The Chalkboard: Jannik Vestergaard will be crucial to Southampton this weekend

Southampton make the trip to Brighton, whose FA Cup semi-final bubble they will be hoping can be burst, this weekend in what promises to be a difficult game for both sides.

The return of Danny Ings is a big boost to the Saints attack and they will fancy themselves to cause the Seagulls’ defence problems, while Chris Hughton’s side will be hoping that Glenn Murray can put on another Premier League target man masterclass – the veteran striker and company will prove problematic, certainly.

On the chalkboard

Murray might be into his twilight years but he remains a huge threat in front of goal, as Crystal Palace found out earlier this month. The 6 foot hitman is excellent at using his physicality to work opportunities for himself and teammates and his heading ability will mean Brighton are a threat from set-pieces – and we haven’t even mentioned Shane Duffy or Lewis Dunk yet.

The gigantic centre-back pairing are as good in the opposition box as they are on their own, Duffy in particular – the Irishman has netted five league goals this campaign from the heart of defence. At a combined height of 12 ft 8, the duo will cause havoc in the Southampton box if Brighton can deliver from dead-ball situations.

Vester-guard

Fortunately for the Saints, they have their own behemoth at the back in Jannik Vestergaard – the Dane stands at 6 ft 6 and will be essential if the visitors are to negate the Seagulls’ imposing trio.

Be sure to check out the incredible story of the man who rose from a Tanzanian refugee camp to become one of Australia’s biggest football stars in the video below…

The former Monchengladbach man might look awkward and off-balanced every time the ball comes near him on the ground but he is a force to be reckoned with in the air.

The 26-year-old summer arrival has yet to net for Southampton but, if he can cancel out Brighton’s main threat, then his contributions on Saturday will be just as crucial as a goal. He quite literally has a huge role to play in the game.