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Reading v Southampton – live

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Reading v Southampton – as it happens from the Madejski Stadium

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

03:00 GMT, 6 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:19 GMT, 6 April 2013

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as Reading host Southampton at the Madejski Stadium to begin the weekend's action.

The Royals are rock bottom of the table and are desperate for a victory that would take them within four points of safety. But they take on a Saints side that have improved in the second half of the campaign and will be targeting a third successive win to ease their own relegation fears.

Send your views, predictions and comments to [email protected]

12.20pm: Just a little more detail on the teams:

Reading manager Nigel Adkins makes five changes to his side. Adam Federici returns in goal after an ankle injury, while Sean Morrison, Chris Gunter, Hope Akpan and Adam Le Fondre come in after the 4-1 defeat at Arsenal.

Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino meanwhile makes one alteration at the Madejski Stadium, with Gaston Ramirez coming in for Jason Puncheon.

12.10pm: This has the makings of a cracking game, in my humble opinion. Reading are in desperate need of the points which means they'll be even more vulnerable than usual.

Southampton meanwhile are on something of a roll after fine back-to-back victories over Liverpool and Chelsea.

And I haven't mentioned Nigel Adkins taking on his old team.

What more could you ask for

12pm: Welcome to Sportsmail's coverage of this afternoon's clash between Reading and Southampton.

The teams are very much in…

Reading: Federici, Gunter, Kelly, Mariappa, Morrison, Karacan, Akpan, Guthrie, McAnuff, Robson-Kanu, Le Fondre

Southampton: Boruc, Clyne, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Shaw, Schneiderlin, Cork, Ramirez, S Davis, Rodriguez, Lambert

Jump for joy: Jason Puncheon's strike helped Southampton to a 1-0 win over Reading in December

Jump for joy: Jason Puncheon's strike helped Southampton to a 1-0 win over Reading in December

Fulham 1 Southampton 1 match report: Berbatov gets shirty but Lambert has last word

Fulham 1 Southampton 1: Berbatov gets shirty but Lambert has final say

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UPDATED:

17:40 GMT, 26 December 2012

Rickie Lambert's late penalty secured
Southampton a hard-earned point in west London as Fulham's poor recent
run continued today.

The Boxing Day encounter at Craven Cottage was of grave importance to both sides given their position near the relegation zone.

Cool head: Kelvin Davis of Southampton spills the ball to allow Dimitar Berbatov to score

Cool head: Kelvin Davis of Southampton spills the ball to allow Dimitar Berbatov to score

Dimitar Berbatov of Fulham Scores

Match facts

Fulham: Schwarzer, Riether, Hangeland, Senderos, Riise, Dejagah (Frei 67), Sidwell, Baird, Kacaniklic (Ruiz 46), Berbatov, Rodallega (Karagounis 78). Subs Not Used: Stockdale, Kelly, Briggs, Hughes.

Booked: Berbatov, Riise, Senderos.

Goals: Berbatov 8.

Southampton: Kelvin Davis,Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw, Schneiderlin,
Cork, Steven Davis (Rodriguez 78), Puncheon, Ramirez (Do Prado 90), Lambert. Subs Not Used: Boruc, Hooiveld, Ward-Prowse, Richardson, Mayuka.

Goals: Lambert 85 pen.

Att: 25,700

Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

Latest Premier League table and results

Fulham came into the match with just one win in 10 matches but got off to the best possible start, taking the lead inside eight minutes.

Kelvin Davis could only fumble a Sascha Riether cross into the path of Dimitar Berbatov, who duly slotted home off balance at the far post.

The Bulgarian celebrated by revealing a shirt saying 'Keep Calm and Pass Me the Ball', although he failed to stay true to his word by somehow heading wide shortly afterwards.

The miss allowed Southampton back into the game and, after a number of missed opportunities, the strugglers grabbed a late leveller.

Saints academy graduate Chris Baird was adjudged to have handled a Gaston Ramirez corner, allowing Lambert to continue his 100 per cent success rate from the spot five minutes from time.

Steven Sidwell was one of three Fulham changes for today's match and should have given them a third-minute lead.

Stunt: Berbatov gets his message across after scoring

Stunt: Berbatov gets his message across after scoring

In the book: Not everyone was impressed with his shirt stunt

In the book: Not everyone was impressed with his shirt stunt

The ball was played in from the left flank and the central midfielder's low strike from the edge of the box went just wide.

It epitomised a bright start from the hosts, who needed just eight minutes to score the opener.

Riether's low driven ball from the right was fumbled by goalkeeper Davis, allowing Berbatov to slot home unmarked.

The former Manchester United striker
was booked for revealing the personalised t-shirt when celebrating but
should have soon had a second goal, nodding wide a weighted Alex
Kacaniklic cross.

Spot on: Rickie Lambert scores late equaliser

Spot on: Rickie Lambert scores late equaliser

Rickie Lambert scores a penalty

Southampton's first opportunity of
note took 20 minutes to create, with a fierce Jack Cork strike from 25
yards well dealt with by Mark Schwarzer.

Berbatov was somewhat fortunate not to
receive a second yellow card for a late lunge on Jason Puncheon as both
sides struggled to keep possession in miserable conditions.

Davis dealt with a deflected John Arne
Riise shot, before Morgan Schneiderlin put wide and a fizzing Lambert
cross was cleared from danger by Baird.

Ramirez – accused of stamping on Riise
moments earlier – then saw a shot blocked by Berbatov as the visitors
pressed for a leveller.

Martin Jol brought on Bryan Ruiz in
place of the impressive Kacaniklic for the second half, with Puncheon
fizzing an effort wide shortly after the restart.

Head case: Fulham's Steve Sidwell takes a whack from Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne

Head case: Fulham's Steve Sidwell shows no fear in challenge with Nathaniel Clyne

Touch and go: Southampton manager Nigel Adkins and Fulham boss Martin Jol (right)

Touch and go: Southampton manager Nigel Adkins and Fulham boss Martin Jol (right)

Fulham were waiting patiently for their second goal, which was almost gifted to them by Luke Shaw.

The 17-year-old left-back's
uncharacteristic slip allowed Ashkan Dejagah through on goal, but the
winger lost his bearings and fired well wide.

Saints soon returned to the attack and Puncheon was called offside just as he struck at Schwarzer.

Dejagah saw a cross-shot flash wide
moments before he was replaced by Kerim Frei, with Brede Hangeland
having an effort blocked soon after.

Saints, though, were proving a thorn in Fulham's side, with Lambert close with a thumping volley 13 minutes from time.

Late drama: Referee Phil Dowd points to the spot

Late drama: Referee Phil Dowd points to the spot

Slick Rick: Lambert scores the equaliser

Slick Rick: Lambert scores the equaliser

Nigel Adkins brought on Jay Rodriguez in a late bid to find an equaliser, which came in the 85th minute.

Ramirez floated in a corner from the
left and Baird was adjudged to have handled under pressure from Lambert,
who stepped up to fire into the top left-hand corner.

Fulham claimed unsuccessfully for a
penalty of their own shortly afterwards when Maya Yoshida barged
Philippe Senderos, before Ramirez's audacious 25-yard strike slipped out
of Schwarzer's grasp and had to be stopped on the line.

Sidwell flashed a volley inches wide and Hangeland came close in stoppage time, but Adkins' side held out for a point.

Nigel Adkins proud of Southampton

Adkins proud of brave Saints after victory over Reading lifts them out of drop zone

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UPDATED:

20:18 GMT, 8 December 2012

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins is proud of the way his players rose to the challenge against fellow strugglers Reading today to move out of the relegation zone with a 1-0 victory.

Saints came into the match a place, and three points, better off than their opponents, who pipped the Hampshire side to the npower Championship title last season.

Adkins' side exacted revenge for that today, with Jason Puncheon's solitary goal enough to secure victory and propel Southampton up to 15th in the Barclays Premier League standings.

Delight: Jason Puncheon scored the decisive goal

Delight: Jason Puncheon scored the decisive goal

'It is a good three points for us,' the Saints boss said. 'It is important to win our home games, especially against the teams close to us in the league.

'I thought we thoroughly deserved the victory today and, in fact, I would have liked us to have scored some more goals from the opportunities we created.

'All-in-all, we've got to be happy with the clean sheet and three points. The players stepped up to the mark.

'There might be talk [of pressure] on the outside, but the players deserve all the credit.

'They work really hard on the training ground and there is a great togetherness about them.

'They've gone out and put on a very good performance. I think if we can keep concentrating on our performances and what we want to do, we give ourselves an opportunity to go and win.'

Right-winger Puncheon was the standout player for Southampton and Adkins felt he should have had two goals today, having seen a first-half header chalked off.

'It was a great goal, I am delighted with it,' Adkins said of the goal that did stand.

Eyes on the prixe: Adam Lallana looks to control the ball

Eyes on the prixe: Adam Lallana looks to control the ball

Struggle: Both Reading and Southampton are near the foot of the table

Struggle: Both Reading and Southampton are near the foot of the table

'Jason could have had a few more. He had a few opportunities and a perfectly good goal disallowed as well.

'But the goal is off the training ground and we have a midfield player dropping out in between the defender and the full-back.

'We get somebody in the pocket, our full-back playing up high and wide player coming inside. Good quick play and an excellent goal.'

Asked if he thought the disallowed goal was one of a number of decisions to have gone against Saints recently, Adkins retorted: 'Yes, but it will change.

'We will keep grafting, we won't whinge about it and we will get on with it.'

While there were many positives for Southampton today, including a second Premier League clean sheet, they did lose captain Adam Lallana to injury in the first half.

'We've got him in a brace and he is on crutches at the moment,' Adkins said. 'That is standard procedure.

'He has got a knee injury and what we will do is assess that over the next 24 to 48 hours and that will give us a better prognosis to how long potentially he will be out for.

'It could be short, it could be longer. We don't know so we won't guess at the moment.'

Southampton fans will hope the two-week break they now have due to scheduled opponents Chelsea's Club World Cup commitments will allow Lallana time to recover.

Proud: Nigel Adkins was delighted with the result

Proud: Nigel Adkins was delighted with the result

Adkins also revealed that the period should be enough for Argentinian goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga to return to training from a shoulder injury.

While Southampton can relax, starting with their Christmas party tomorrow night, Reading face a quick turnaround.

Brian McDermott's side were second best at St Mary's today as they slumped to a fourth successive defeat – hardly ideal preparation for a trip to Sunderland on Tuesday.

'We are disappointed,' the Reading boss said. 'We had an opportunity [to win] in the first half and hit the post.

'That first goal was always going to be really, really important. They got it.

'In the second half I didn't really feel we stepped on the way we needed to get three points, never mind one.

Ouch: Adkins hopes that the two weeks off they have will give Lallana time to recover

Ouch: Adkins hopes that the two weeks off they have will give Lallana time to recover

'I think it is hard to look and reflect straight after the game. At the moment, you would imagine there would be a lot of doom and gloom around the place after a loss like that.

'I understand that completely because the second half we did not really do ourselves justice, especially with the ball.

'We know we have to be better than that and we now have another game on Tuesday to pick ourselves up.'

Southampton 1 Reading 0: Jason Puncheon wins points for Saints

Southampton 1 Reading 0: Royals left Punch-drunk as Saints climb out of drop zone

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UPDATED:

17:18 GMT, 8 December 2012

Southampton moved out of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone for the first time this season after Jason Puncheon's second-half strike proved the difference against fellow strugglers Reading.

The Royals pipped Saints to the npower Championship crown last term, and the hosts exacted some revenge this afternoon.

Winning ways: Jason Puncheon scores for Southampton

Winning ways: Jason Puncheon scores for Southampton

MATCH FACTS

Southampton: Kelvin Davis, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw, Puncheon,
Cork, Schneiderlin, Lallana (Ramirez 40), Rodriguez (Do Prado 78),
Lambert.
Subs Not Used: Boruc, Hooiveld, Steven Davis, Ward-Prowse, Mayuka.

Scorer: Puncheon 61.

Reading: Federici, Cummings, Mariappa, Morrison (Pearce 65), Shorey,
Robson-Kanu (McCleary 77), Leigertwood,Tabb (Hunt 69), McAnuff,
Roberts, Le Fondre.
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Guthrie, Harte, Samuel.

Att: 29,331

Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire).

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The south-coast club started brightly at St Mary's, but Reading looked dangerous on the break and had strong penalty appeals waved away when Jay Tabb appeared to be clipped in the box.

Southampton felt aggrieved themselves moments later when a Puncheon header was chalked off, before they lost influential captain Adam Lallana to a knee injury.

Hal Robson-Kanu rattled the post in first-half stoppage time but Saints continued to threaten after the break, getting their just rewards in the 61st minute when Puncheon lashed home what proved to be the winner.

The main talking point coming into the match was goalkeeper Kelvin Davis' return, having not started in the Premier League since the 6-1 mauling at Arsenal in mid-September.

The club captain replaced the injured Paulo Gazzaniga, while Gaston Ramirez dropped to the bench having spent the week in Uruguay on compassionate grounds.

Jay Rodriguez replaced him in the starting line-up and started brightly, firing just wide before Morgan Schneiderlin bundled a fierce Nathaniel Clyne cross inches wide.

Sky high: Jason Puncheon (second right) celebrates with Southampton teammate Nathaniel Clyne

Sky high: Jason Puncheon (second right) celebrates with Southampton teammate Nathaniel Clyne

Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici had to keep out a goal-bound Lallana prod and then stopped Lambert after Rodriguez was blocked off by Shaun Cummings.

Lallana curled over from the edge of the box but, for all of Saints' attacking intent, Reading looked menacing on the counter-attack.

Tight marking: Southampton's Ricky Lambert tries to turn inside Reading's Nicky Shorey

Tight marking: Southampton's Ricky Lambert tries to turn inside Reading's Nicky Shorey

Tabb's burst forward and strike that stung the palms of Davis epitomised that and the Royals felt they should have had a penalty when Jack Cork then caught the midfielder.

Saints soon felt hard done by themselves as Puncheon had a 34th-minute opener disallowed after an altercation between Federici and Maya Yoshida in the build-up.

Up for it: Southampton's Jason Puncheon challenges for a header

Up for it: Southampton's Jason Puncheon challenges for a header

Southampton boss Nigel Adkins was forced to shuffle the pack as half-time approached after captain Lallana suffered a knee injury, resulting in an early-than-planned introduction for Ramirez.

Puncheon had a shot deflected behind and Yoshida saw a header cleared off the line by Cummings as Saints pushed for a half-time lead, although Robson-Kanu saw a header rebound back off the post in stoppage time at the other end.

Chest right: Reading's Jason Roberts protects the ball from Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne

Chest right: Reading's Jason Roberts protects the ball from Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne

Reading were on top as the second half resumed but Saints soon found their feet, with Puncheon forcing Federici into action low to his left six minutes in.

Rodriguez's chest and volley rolled wide as Saints continued to press and, after Sean Morrison and Yoshida both received treatment, they had the lead.

Looking up: Southampton boss Nigel Adkins

Looking up: Southampton boss Nigel Adkins

Lambert played through Clyne and his ball was controlled by Puncheon, who continued to fire a right-footed strike across Federici into the far corner.

Rodriguez saw penalty appeals rejected moments after the 61st-minute goal, although a poor Clyne clearance would have cost Southampton immediately had Jobi McAnuff's shot been lower.

Morrison was replaced by Alex Pearce in the 65th minute after his earlier knock and Noel Hunt soon came on for Tabb as Reading boss Brian McDermott looked to claw a goal back.

Eye on the ball: Reading's Jay Tabb controls

Eye on the ball: Reading's Jay Tabb controls

The move to a three-pronged attack almost paid dividends immediately as Adam Le Fondre nodded just wide after a poor headed clearance by Clyne.

Federici almost sliced a backpass into his own goal and then did well to did well to hold onto a Clyne cross-shot.

Puncheon above his weight: Jason Puncheon celebrates his goal

Puncheon above his weight: Jason Puncheon celebrates his goal

Guly do Prado was booed by sections of the home fans when replacing Rodriguez 12 minutes from time, although he soon hushed those naysayers with a long-range effort that curled just over after Puncheon again came close.

Reading threatened from late set-pieces and Do Prado was denied from close range, but it remained 1-0 as Saints collected their second clean sheet of the season.

QPR 1 Southampton 3 – match report

QPR 1 Southampton 3: Hughes on the brink as Saints win 'El Sackico' in style

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UPDATED:

17:15 GMT, 17 November 2012

Nigel Adkins was left beaming in the battle of the basement boys – dubbed 'El Sackico' – as his Southampton side inflicted a crushing home defeat on Mark Hughes and QPR.

The futures of both managers were subject to intense speculation in the build-up to a Loftus Road encounter contested by the sides bottom and second-bottom of the standings.

QPR and Southampton had conceded 49 league goals between them prior to the game and the hosts' defence was breached 23 minutes in as Rickie Lambert bundled home his fifth of the season.

Quiet down, boo boys: Southampton came out on top in the battle of the bottom clubs

Quiet down, boo boys: Southampton came out on top in the battle of the bottom clubs

Feeling the heat: Mark Hughes faces an uncertain future after once again failing to win at home

Feeling the heat: Mark Hughes faces an uncertain future after once again failing to win at home

Match facts

QPR: Julio Cesar; Traore, Ferdinand, Nelsen, Bosingwa (Fabio 73); Diakite (Derry 71), Taarabt, Granero, Faurlin (Mackie 46); Cisse, Hoilett Subs not used: Green, Wright-Phillips, Dyer, Ehmer

Booked: Bosingwa

Goals: Hoilett 49

SOUTHAMPTON: Gazzaniga; Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Shaw (Fox 74); Schneiderlin, Ramirez (S Davis 61), Cork, Lallana; Puncheon, Lambert (Rodriguez 90) Subs not used: K Davis, Hooiveld, Ward-Prowse, Mayukav

Goals: Lambert 23, Puncheon 45, Ferdinand OG 83

The latest Premier League table, fixtures and results

The Rs found themselves further
behind at the end of the first half as man-of-the-match Jason Puncheon
returned to haunt the club he spent a loan spell with last season,
striking home from the edge of the box.

Boos rang around Loftus Road at the
half-time whistle and the hosts came out rejuvenated for the second
period, with Junior Hoilett clawing one back four minutes in.

That, though, was to be as good as it
got for QPR as Southampton wrapped up victory when Anton Ferdinand
deflected home Morgan Schneiderlin's late cross.

Both managers stuck with the same
starting line-ups that played last weekend for today's crunch match
between the Premier League's two worst sides.

An impressive 3,203 visiting fans crammed into the School End and enjoyed a bright, if fruitless, opening spell.

Quick out the blocks: Ricky Lambert handed the visitors an early lead with a brave header

Quick out the blocks: Ricky Lambert handed the visitors an early lead with a brave header

Quick out the blocks: Ricky Lambert handed the visitors an early lead with a brave header

Southampton were quicker to settle
and captain Adam Lallana came close in the seventh minute, firing just
over after a neat one-two with Gaston Ramirez.

Just as a chorus of 'One Nigel
Adkins' ended, Saints had another chance as former QPR loanee Puncheon's
cross evaded Lallana in the box and clipped the far post.

While the visitors were enjoying the lion's share of possession, they were still looking shaky at the back.

Adel Taarabt – so often a threat for
QPR – highlighted that defensive fragility by breaking through
in-between Nathaniel Clyne and Jose Fonte, before forcing Paulo
Gazzaniga into a quick reaction save.

Net buster: Jason Puncheon doubled the Saints' advantage on the stroke of half-time

Net buster: Jason Puncheon doubled the Saints' advantage on the stroke of half-time

Net buster: Jason Puncheon doubled the Saints' advantage on the stroke of half-time

The Argentinian goalkeeper did not fare so well with a Hoilett shot less than a minute later, somewhat fumbling a parry behind.

Saints returned to the attack in the
22nd minute, when Lallana's dangerous ball across the six-yard box was
cleared behind for a corner from which Lambert saw an effort deflect
behind.

He was not to be denied for long,
though, and, when the resulting corner was not cleared properly, Ramirez
pulled back for Fonte, whose shot was prodded goalwards by Puncheon.
That effort was cleared off the line but Lambert showed his strength to
bundle home.

Saints continued to press forward
after the opener, although their defence was still looking uneasy as
Djibril Cisse and Hoilett threatened to level.

Southampton players claimed a
handball against Ryan Nelsen and Jack Cork tested Julio Cesar as they
pushed for another, which came on the stroke of half-time.

Lifeline: Junior Hoilett halved the arrears for QPR, but it proved to be a false dawn

Lifeline: Junior Hoilett halved the arrears for QPR, but it proved to be a false dawn

Lifeline: Junior Hoilett halved the arrears for QPR, but it proved to be a false dawn

Puncheon started the move on the
right and, when he collected the ball from Clyne, turned Alejandro
Faurlin to fire home a left-footed strike.

QPR were booed off at half-time after their inept display and Hughes replaced Faurlin with Jamie Mackie when play resumed.

The west Londoners began brightly and, after Gazzaniga dealt with a Cisse volley, they reduced the deficit.

Adel Taarabt floated in a cross and lost his man, allowing Hoilett to nod home unchallenged in the 49th minute.

They were still looking poor, though,
and Puncheon forced Cesar to save and then provided a cross that
Lambert came close to turning home.

The Saints striker and Schneiderlin
were both thwarted with long-range efforts, before Ferdinand did well to
stop Ramirez getting through on goal.

Out of ideas: Try as they might, QPR just couldn't find a way back into the match

Out of ideas: Try as they might, QPR just couldn't find a way back into the match

Out of ideas: Try as they might, QPR just couldn't find a way back into the match

Puncheon was far and away Southampton's standout player and was causing the QPR defence no end of hassle.

After scuffing wide, the winger came
close with a drilled effort and then saw a low effort from an acute
angle tipped wide by Cesar.

Cisse lashed well wide at the other
end and, after Jose Bosingwa's substitution was cheered by home fans, he
tried to score with an overhead kick.

The game was flowing from end to end and Cesar had to be at his best to deny a Maya Yoshida scissor-kick 10 minutes from time.

Nelsen headed straight at Gazzaniga
moments later and then Saints secured victory, with Puncheon playing a
short corner to Schneiderlin for the Frenchman's cross to squeeze in off
Ferdinand at Cesar's near post.

QPR fans bellowed 'You're only here
for the money' at their players and duly booed the side off at the end
of the game, while Adkins and the Saints fans celebrated their first
points earned away from home.

West Brom 2 Southampton 0: Peter Odemwingie scores twice

West Brom 2 Southampton 0: Odemwingie double piles pressure on Adkins

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UPDATED:

21:52 GMT, 5 November 2012

Peter Odemwingie struck twice to send West Brom up into fifth in the Premier League as Southampton remain rooted to the bottom of the table.

The result piles even more pressure on Saints boss Nigel Adkins, who's side have now won just one of their 10 games this season and sit five points adrift of safety.

Peter the Great: Odemwingie was the man of the hour for West Brom

Peter the Great: Odemwingie was the man of the hour for West Brom

MATCH FACTS

West Brom: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Mulumbu, Yacob, Odemwingie (Fortune 83), Gera, Dorrans (Brunt 65), Long (Lukaku 71).

Subs not used: Myhill, Popov, Rosenberg, Tamas.

Booked: Jones.

Goals: Odemwingie 36, 60.

Southampton: Gazzaniga, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Fox (Shaw 82), Schneiderlin, Steven Davis, Ramirez (Mayuka 76), Lallana, Rodriguez (Do Prado 76), Lambert.

Subs not used: Kelvin Davis, Hooiveld, Ward-Prowse, Puncheon.

Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire)

Latest Premier League table and results

More to follow…

High hopes: Southampton keeper Gazzaniga rises to clear a cross

High hopes: Southampton keeper Gazzaniga rises to clear a cross

Eyes on the ball: Jay Rodriguez (left) competes with Youssuf Mulumbu

Eyes on the ball: Jay Rodriguez (left) competes with Youssuf Mulumbu

Swooping to pounce: Odemwingie heads home the second

Swooping to pounce: Odemwingie heads home the second

Under pressure: Adkins could be heading for the exit door at St Mary's

Under pressure: Adkins could be heading for the exit door at St Mary's

Midfield tussle: Morgan Schneiderlin (left) is closed down by West Brom's Argentine midfielder Claudio Yacob

Midfield tussle: Morgan Schneiderlin (left) is closed down by West Brom's Argentine midfielder Claudio Yacob

Boing, boing: The Baggies are up to fifth

Boing, boing: The Baggies are up to fifth

Boing, boing: The Baggies are up to fifth

West Brom v Southampton live

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: West Brom v Southampton – as it happens from the Hawthorns

|

UPDATED:

19:54 GMT, 5 November 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as West Brom host Southampton at the Hawthorns to complete the weekend's fixtures. The Baggies could go as high as fourth with a win against the rock bottom Saints, who have the worst defensive record in the division.

MATCH FACTS

West Brom: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Mulumbu, Yacob, Odemwingie, Gera, Dorrans, Long.

Subs not used: Myhill, Popov, Rosenberg, Brunt, Lukaku, Tamas, Fortune.

Southampton: Gazzaniga, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Fox, Schneiderlin, Steven Davis, Ramirez, Lallana, Rodriguez, Lambert.

Subs not used: Kelvin Davis, Hooiveld, Ward-Prowse, Do Prado, Shaw, Mayuka, Puncheon.

Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire)

19.53: Not long to go now. The teams are in the tunnel waiting to get onto the pitch. Cue fair play handshakes and then we can get down to business.

19.48: I know it's still early days, but things are starting to get critical for teams near the foot of the table – in particular QPR and Southampton.

Aston Villa are hardly flying in 17th place, but the bottom three are in danger of breaking off from the pack.

If the Saints fail to get any points in the Midlands tonight they'll still be five points off Paul Lambert's Villa. Something Adkins is clearly looking to address with that goal-hungry line-up he's opted for.

19.43: We're just 17 minutes to kick-off now and I'm expecting some goals.

West Brom have been exciting to watch at home and Adkins is fielding a really attacking line-up.

Not to mention the fact that Southampton have conceded seven more goals than any other team in the Premier League.

Their 14 goals scored – one more than West Brom – isn't too bad for a team rooted to the bottom, mind you.

19.36: Feast your eyes on the full teams in the informative little green box on the right.

Artur Boruc doesn't even make the bench after he allegedly threw a water bottle into the crowd during Southampton's 2-1 defeat against Tottenham at St Mary's.

The club have launched an internal investigation, and Nigel Adkins said he was unwilling to discuss it any further when interviewed on Sky Sports.

19.32: It was another pulsating weekend of action in the English top-flight. A highlight for me was an early contender for goal of the season on Merseyside.

To take an 80-yard pass down with such ease before having the composure to round the goalkeeper with aplomb is something special, and Luis Suarez did that to bring Liverpool level with Newcastle at Anfield. Simply brilliant.

19.26: Here are the starting line-ups then ladies and gents:

West Brom: Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, RIdgewell; Yacob, Mulumbu; Odemwingie, Gera, Dorrans; Long.

Southampton team: Gazzaniga, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Fox, Schneiderlin, S. Davis, Lallana, Ramrez, Lambert, Rodriguez

19.23: West Brom on the other hand can climb further up the table above Tottenham and Everton to fourth place. They may have lost their last two games in the final moments against Manchester City and Newcastle, but victory would spell their best start to a season in over 30 years.

What a job Steve Clarke has done so far in the Midlands. To think people doubted his appointment after Roy Hodgson's departure over the summer.

Attacking options: Shane Long (left) and Adam Lallana (right) will hope to create some chance in tonight's clash

Attacking options: Shane Long (left) and Adam Lallana (right) will hope to create some chance in tonight's clash

19.19: A win tonight for Southampton may not be able to take them out of the relegation zone, but it can at least put them above Queens Park Rangers and Reading and within two points of Aston Villa.

A bit of team news has filtered in. Shane Long is fit and will lead the line for West Brom and – as expected – Gaston Ramirez starts in midfield for Southampton. Looks like Adkins is going for it then.

Full teams on the way soon.

19.15: Good evening, good evening. We've got more Premier League action to get through tonight with Southampton travelling to the Hawthorns to try to earn their first points on the road this season.

The Saints didn't win a single league game in October and West Brom have been tough to beat at home under Steve Clarke.

Nigel Adkins can take some solace in the fact that 11.8million signing Gaston Ramirez is set to return to the Southampton midfield.

Anyway, here's the first stat of the night courtesy of Opta Joe on Twitter. Saints fans may not want to hear it though…

He tweeted: 'If Southampton concede 3+ goals tonight they will break Barnsley's PL record of 28 goals conceded in their first 10 games. Defence.'

Fine start: West Brom are early contenders for a European spot in the Premier League

Fine start: West Brom are early contenders for a European spot in the Premier League

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Newcastle v Manchester United, Liverpool v Stoke, Tottenham v Aston Villa and Newcastle v Manchester United

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Follow Sunday's action from around the grounds as it happens

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UPDATED:

12:55 GMT, 7 October 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as four fixtures conclude the weekend's action starting with Southampton's home encounter with Fulham at 1.30pm. Liverpool host Stoke and Tottenham welcome Aston Villa at 3pm before Manchester United travel to Newcastle an hour later.

SOUTHAMPTON 1 FULHAM 0

Southampton: Gazzaniga, Richardson (Hooiveld 8min), Yoshida, Fonte, Fox, Puncheon, Schneiderlin, Steven Davis, Lallana, Rodriguez, Lambert.

Subs not used: Kelvin Davis, Ward-Prowse, Do Prado, Mayuka, Chaplow, Reeves.

Goals: Fonte

Fulham: Schwarzer, Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise, Kacaniklic, Ruiz, Baird, Sidwell, Duff, Rodallega.

Subs not used: Stockdale, Kelly, Senderos, Kasami, Karagounis, Richardson, Briggs.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

13.52: GOAL DISALLOWED! The home fans are cheering again, but it's not going to stand.

Puncheon gives Schwarzer a nudge as the corner comes in, sending him to the floor. The ball eventually comes to Puncheon who puts the ball in.

Excellent spot by Clattenburg. That was a foul.

13.51: Southampton break very well. Lallana drifts into the centre and picks out Lambert with a cute reverse pass.

Lambert finds Fox who wins the corner.

13.49: Fulham look to strike back. Duff cuts in on the right and puts a lovely ball in. Rodallega can't direct his header goalwards though.

13.47: Huge chance for Lambert to double the lead. Excellent move which sees Rodriguez latch on to a through ball.

Rather than shoot, he finds the usually deadly Lambert. The Englishman skews his effort and the ball trickles out of play. He should have at least worked Schwarzer there.

13.45: Fulham are growing into this game finally. Kacaniklic does well on the left and earns his side a corner.

Is it in Jose Fonte opens the scoring for Southampton

Is it in Jose Fonte opens the scoring for Southampton

Rickie Lambert wheels away after his team-mate got the first goal of the day

Rickie Lambert wheels away after his team-mate got the first goal of the day

The ball's a good one but Hangeland can't get it under control quick enough.

13.41: Now Lallana is on the deck. Steve Sidwell caught him with a flailing arm in the face.

It looked accidental though, and Lallana is on his feet again. All's well that ends well!

Funnily enough, Sidwell was the one who put Rodriguez on the floor with a late challenge moments earlier.

13.40: Big chance for Fulham. Bryan Ruiz takes a free-kick into the box. The ball finds its way through to Aaron Hughes who is in acres at the far post.

The defender fails to bring it under his control and the threat diffuses. A better first touch and he would have had the goal at his mercy.

13.38: Play's back underway now after an unsettling start for Fulham. They need to wake up!

The home crowd are unhappy as the visitors carry on regardless despite Rodriguez being on the deck, apparently injured.

13.36: They are brought back down to earth though, as Richardson is lifted onto a stretcher. Really unlucky as he seemed to pull up with a muscle injury.

Southampton make the change. Jos Hooiveld comes on for the defender.

13.34: GOAL! SOUTHAMPTON 1 Fulham 0

Adam Lallana puts the corner in and Jose Fonte is the first to it. He heads in the general direction of the far post and the ball just loops into the net. Fulham had no one on the line to stop it! What a start for the Saints.

13.33: Danny Fox has another opportunity from a set piece. He swings one in and wins another corner.

13.31: The first spell of pressure comes from Southampton. They have won a corner after Hangeland is forced to head a ball behind.

Fox carves out a half-chance for Rickie Lambert. The angle's tight at the far post and Lambert can't get it back across the face of the goal.

13.30: KICK-OFF! FULHAM GET THE GAME UNDERWAY

13.27: Southampton are lining up in their red kit today and Fulham walk onto the pitch in black with a gold and white sash. Three minutes to KO!

13.25: With the chit chat almost all done, the teams are about to come out and get the customary handshakes out of the way before the real action commences.

13.15: Fulham have struggled away from home so far this season, and it's often been their Achilles heel. They have lost to West Ham and Manchester United so far this campaign.

But they are looking for back-to-back away wins for the first time this season. Let's see how this one pans out…

13.07: Rickie Lambert will be trying to beat Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who turned 40 yesterday.

Lambert, like the club, has battled his way through the divisions and has shown he is worthy of his place in the Premier League by scoring four goals in six in the top-flight.

13.05: Southampton have not struggled for goals this season. They scored two at the Etihad against City and smashed four past Aston Villa at home.

But it's at the back where they need to shore things up if they are to survive in the top-flight.

They will take solace from the fact that there's no Petric or berbatov starting for Fulham, but Hugo Rodallega is no chump. The former Wigan man will be hoping to sink the Saints.

12.55: And as I type the starting line ups are trickling in. Feast your eyes on these:

Southampton starting XI: Gazzaniga; Richardson, Fonte, Yoshida, Fox; Puncheon, Davis, Schneiderlin, Lallana; Lambert, Rodriguez

Fulham starting XI: Schwarzer, Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise, Duff, Baird, Sidwell, Kacaniklic, Ruiz, Rodallega

Main man: Rickie Lambert (right) will lead the line up top for Southampton

Main man: Rickie Lambert (right) will lead the line up top for Southampton

12.50: Let's tackle some team news then for the early kick-off. Fulham could have some problems up top. Dimitar Berbatov looks set to miss the game, and Mladen Petric is also struggling with a calf problem.

Southampton on the other hand seem to have a full squad to pick from. Adkins is likely to welcome back Morgan Schneiderlin and Jos Hooiveld into his side.

12.45: Tottenham are flying high – despite their shock draw in Greece this week. They outclassed United at Old Trafford, a ground where they had previously failed to record a win since 1989.

Gareth Bale, Mousa Dembele and Co await an Aston Villa side who had to wait for Darren bent to come off the bench to rescue a point in their Midlands derby against West Brom last week.

12.40: At 15.00 we've got two games. Tottenham host Aston Villa and Liverpool welcome Stoke. Both home sides had unfavourable Europa League results as Liverpool fell to a 3-2 loss at home to Udinese and Tottenham drew 1-1 with a poor Panathinaikos outfit on Thursday.

Brendan Rodgers is still looking for his first home win in the Premier League with his Reds side. Tony Pulis will have other plans though, and will be hoping former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch can continue his goal glut on Merseyside.

12.35: But United and Newcastle aren't playing until 16.00. First up we're at St Mary's as Fulham travel to the south coast.

Best pairing in Britain Wayne Rooney (right) and Robin van Persie (left) are likely to pair up at Newcastle

Best pairing in Britain Wayne Rooney (right) and Robin van Persie (left) are likely to pair up at Newcastle

Nigel Adkins' side have won only one of their first six games – losing the other five – and, frankly, look like early candidates for relegation.

The Saints boss is hoping his side's home form can help tip the balance in their favour, especially after a convincing 4-1 win over Aston Villa.

Fulham are hoping to bounce back after losing in the final moments against Manchester City last week. They'll be kicking off at 13.30, with teams on the way shortly.

12.30: Welcome, welcome, welcome. Stick with us here at Sportsmail as we guide you through all this afternoon's action.

It's an uncharacteristically busy Sunday given the Europa League action in midweek, and the blockbuster of the day is undoubtedly Manchester United's trip to Newcastle. In last season's corresponding fixture, United slumped to a 3-0 defeat with help from an unplayable Demba Ba.

Interestingly, that defeat followed their 3-2 home loss to Blackburn the week before. What did Sir Alex Ferguson's men do last week again.. Oh yes, I remember. They lost 3-2 at home to Tottenham.

But let's not get carried away with ourselves. Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are set to start up top for Fergie, and with Rooney setting up his Dutch team-mate for two goals in midweek against FC Cluj, they'll be keen to develop that relationship further. Should be a cracker.

Action packed: Southampton (left) start the day followed by Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United

Action packed: Southampton (left) start the day followed by Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United

Southampton"s Rickie Lambert eyes shot at Premier League Golden Boot

Lambert eyes shot at Golden Boot after Southampton striker's Premier League goal rush

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 23 September 2012

Honest journeyman Rickie Lambert has clawed his way into the Premier League at the age of 30 after a long career in lower divisions and now plans to fight for the Premier League’s Golden Boot.

The last Englishman to win the Premier League’s accolade for the most goals in a season was Kevin Phillips, who hit 30 in 1999-2000 for Sunderland.

Now, 12 years on, Southampton’s talismanic Liverpudlian believes he can be the next in line after scoring four in his first five top-flight appearances.

Red hot: Rickie Lambert has hit four goals in five Premier League games

Red hot: Rickie Lambert has hit four goals in five Premier League games

Lambert, who used to work in a beetroot factory, said: ‘I want to be in the race for the Golden Boot. It is a massive achievement to win it. I will give it a good go and try my best. There are so many good strikers out there now but who knows It could be my year.

Golden boys: The 20+ crew

Since Kevin Phillips hit 30 in 1999-2000, six Englishmen have scored 20+ Premier League goals in a season.

2001-02 Alan Shearer (23); 02-03 James Beattie (23); 03-04 Shearer (22); 04-05 Andy Johnson (21);
09-10 Wayne Rooney (26), Darren Bent (24), Frank Lampard (22); 11/12 Rooney (27)

‘If you can say I am up there with Robin van Persie at the end of the season in terms of goals I will be very happy.

‘I am very proud to be up there now but it is only five games into the season. Hopefully I will be scoring more and more, helping us win more games.’

Lambert got Southampton’s first and last goals after Darren Bent’s opener, Nathaniel Clyne gave the home side the lead and Jason Puncheon got the third via a deflection off Ciaran Clark.

Striking success: Lambert has netted in all four English leagues

Striking success: Lambert has netted in all four English leagues

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert was impressed with the strike partnership of Bent and Christian Benteke, despite the scoreline.

He said: ‘I was impressed with our two strikers. I believe they will be a good partnership. Darren’s goal was him to a tee, that is how he has made a living out of the game.

‘I am glad he scored but I would rather win. The game is about winning.’

Nigel Adkins proud as Southampton bounce back against Aston Villa

Adkins proud as Southampton show fighting spirit to bounce back against Villa

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UPDATED:

20:32 GMT, 22 September 2012

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins highlighted togetherness as the catalyst to his side overcoming their miserable start to life back in the Premier League with a 4-1 defeat of Aston Villa.

Saints came into the match rooted to the bottom of the standings after four successive defeats and looked on course for another loss when Darren Bent gave Villa a first-half lead.

However, Rickie Lambert drew the hosts level and then played a part in the build-up as Nathaniel Clyne tucked away a superb ball from Gaston Ramirez.

Jason Puncheon saw a shot deflected in by Villa defender Ciaran Clark shortly afterwards, before Lambert netted from the spot in stoppage time to secure a victory that helps lift the pressure off the newly-promoted side.

On target: Rickie Lambert hit two as Southampton recorded their first points of the campaign

On target: Rickie Lambert hit two as Southampton recorded their first points of the campaign

'I think it is understandable when you lose the first games of the season [there is a bit of tension and anxiety],' Adkins said.

'It is always a situation that could be pressurised, if you like. We keep talking to players about working through the process.

'We want to pass the football and everyone is well aware of that. We've done it on many, many occasions.

'I think the supporters understand that as well and there was a massive togetherness all the way through the stadium together.

'One or two passes may have gone astray but there was a real belief about what we do. We scored some good goals and arguably could have got a couple more.

'It is great that we have got a football club where everyone is united together. We have come a long way in a short space of time and [even] sometimes when things aren't quite going our way, everyone pulls together.

Mixed emotions: Paul Lambert and Nigel Adkins on the sideline

Mixed emotions: Paul Lambert and Nigel Adkins on the sideline

'Everyone has worked very, very hard from the chairman all the way down. We have got some fantastic staff, some fantastic football players and importantly the supporters, who are outstanding.

'They get behind the players and the team. They know what we are trying to achieve, what we are achieving and, together as one, we're doing it.'

It was quite a return to form by Southampton after last week's 6-1 hiding at Arsenal.

Adkins shook things up in a bid to change his side's fortunes, bringing in Ramirez, Maya Yoshida and Paulo Gazzaniga for their full Premier League debuts.

The latter was a surprise inclusion, with the 20-year-old Argentinian goalkeeper replacing club captain Kelvin Davis after he conceded 14 goals in Southampton's first four Premier League matches.

'They are decisions that all managers have to make,' Adkins said. 'Kelvin Davis is an outstanding professional. He has been fantastic since I joined this football club and has been an ever-present for us.

'I've got to make a decision about what I have to go and do. I spoke to Kelvin on Thursday about it and he reacted exactly how I imagined he would.

Harsh lesson: Paulo Gazzaniga can only watch as Darren Bent hits the opener

Harsh lesson: Paulo Gazzaniga can only watch as Darren Bent hits the opener

'He has been a total professional, got right behind the players and has given Paulo a lot of support and Paulo has gone and put in a good performance today.'

While Southampton can celebrate a vital first three points, Villa left St Mary's wondering what could have been.

Christian Benteke came agonisingly close to doubling their advantage shortly into the second half, before manager Paul Lambert's namesake inspired a superb comeback.

'The first half I thought we were worthy of it but you can't defend as deep as that and expect to get a 1-0,' Lambert said.

'We had a couple of chances to make it two and we were okay for 50 minutes. They have been down before in games so there was no need to panic. At 2-1 you are still in the game but we have moments like that.

'I never get too high when we win or too low when we lose. The lads know, they don't need me to tell them what's good and what's not. The first half we were fine but then we gave ourselves too much to do.'