Hasenhuttl prunes his squad

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has allowed Netherlands international Wesley Hoedt to join Celta Vigo on loan until the end of the season.

The La Liga side have the option to buy the central defender, who has made 13 appearances for Saints this season, in the summer.

Hoedt signed a five-year deal when he moved to St Mary's from Lazio in 2017 in a deal worth £15million.

Steven Davis and Manolo Gabbiadini have also left Southampton this month as Hasenhuttl revamps his squad.

The Austrian has guided Saints to back-to-back Premier League wins against Leicester City and Everton and is keen to maintain the winning habit when his team come up against Crystal Palace, Cardiff City and Burnley in their next three fixtures.

He said: "It's now a little bit of time to be happy about the two wins in a row and then stay hungry and go for the next. I know the players have the willingness to learn.

"I am very happy for them that they see with this kind of playing football and hard-working training sessions they get better every day.

"It's fantastic for them and fantastic for me as a manager."

Southampton can be backed at 1/40 not to be relegated this season while they are 13/10 to beat Crystal Palace in their next Premier League fixture on 30th January.

Harry to the rescue for Spurs

With Tottenham missing one Harry it was another who scored the late winner away to strugglers Fulham to keep them in the title race. 

Fulham led at half-time through a Fernando Llorente own goal, Dele Alli equalised for Spurs but they struggled in pursuit of a winner and looked to have missed out only for Harry Winks to score with almost the last kick of the game at Craven Cottage.

With Harry Kane missing Mauricio Pochettino had to make changes to his side and Llorente was given a rare start in attack while Danny Rose came in at left-back.

Fulham made a promising start and went close on 10 minutes, Aleksandar Mitrovic doing well to set up Ryan Babel, on his debut, who forced Hugo Lloris into a smart save

However they did not have long to wait to open the scoring and it came via an own goal. Having scored two themselves to hand Burnley victory last weekend, they were beneficiaries this time as Llorente diverted a Jean Michael Sari corner into his own net.

He nearly made amends at the other end shortly afterwards but failed to get on the end of an Erik Lamela cross.

Most of the first half action though came in the Spurs goalmouth and Fulham thought they had doubled their lead before half-time but Mitrovic was flagged offside when heading past Lloris.

Fulham's advantage didn't last long into the second half however, the visitors getting back on level terms on 51 minutes with Dele Alli scoring, heading past Sergio Rico after a good ball from Christian Eriksen.

Spurs were looking the more likely side to get the winner and they hit the woodwork with half an hour remaining, Rose getting into the Fulham area and hitting the bar.

It looked as if Spurs were destined to lose ground on the top two in the Premier League but deep into added time they broke Fulham hearts with a winner, Winks heading home after a cross from Georges-Kevin Nkoudou.

Spurs stay third in the Premier League table with a seven-point gap over Arsenal in fifth but Fulham's defeat leaves them second bottom of the table, seven points from safety.

Spurs are in action in midweek with the semi-final second leg of the EFL Cup, Pochettino's side having a 1-0 first leg victory over Chelsea. They are 17/4 to win on Thursday night at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea are 4/7 while the draw is 16/5.

Spurs are 3/1 to win the trophy while Manchester City are 1/2.

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Allardyce rules out Town role

Sam Allardyce insists he is not interested in becoming Huddersfield Town's next manager after they parted company with David Wagner on Monday.

The 64-year-old former England boss has helped the likes of Sunderland, Crystal Palace and Everton move clear of relegation trouble in the last few seasons but believes the rock-bottom Terriers are doomed.

Town have taken one point from their last nine Premier League matches and are eight points away from safety.

"They are rock-bottom of the Premier League and I don't think I could change that situation, so for me it is not the right match. It is not the job for me," said Allardyce.

"Huddersfield haven't got enough goals to get them out of trouble. That has been the one failing. No club has got out of such trouble with so few points after this many games.

"For me, and I know the fans won't want to hear this, it's got to be about planning for relegation and then planning to get back into the Premier League.

"They've only scored 13 goals in 22 matches and, while I've managed to pull teams out of the bottom end, at Sunderland I had Jermain Defoe scoring 18 and at Crystal Palace I had Christian Benteke who scored 15 goals."

Huddersfield, 1/16 to be relegated, are 13/2 to draw with Manchester City in their next match on Sunday.

Babel: Fulham can stay up

Claudio Ranieri has added some experience to his Fulham squad by signing Ryan Babel from Besiktas until the end of the season.

The 32-year-old former Liverpool star hopes he can have a positive impact on the Cottagers, who are struggling to avoid relegation.

They are 4/11 to be relegated this season after losing 2-1 at Burnley on Saturday and can be backed at 4/1 to beat injury-ravaged Tottenham on Sunday and 13/5 to draw with Mauricio Pochettino's team.

The Netherlands international said: "My first impressions are good and I am very excited.

"I definitely have faith that Fulham can stay up. That is one of the reasons that I am here, to try and help that to happen. I am ready to go, I am excited and I can't wait."

Meanwhile, Scotland international Kevin McDonald is being linked with a move away from Craven Cottage after slipping out of the first team recently.

He played 46 matches in all competitions for the club last season when they were promoted from the Championship via the play-offs, but has been limited to just eight minutes of first-team action since Ranieri succeeded Slavisa Jokanovic as Fulham manager in November.

Benitez tired of transfer talk

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez says he wants to focus on football rather then transfers or any potential takeovers of the club.

The Magpies, 11/4 to be relegated this season, have yet to add any new players to their squad this month while news about a potential takeover by Peter Kenyon has gone quiet.

Benitez says he is tired of wasting energy talking about non-football matters and is instead only interested in Saturday's match against Chelsea.

Newcastle are 9/1 to keep a clean sheet against the Blues and 12/1 to draw the Stamford Bridge clash 0-0.

Former Real Madrid, Chelsea and Liverpool boss Benitez said: "I will not talk about the transfer window, I will not talk about names and I will not talk about the takeover. We are wasting energy on these things.

"We need to focus on the game. I could say it's a difficult window like other managers, but I prefer not to.

"I don't want to talk about players, I don't want to talk about takeovers, I don't want to talk about me. I just want to talk about these players and our games."

Newcastle are 15th heading into this weekend's fixtures after winning just four of their first 21 Premier League matches this season.

Gabbiadini returns to Italy

Ralph Hasenhuttl will turn his attention towards strengthening his Southampton squad after selling Manolo Gabbiadini to Sampdoria for £12million.

The 27-year-old Italian moved to St Mary's from Napoli in January 2017 for £14million and scored six goals in his first four games for the club.

However, it was downhill from then on for the striker who only scored one league goal for Saints this term.

In total he found the net 10 times in 51 Premier League games for the club, 5/1 to be relegated this season.

Hasenhuttl, who allowed Steven Davis to join Rangers earlier this week, said of Gabbiadini: "If you are a new manager at a new club you get the first impressions of the player and it seems to me he is a good player with fantastic technique but with this intensive pressing system we try to play, to be honest, it's not his way of playing.

"It was better to find a solution that good for both sides.

"I think it's a good step for him to go back to Italy and I wish him all the best. He's a fantastic player."

Of any potential new arrivals, the Austrian added: "We have problems with injuries among our forwards but we don't want to be hurried so we need to think about it and, if you are 100 per cent sure this guy makes us better, then take the decision."

Southampton are available at 10/3 to beat Leicester City on Saturday and 14/1 to win the match 2-1.

Ranieri keen to add experience

Claudio Ranieri has admitted that Fulham will be relegated if they are unable to sign experienced "leaders" during the January transfer window.

The Cottagers, 4/7 to be relegated this season, are currently 19th in the Premier League table with 14 points from 21 games.

There has been marginal improvement in Fulham's results since Ranieri replaced the axed Slavisa Jokanovic in November and they face a potentially crucial clash against Burnley this weekend. Fulham are 9/4 to beat the Clarets at Turf Moor and 12/1 to win the match from behind.

"I think we have to sign somebody to survive," said the Italian. "It would also be a good boost for all my players.

"We have a very good team, but without experience. We need somebody who has experience, a leader with good character, that's his personality, then we can improve.

"I'm positive because I believe in this team and this club. But also Burnley think, 'if we kill Fulham we go up'. And for this reason, I think it's a crucial match.

"Believe me, at the moment I never look at the table because I know where we are, staying under water and I want to go up."

Fulham are able to concentrate on avoiding an immediate return to the Championship as they were knocked out of the FA Cup by League Two side Oldham Athletic last weekend.

Hodgson defends his approach

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson insists he was right to adopt a defensive approach to Sunday's clash against Chelsea at Selhurst Park.

The Eagles failed to create a clear-cut opening in the London derby as Maurizio Sarri's side edged to a 1-0 victory courtesy of N'Golo Kante's second-half strike.

Chelsea also hit the woodwork twice while Olivier Giroud had two goals disallowed.

Palace had won 3-2 at Manchester City earlier this month so it was something of a surprise to see them play so negatively against their fourth-placed opponents.

Hodgson's side are 14th after the defeat and only four points above the relegation zone, with the veteran former England and Liverpool manager saying: "We couldn't be more adventurous unless we wanted to get beaten 4-0 or 5-0.

"It wasn't one of our better days technically so we could have opened ourselves up for 40 minutes and see them exploit the spaces, or we could try and do what we did and keep things tight and the keep the game under some sort of control until 20 minutes from the end and try to take our chances.

"That's what we did but it didn't work as we didn't score. It was the sort of game where we could have played better on the ball, and they were very, very good in terms of their organisation and structure, so it was going to be a tight game if we could keep it tight. That's why we lost the game 1-0 and not by a lot of goals."

Palace are available at 10/3 to beat Wolves at Molineux on Wednesday and 14/1 to win the match from behind.

Hasenhuttl plans for changes

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has hinted that he could bring several new players to St Mary's in the January transfer window.


Saints have only won three of their first 20 Premier League fixtures and Sunday's 3-1 home loss to Manchester City has left them above the relegation zone on goal difference.

Hasenhuttl made six changes to the team that had been beaten at home by West Ham United on Thursday and the Austrian says he now has a much clearer idea of where his squad needs strengthening.

The 51-year-old former RB Leipzig coach said: "I knew it from the beginning when I was coming here. I knew exactly what a brutal schedule is waiting for us in the first weeks.

"To prepare a new team, to know the new players, how they play and what they can do for you and that's an important part today to give players a chance. I saw them only for now just practicing and not under pressure in a Premier League game.

"If I want to make decisions in January about new transfers I need to know everyone in the team. Therefore, I need the impressions that I got and it's an important game for me."

Southampton, 5/1 to be relegated this season, are available at 10/1 to beat Chelsea on Wednesday and 9/1 to keep a clean sheet at Stamford Bridge.

Dyche desperate for upturn

Sean Dyche has admitted that he has not got the balance right this season and he is to blame for Burnley's struggles.

The Clarets are in the bottom three after being thrashed 5-1 by Everton at Turf Moor on Boxing Day and they have already conceded more goals in the first half of this season (41) than in the whole of the 2017/18 campaign (39).

They had conceded just 15 goals at this stage last term and had 20 more points.

Burnley eventually finished seventh last season and were involved in the Europa League at the start of this term but they can be backed at 1/3 to be relegated and at 23/20 to lose to in-form West Ham United on Sunday.

"We know there's a lot of work to be done. We've never overthought it. We've got to shift the performance levels and we've got to stay strong to our beliefs," said Dyche.

"I'm not stupid, I know our stats. It's always a challenge season on season getting all the details right.

"The key moments at both ends of the pitch, you have to be deadly at one end and safe as houses at the other, and we haven't got that balance right. I know we have to get results and I take responsibility. It has to happen quickly."

Belgium midfielder Steven Defour and Republic of Ireland winger Robbie Brady remain doubts for Sunday's match.