Southampton’s triumph over Leeds last Saturday would have been a significant weight off he shoulders of Ralph Hasenhuttl, although he will know that the value of that first win could be undermined should they fail to back it up against Burnley.
It has not been an easy start to the season for the Saints, with six of their eight games so far coming against teams that finished in the top half in 2020-21, and a home tie against an out-of-form Burnley side represents their easiest test on paper yet.
Hasenhuttl has publicly warned of the challenge the Clarets will pose, but his side will be favourites to make it back-to-back league wins for the first time in five months.
The win over Leeds also made it two clean sheets in their last three league outings at home – having not managed to keep any in their previous 11, and their defensive record is now the best of any team in the bottom half.
It is at the other end where they have struggled most, though, scoring just six goals all season – only Burnley and Norwich City have found the back of the net on fewer occasions.
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Indeed, including the tail end of last season, Southampton have scored only twice in their last five home league games and, considering Burnley have drawn a blank in four of their last six away games across all competitions, that suggests a low-scoring encounter in store on Saturday.
Burnley will be desperate to get off the mark as we approach the quarter-way stage of another season in which their primary goal is to stay in the division, but they too have had a relatively difficult start.
Like Southampton, six of their eight outings have come against teams that finished in the top half last term, including away games against both Liverpool and Manchester City already – a factor which has contributed to their joint league-low tally of just one away point so far