Mauricio Pochettino returns to his former club needing nothing short of three points as Tottenham look to keep pace with the top four of the Premier League. With Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United winning earlier this week, the pressure is firmly on Spurs to come away from St. Mary's with a win.
Tottenham currently sit fifth in the Premier League standings, four points behind Arsenal and only ahead of sixth-placed Manchester United on goal difference. With the pace that Chelsea are setting – the Blues have won 12 in a row and are 13 points clear of Spurs – Pochettino knows a win against his former club is an absolute must.
It won't be easy, though, because Spurs will walk into a charged atmosphere, considering many of the fans still hold not-so-wonderful feelings for Pochettino, who abruptly left Southampton for Spurs.
"I feel the love from the people but it's normal for some of the fans to hate me," Pochettino said. "That doesn't change my respect for Southampton, the club and the people we worked together with for a year and a half. For different situations we had to split our way. But always my feelings or my memories will be good.
"Always, you have to respect the supporters and they were not happy that, first, I moved here and then brought Toby (Alderweireld) and now Victor (Wanyama). We need to show full respect to the club and our former fans but it is normal when the people love you and you take a decision that is not for them – it's normal that they are a little bit upset about the decision. You can respect that."
While Spurs continue to battle for a top-four place, the Saints sit in eighth, nine points adrift of their opponents on Wednesday. Chances of Europe might not seem too obvious at the moment, but Claude Puel has done some good things at the club since taking over. The Frenchman will definitely get the fans a little more on his side if Southampton manage to get one over Pochettino's Tottenham.
"This game against Tottenham is the first one (of three during the festive season), against a great team, but we have done good things in the last three games, and I hope it is a good game for our fans, with a good result at the end," Puel said.
"It's always interesting to play against a team like this. They play good football. We take pleasure from these games. To give always a good answer is difficult of course, with the recovery, but now we have developed a squad with many possibilities, and I hope we can always give a good answer."
Where to Watch Live
Southampton vs Spurs is set to begin at 7.45pm GMT (2.45pm ET, 1.15am IST). Live Streaming and TV guide for the match is below.
India: TV: Star Sports Select HD1. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
UK: TV: Sky Sports 1. Live Streaming: Watch Sky Sports.
USA: TV: NBCSN. Live Streaming: NBC Sports Live.
Australia: TV: Optus Sport. Live Streaming: Optus Online.