Sport Jiangsu Suning 2-3 Southampton: Pre-season takeaways

18:05  11 july  2018
18:05  11 july  2018 Source:   readsport.co

Southampton ready to sell Clasie ahead of Armstrong arrival

  Southampton ready to sell Clasie ahead of Armstrong arrival Southampton are ready to sell Jordy Clasie permanently this summer with Stuart Armstrong due to arrive from Celtic. The Daily Echo confirms that the Saints are prepared to take a loss on the player that they signed for £8 million back in 2015. The player does still have two years remaining on his Saints contract, but he looks set to move on this summer. Clasie spent last season on loan at Club Brugge after failing to fulfil his potential at St Mary’s. It would appear that Clasie has played his last game for Southampton, given the competition for places that Mark Hughes’ men will have following Armstrong’s arrival Hughes has Oriol Romeu, Mario Lemina, Steven Davies, Harrison Reed and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg all competing for a starting berth in midfield. The Dutchman has not featured for Southampton since the final day of the 2016/17 season away to Middlesbrough.

Watch live as Southampton take on Jiangsu Suning , at Xuzhou Olympic Sports Centre, in the second match of their pre - season trip to China. Unfortunately, we

2018–19 Southampton F.C. season. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Saints will come up against Schalke 04, Jiangsu Suning , Derby County, Celta Vigo and Borussia Mönchengladbach during the pre - season schedule.[ 2 ].

Southampton played out an entertaining pre-season friendly against Jiangsu Suning this afternoon as they finished off their tour of China with a win.

Mark Hughes continued to rotate his side but stuck with a similar system to the one which drew 3-3 with Schalke last week. A 5-3-2 shape was prominent in defensive transitions, while a 3-4-1-2 system was employed while Saints were either in possession or on the break.

Manolo Gabbiadini headed in Stuart Armstrong’s well-executed cross into the box before Zhang Lingfeng found space in the box to level for Jiangsu.

The Chinese Super League side took the lead shortly after, too, as Richmond Boakye was able to strike the ball beyond Alex McCarthy after some poor Southampton defending. Nathan Redmond levelled just before half-time with a drive high into the net. Why the Jiangsu goalkeeper was 15 yards off his line, however, is anyone’s guess.

Carrillo and Boufal omitted from Saints' squad for China tour

  Carrillo and Boufal omitted from Saints' squad for China tour Southampton’s squad for their pre-season tour of China has today been revealed, with Mark Hughes making some notable omissions and inclusions. The Saints will head out to the Far East to participate in a training camp as they ramp up their preparations for the upcoming 2018/19 season in the Premier League. Southampton will face Bundesliga giants FC Schalke 04 on Thursday 5 July before taking on Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning on Wednesday 11 July. As reported by the club’s official Twitter account, the squad for Saints’ ventures to China has been confirmed by Hughes, and two notable omissions are found in the form of club-record signing Guido Carrillo along with Sofiane Boufal. Twitter: Check out the #SaintsFC squad that is heading to China tonight for the team’s pre-season training camp: https://t.co/pVb4Y9fFiV (@SouthamptonFC) Carrillo joined in January for a sum of £19 million but has been frozen out following Mauricio Pellegrino’s departure, with Hughes now opting against even taking him to China with the rest of the squad. The same applies for Boufal, who was banished to training with the Under-23 squad at the tail-end of last season after an altercation with Hughes. It seems the attacking duo aren’t in the Saints boss’ plans ahead of next season, but the likes of Jordy Clasie and Harrison Reed have been given a fresh chance to impress after loan spells away last season. New signing Stuart Armstrong will travel with the squad, and £16m arrival Mohamed Elyounoussi will join up at a later date. The likes of Jan Bednarek, Maya Yoshida and Cedric Soares will be given an extended break due to their participation in the World Cup, with the latter duo entering the knockout stages.

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Sam Gallagher netted in the final stretch of the game after making a good run in behind the Jiangsu defence, making it 3-2 to Saints. Steven Davis’ through ball was perfectly-weighted and Gallagher scored with an accurate right-footed finish.

Pre-season is made for developing fitness and familiarising the players with the manager’s tactical concepts, but it’s always good to draw some conclusions as the season edges ever closer.

So, here are some takeaways from Saints’ interesting win against Jiangsu Suning.

  • Stuart Armstrong has made some decent first impressions as a Southampton player. He was hit and miss against Schalke but had a good first half against Jiangsu and set Gabbiadini’s goal up really well. Armstrong worked hard and looked to fashion chances when he could.
  • It’s not necessarily a finding, but more a reiteration of what we already knew – Southampton are still woeful defensively. Pre-season or not, the displays from Jack Stephens and, particularly, Wesley Hoedt epitomised just why Saints are so desperate to get a deal for a centre-back over the line.
  • Nathan Redmond looked sharp again. He was probably Saints’ best player against Schalke and he was dangerous against Jiangsu again. His end product was largely lacking but he was quick on the turn, ran with the ball and drove at goal. He took Saints’ second well despite the goalkeeping mishap. It feels as though he could figure at the forefront of Hughes’ plans for next season.
  • The experiment regarding James Ward-Prowse at right wing-back didn’t work. He looked shaky, positionally unaware and uncomfortable. He’s certainly a midfielder, and one who shouldn’t be tasked with a primarily defensive role. a man in a red shirt © Provided by Fresh Press Media
  • Saints’ defending at set-pieces was pretty poor. They were often beaten to the first ball and unresponsive when trying to clear their lines. There appeared to be a lack of organisation, but Jiangsu couldn’t take advantage of it.
  • Oriol Romeu didn’t look particularly good in the first-half. It seemed he was flat-footed when facing the play and he switched off for both goals. Hopefully, he can iron out the silly errors as pre-season progresses.
  • Southampton may not actually need to go out and sign a backup right-back, in my opinion. Harrison Reed has looked at home on the right when he’s been called upon by Hughes and was equally impressive there for Norwich last season.
  • Sam Gallagher looked good when he came on. He took his goal really well but his run in behind the defence to create the space for himself was purposeful and intelligent. He was always on the move and turned in a decent second-half display.

Schalke 04 v Southampton - 2018 Clubs Super Cup © Lintao Zhang/Getty Images Sport Schalke 04 v Southampton - 2018 Clubs Super Cup

What should Saints aim to achieve this season? .
With the new Premier League season kicking off in just over two weeks time, Southampton’s pre-season preparation is well underway, with plans and tactics beginning to take shape. Saints visited China where they played out a 3-3 encounter with German side Schalke, before defeating Chinese outfit Jiangsu Suning 3-2. On their return to the UK, they were comfortably beaten 3-0 by Championship hopefuls Derby County, with the focus now on two home fixtures against Celta Vigo and Borussia Monchengladbach, which are still to come ahead of their season opener against Burnley. The club have been very productive in the transfer window thus far and, in my opinion, have strengthened the team very well in the desired positions we required improvement in. A total of £54.5m has been spent on new recruits Mohammed Elyounoussi, Stuart Armstrong, Angus Gunn and Jannik Vestergaard, all of whom I believe will be a big part of this coming season, where Saints will look to better the antics of last season’s seemingly unforeseen relegation battle. So what should Saints be aiming for this season? With the squad seeming a lot stronger now, I think Mark Hughes should be very confident of at least a top ten finish, as they look to improve on last season. The squad has been strengthened in all of the right areas, and despite the departure of playmaker Dusan Tadic, as well as the temporary absence of Sofiane Boufal, the capabilities of the team are very much favourable, and finishing in the top half is, for me, a very realistic target.

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