Preview: Hapoel vs Saints

By SFC Media Wed 28 Sep Hapoel vs Saints

Get the lowdown ahead of Southampton's UEFA Europa League Group K clash with Hapoel Be'er Sheva thanks to our in-depth match preview.

What’s at stake?

After an impressive start to their UEFA Europa League campaign against Sparta Praha, Saints travel to Hapoel Be’er Sheva looking to move clear at the top of Group K.

Goals from Charlie Austin and Jay Rodriguez last time out secured a 3-0 victory on a famous night at St Mary’s.

The Israeli outfit also enjoyed a strong start as goals from Miguel Vitor and Maor Buzaglo saw them defeat Internazionale at the San Siro.

Manager Barak Bakhar guided his side to their first Israeli Championship in the 2015/16 season and they have won all five of their games at the Turner Stadium this term.

In their last outing, they recorded a 3-0 away victory over Bnei Yehuda to move to the summit of the table.

Team news

Claude Puel has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the Group K clash against Be’er Sheva. He will still be without the services of Sofiane Boufal and Jay Rodriguez, who are both continuing to return to fitness and should be available after the international break. But the manager did confirm in his pre-match press conference that José Fonte, Steven Davis, Charlie Austin and Ryan Bertrand have not travelled with the squad.

José Fonte has not travelled to Israel

Form guide

Hapoel Be’er Sheva’s last five:

• Bnei Yehuda (A) W 3-0
• Maccabi Haifa (A) L 1-2
• Internazionale (A) W 2-0
• Bnei Sakhnin (H) W 3-0
• Hapoel Tel Aviv (A) D 0-0

Southampton’s last five:

• West Ham United (A) W 3-0
• Crystal Palace (H) W 2-0 (EFL Cup third round)
• Swansea City (H) W 1-0
• Sparta Praha (H) W 3-0 (Europa League)
• Arsenal (A) L 1-2

Top performers

Anthony Nwakaeme has made an impressive start to the Israeli Premier League campaign.

The Nigerian forward recently scored twice against Bnei Sakhnin in a 3-0 victory, as well as scoring twice in their most recent win at Bnei Yehuda.

Elyaniv Barda was the club’s player of the season in the 2015/16 title-winning campaign but he misses out through injury.

Former Leicester City defender Miguel Vítor has also impressed at centre-back and netted in the win over Internazionale in the opening group game.

Top scorers: Anthony Nwakaeme (4), Ben Sahar (2), Maor Buzaglo (2), Lucio Maranhao (2)

Virgil van Dijk has been a tower of strength at the back for Saints in recent weeks, helping the side to four clean sheets in a row.

His dominant performance against West Ham United saw him make 16 clearances, as well as boasting an impressive 87% passing accuracy.

Top scorer: Charlie Austin (5)

Virgil Van Dijk
Defence stats
Tackles won
4/5
Clearances
52
Blocks
3
interceptions
19
See all stats

Did you know?

Be’er Sheva have won all three of their European home matches at their new Turner Stadium, and are unbeaten in five UEFA home fixtures (W3 D2) since a 3-0 forfeit loss to Vllaznia in the first round of the 2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup.

Southampton are looking for their first away success in European competition since the 3-0 win at Limerick in the 1981/82 UEFA Cup.

Not at the game?

Don't fear! If you're not at the Turner Stadium for the game on Thursday night our all-new Matchday Live Centre on southamptonfc.com will keep you up-to-date throughout. If you register withsouthamptonfc.com, you'll also be able to listen to free live audio commentary from the game.

You can also follow us across all of our social channels to ensure you don't miss a moment of the action!

Don't forget: kick-off is at 6pm BST.

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