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Southampton

 By Michael Cox

Swansea and Southampton: Model clubs of the Premier League

The ESPN FC crew debate whom they believe is the best defender in the English Premier League, and settle on Chelsea as the best defensive unit in the league with John Terry at the helm.

This weekend the Premier League is preparing for a showdown between the division's best two clubs, as Manchester City travel to Chelsea for Saturday's late kickoff. It's a meeting between the top two, and while not realistically a true title decider, it's probably the biggest game of the season.

It's difficult, however, for the majority of other clubs to learn lessons from the Premier League's two title contenders. While Chelsea and Manchester City have performed well over the past half-decade...

Louis van Gaal plans transfer swoop for Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne

ESPN FC's Tommy Smyth and Alexis Nunes talk Manchester United transfer rumors, namely Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne and whether or not the defender is a realistic target for the Red Devils.
The winter window is now open, and that means the LIVE transfer blog swings back into action. Find out the latest news, gossip and deals here.

TOP STORY: United closing on Clyne but waiting on Laporte?

Having decided one young Southampton full-back isn't quite enough, Louis van Gaal is intent on adding another to his ranks in the shape of Nathaniel Clyne.

Sources told ESPN FC last week that the 23-year-old right-back is a target for Manchester United, and the Daily Star reported an Old Trafford...

 By Chris Rann

Southampton's FA Cup exit may result in January activity

Marouane Chamakh inspired Crystal Palace's progress to the FA Cup fifth round with a 3-2 win over Southampton.

Saturday proved to be a pretty disappointing day all around for Saints, as they crashed out of the FA Cup to a resurgent Crystal Palace side.

With Chelsea, Manchester City and Spurs all going out and Manchester United and Liverpool forced to replays, the fifth-round draw is going to look devoid of FA Cup pedigree, and that would have represented a great opportunity for a club like Southampton to go all the way. Typically, they couldn't take advantage of it.

In fact, they were well beaten and...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

How Southampton have managed to keep up with the Premier League's elite

ESPN FC's Paul Mariner predicts the Premier League top four, explaining Southampton are the real deal, while Manchester United will miss out.

When Manchester City took Southampton apart with a clinical 3-0 victory at St Mary's on Nov. 28, a "told you so" mob gathered. The romance could not last, these Saints could not keep marching on. The club's pluck was to be admired, but their lofty position in the top four was bound to be subsumed by Manchester United, Arsenal or Liverpool.

Further defeats to United, Arsenal and then (more worryingly) Burnley, plus Sheffield United in the League Cup, suggested just that. And yet Saturday's 2-1 win...

 By Chris Rann

Southampton surprise again as excellent week boosts top-four hopes

Eljero Elia bagged a brace to see Southampton fend of Newcastle 2-1 at St. James' Park.
Eljero Elia scored twice as Southampton beat Newcastle 2-1 on Saturday.

If Southampton can maintain their form and finish in the top four at the end of the season, they will look back on the past seven days as pivotal in that achievement. Saturday's 2-1 win at Newcastle made it three victories on the spin. Indeed, when the going gets tough, the tough get going, and on paper the last week looked almost an impossible job. It started with a trip to Old Trafford, a ground in which they hadn't won a league game since 1988, it then headed to Portman Road for an FA Cup replay...

 By Chris Rann

Southampton out to end Newcastle hoodoo

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman looked ahead to Saturday's trip to Newcastle United in the English Premier League after his side beat Ipswich in the FA Cup.

Southampton complete their week of long trips with the longest of the lot on Saturday as they head to manager-less Newcastle United.

With an historic victory over Manchester United and a FA Cup banana skin avoided in Ipswich, both with scorelines of 1-0, can they make it hat trick on the road at St. James' Park?

With the hosts having won only one game in eight, Southampton have every chance, but the current run of fixtures and consistent use of the same players may be starting to take its toll...