It has become a norm for Southampton to be raided by fellow Premier League clubs every transfer window. After a 6th place finish last season Ronald Koeman was lured away by Everton while key players such as Sadio Mane, Victor Wanyama & Graziano Pelle have all bid adieu to the Saints. Koeman’s replacement at the club is former Lille and Monaco manager Claude Puel.
The French manager like Pochettino and Koeman before him has a rebuilding task at hand. A repeat of their 6th place finish from last season might prove to be too difficult a task. However the club will be hoping for a comfortable mid table finish coupled with a good run in the Europa League.
Southampton 2016-17 Season Preview
Ever since their promotion to the Premier League in 2012-13 season the club has gone from strength to strength. 14th and 8th place finishes under Pochettino were followed up with a 7th and 6th place finish under Ronald Koeman. The ambitions of the club has to be questioned having allowed Koeman to join a club that had finished 5 places below them last season .
Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovern, Luke Shaw, Nathaniel Clyne and Morgan Schneiderlin. The list of players Southampton have sold over the last three years is astonishing. This season has been no different with the club having sold the likes of Sane and Wanyama to Liverpool and Spurs respectively.
Despite the mass departures in the previous seasons the club have been to able to deify the odds and improve on their performances. Puel perhaps is Southampton’s best choice as manager as of now. The French manager who has over 17 years of managerial experience in the French Ligue has a reputation of promoting young players and playing attractive football.
Puel does have his critics most of whom point to his failure to win the Ligue 1 title with Lyon despite having led them to the Champions League semi-final. This will perhaps be Southampton’s most crucial season in the Premier League and it has to be seen whether they can silence the doubters once again.
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Fraser Forster was one of the keys to Southampton’s strong finish last season. The 28 year old England international was at goal when the club set a record of 708 consecutive minutes without conceding a goal. Forster will have competition in form of Alex McCarthy who joined the club this season from Palace.
Southampton’s defense were one of the best in the league last season. The back 4 of Cedric Soares, Jose Fonte, Virgil Van Dijk and Ryan Bertrand should start the season but will have competition for the 1st team berth from the likes of Jeremy Pied, Matt Target, Florian Gardos and Maya Yoshida.
In midfield Oriel Romeu looks the automatic replacement for departed Victor Wanyama. 21 year old James Ward Prowse is an exciting young talent who has already amassed over a 100 appearances for the club. The duo of Dusan Tadic & new arrival Pierre Emile Hojbjerg who should provide plenty of attacking threat from the midfield.
Southampton have broken their club transfer record by signing Moroccan International Sofiane Boufal  from Puel’s former club Lille. It has to be seen whether he or fellow newcomer Nathan Redmond will be able to step up to the vacant slot left by Sadio Mane.
The goal scoring duties will fall on two forgotten men at the club – Charlie Austin and James Rodriguez. The duo were sidelined for most of last season due to injuries and will be hoping make a mark this season.
Southampton 2016-17 Season Prediction
It has been a difficult start to the season for the Saints. Three games into the campaign the club is yet to pick up a win with 2 draws and 1 loss to their name. The start to the season is identical to the one they endured last season. Goal scoring has been a problem and the club will be hoping Boufal can help them improve in this regard.
The club does have a busy month coming up with their involvement in the Europa League. It will be difficult season for the club and for the 1st time in four seasons they’ll find themselves outside the Top 10. The club should have a good run in the Europa League making it to atleast the round of 16’s.
Verdict: – 12th Place
Player to Watch – Southampton 2016-17
The Republic of Ireland international has been with Southampton for two seasons now. His 15€ million price tag at that time was considered to be a bad bit of business but the 29 year old has proved his critics wrong over the last two years. He was especially impressive last season with 10 goals and 4 assists in the league a proof of it.
Long is not an out and out striker like Charlie Austin or James Rodriguez but his selfless play and work rate is second to none at the club. He will be a pivtol cog in Southampton’s engine this season and will be entrusted in leading the attack.
Betting Tips – Southampton 2016-17
1. Premier League Champions – 601.00 (Bet 365)
If Koeman was with the club then we would’ve given them an outside chance of following up on Leicester’s heroics last season. In short – Not going to happen.
2. Relegation – 17.00 (Bet 365)
A bad start to the season has shortened Southampton’s odds for relegation. While we can’t see them improving on their 6th place finish from last season they should have a pretty decent season. Once again – Not going to happen.
3. Top 10 – 1.85 (Marathon Bet)
Southampton have not dropped below the Top 10 in each of their last three seasons. The Premier League this season is widely considered to provide the closest title race in recent memory. The teams in mid-table also look equal on paper. We can’t see Southampton finishing among the Top 10 and hence our sure fire bet for Southampton is mentioned below.
4. To Finish in Bottom Half – 2.20 (Betfair)
All Odds from Oddschecker 
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Transfers In – Southampton 2016-17
|Fee – €
|Pierre Emile Hojbjerg
Southampton – 2015/16 Stats
Other Season Prediction and Betting Tips
 Guardian.com, Koeman joins Everton
 BBC.com, Sofiane Boufal signed by Southampton
 Oddschecker.com, Oddschecker Home Page