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Premier League Preview: Tottenham vs. Southampton

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  • Spurs unbeaten in last 11 Boxing Day fixtures; Saints unbeaten in last six
  • Southampton has won just ONE of last 10 matches
  • Harry Kane needs one goal to break PL goal record in calendar year
  • Saints have won just three of 18 meetings against Spurs 

Tottenham looks to build off of its impressive performance at Turf Moor, as Spurs play host to Southampton on Tuesday (Watch live at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) at Wembley Stadium.

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Spurs bounced back on Saturday with an important 3-0 victory over Burnley, keeping Mauricio Pochettino‘s men within striking distance of the top four. Meanwhile, Southampton enters Boxing Day winless in its last six matches.

Eric Dier could be missing for the hosts, after being substituted off against the Clarets, while Charlie Austin has been ruled out for Saints, along with the already-injured Cedric Soares and Ryan Bertrand.

What they’re saying

Mauricio Pochettino on Harry Kane’s brilliance“I think he still can improve. He’s 24, I think the player arrives at their best at 27, 28, 29, depending how professional you are. But Harry Kane, if he keeps that mentality, keeps working hard every day in the training sessions and never changes that mentality, he can play until he wants to.”

Mauricio Pellegrini on Saints’ inconsistency“We are in the middle of the season and obviously we couldn’t show consistency, especially in results, because we couldn’t win even those games we deserve to win and we create a lot of chances. Football is efficiency to score goals and to convert. Still, we’ve got 50% of the tournament to bounce back and try to change this mood and it has to start on Tuesday.”

Prediction

Two words; Harry Kane. The man is brilliant, and even when his side isn’t playing its best, it seems like the Englishman finds a way to pick up the slack. Tottenham is unbeaten in its last eight matches at Wembley, and Southampton’s lack of success at the venue will make it even tougher to take down an in-form Spurs. Tottenham 3-1 Southampton

Video: Fekir’s brilliant free kick has Lyon leading PSG

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Paris-Saint Germain has established itself as one of Europe’s best sides, but their opponent on Sunday isn’t playing scared against Neymar and Co.

[ MORE: Spurs, Saints play to 1-1 draw at St. Mary’s ]

Lyon has taken a 1-0 lead inside the opening two minutes against the Parisians after a stunning free kick by Nabil Fekir caught PSG keeper Alphonse Aréola off his line.

The hosts could move all the way up to second place today with a victory over PSG, who holds the league lead in Ligue 1 with a nine-point advantage.

The 24-year-old Fekir has been a revelation for Lyon in his fifth season with the club, scoring his 19th goal in all competitions on Sunday.

That total has already surpassed his career-high from the 2014/15 season, when he eclipsed 15 goals.

USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie injured in Schalke draw

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Look away, U.S. Men’s National Team fans.

American and Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie was forced out of Sunday’s 1-1 Bundesliga draw against Hanover 96 after the 19-year-old collided with Felix Kraus.

McKennie, who entered the match in the 62nd minute for Leon Goretzka, managed to stay on the field for nearly 20 minutes before being substituted out.

To this point there has been no indication that the young USMNT player’s injury is serious.

More to follow…

Watford announces Gracia as Silva replacement

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Watford’s replacement for fired manager Marco Silva is indeed veteran Spanish boss Javi Gracia.

[ MORE: Watford fires Silva, blames Everton ]

The Hornets announced the 47-year-old’s hiring on Sunday, hours after firing Silva and blaming Everton’s pursuit of the manager for the club’s fall from European contender to the fringe of a relegation battle.

Watford is still four points clear of the drop following Southampton’s draw with Spurs on Sunday.

Gracia led Malaga to eighth and ninth place finishes in La Liga between 2014-16 before spending last season at Rubin Kazan.

Gracia, 47, has led promotion campaigns in Spain and has plenty of experience with perceived smaller clubs battling the drop zone.

Watford will hope the Hornets don’t reach that point after flirting with the Top Seven for the first quarter of the Premier League season.

Pochettino on sloppy Spurs draw, dismisses Malcom “rumor”

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Mauricio Pochettino knows St. Mary’s well, and the ex-Southampton boss has managed a rainy, sloppy match or three there in the past.

[ RECAP: Saints 1-1 Spurs ]

So he knows it’s possible to play well in those circumstances, leaving him feeling like Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-1 draw at Southampton on Sunday was a wasted opportunity against a struggling Saints side.

“It is temporary that Southampton are in the relegation zone, for sure they will push up the table,” Pochettino said. “It is two points we are going to miss at the end of the season because it is so tough between six or seven teams.”

[ MORE: Bertrand reacts to draw ]

So why couldn’t Spurs find their foothold? Well, aside from sickness keeping Christian Eriksen and Hugo Lloris out of the lineup, a bug that may’ve affected more on the team, Spurs just weren’t up to snuff.

“We struggled to play,” Pochettino said. “It was in possession, we made mistakes which allowed them to play. To win the game we should do better and play better. It wasn’t great.

Pochettino was also asked about Spurs’ reported pursuit of 20-year-old Bordeaux star Malcom, who has seven goals and five assists in Ligue 1 this season.

“That is a rumor and I don’t want to speak about it. I am happy with our squad. We are open to quality players but you know very well it is difficult in this transfer window.”