBA211017

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