Southampton-Sheffield United Preview
Ralph Hasenhuttl says there it would be "absolute nonsense" if he allowed some of his players to travel with their national teams in the upcoming international break.
Premier League players travelling to 'red list' countries – those from which travel to the United Kingdom is currently banned due to coronavirus concerns – with their national teams are set to be forced to quarantine for 10 days when they return to England.
Managers at top-flight clubs are concerned they could then be without key players in the early part of next month, with the competition resuming from April 3.
FIFA has given clubs dispensation to prevent players who may be affected by the regulations from joining up with their countries, and Jurgen Klopp, Carlo Ancelotti, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Thomas Tuchel all suggested they would apply that ruling.
"Absolutely no question for me," Hasenhuttl said when asked if he would follow suit. "I mean, you cannot think that I send any player anywhere when he has to quarantine when he's coming back. This is absolute nonsense. Forget it. Definitely not.
"There's business travel if you want… why should I send them there? Nobody can say that he's coming back at least two weeks out and cannot play for us so this is not possible. Definitely not."
Southampton are in torrid form, without a win in nine league games heading into Saturday's contest with lowly Sheffield United, who claimed a morale-boosting victory over Aston Villa on Wednesday.
Chris Wilder will be without Phil Jagielka, who was harshly sent off via VAR midway through the second half.
"Harsh, again," Wilder said. "I don't know (why it's going to the screen). It seems now, when it goes to the video, it's going to happen. I don't know who's making these decisions. It's confusing. We've had some bizarre decisions go against us."
Sheffield United – David McGoldrick
McGoldrick netted the winner against Villa, and has scored six Premier League goals for the Blades this season, twice as many as any other player (Billy Sharp, three). He is looking to score in consecutive league games for the first time since January 2019 in the Championship.
Southampton – Che Adams
Ex-Blade Adams has scored more Premier League goals against his former club than he has versus any other side, netting three goals in three appearances.
• Away from home, Southampton have lost their last five Premier League games by an aggregate score of 18-2. They last lost more consecutive away games in the top-flight between November 2004 and February 2005 (seven).
• The Blades have lost all eight of their Premier League games played on Saturdays this season – as it stands, it is the highest number of games a team has played on a specific weekday within a single Premier League season with a 100 per cent loss rate.
• Since their return to the Premier League in 2012, Southampton have won four of their seven Premier League games in Yorkshire (D1 L2), as many as they had in their first 25 in the competition between 1992-93 and 2004-05 (W4 D10 L11)
• After scoring in 12 consecutive league games between September – December (averaging 2.1 goals-per-game), Southampton have failed to score in eight of their last 13 Premier League matches (averaging 0.5 goals-per-game).
• Southampton are on the longest current winless run in the Premier League, losing eight of their last nine games (D1) since beating Liverpool in January.
Updated March 5, 2021