Despite having lost an array of top players once again in the summer, and witnessed manager Ronald Koeman leave for Everton, Southampton are still flying high.
The story in the summer replicated what has been a concerning trend in recent years, but the South Coast side are still managing to stay afloat, with top-class replacements stepping up for those who left.
This season, Southampton are looking to consolidate their place as a European side once again but face a wealth of competition, with the likes of Everton pushing for a spot in the Europa League places, while those ahead of them, including Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, know there are only four spots available in the Champions League.
That limits the amount of Europa League spots potentially available for clubs like Southampton but the daunting prospect of an omission from European competition next term is not weighing on the shoulders of Claude Puel’s side, who boast the Premier League’s best defence, statistically speaking.
19 – Southampton have allowed their opponents a league-low 19 shots on target in the Premier League this season. Tight.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 27, 2016
Allowing just 19 shots on target for their opponents in the Premier League so far this season, a tight defence has been a crucial part in the Saints’ campaign – but they’ll be looking to turn draws into more victories, having struggled to make a decisive breakthrough at the other end of the pitch.
Conceding just eight goals is a decent record, though, especially considering they’ve already faced title-chasing Arsenal and Manchester City so far this season.
This won’t come as good news for Chelsea, though, with Antonio Conte’s Blues travelling to the Hampshire side on the weekend as they look for another win.