Match Preview: Saints vs Hapoel Be'er Sheva

By SFC Media Wed 07 Dec Saints vs Be'er Sheva

Get set for Southampton's decisive UEFA Europa League clash against Hapoel Be'er Sheva with our in-depth match preview.

What’s at stake?

Saints head into their final UEFA Europa League Group K clash against Hapoel Be’er Sheva knowing victory, or a 0-0 draw, will secure qualification into the knockout stages.

The battle for second place sees both sides on seven points, with a win or a score draw being enough for the Israeli outfit.

After impressive victories over Arsenal and Everton, Claude Puel’s men are looking to bounce back from domestic defeat to Crystal Palace.

Both European home fixtures have yielded six points with the 3-0 victory over Sparta Praha being followed up by the turnaround against Internazionale to win 2-1.

The visitors will arrive buoyed by their domestic form - they lead their division by ten points - and beat Ashdod 5-0 last time out.

Team news

Southampton: A decision is yet to be made on whether Dušan Tadić will be available for the game against Hapoel Be’er Sheva.

The playmaker sustained a broken nose on international duty with Serbia and hasn’t featured since November.

However, he has been training with the group and he will be assessed ahead of the decisive clash.

Hapoel Be’er Sheva: Not many changes are expected to Barak Bakhar’s team from the previous fixture in Israel.

Maor Melikson, who started that 0-0 draw, is currently injured and will not be available for selection.

Form guide

Southampton’s last five:

• Crystal Palace (A) L 3-0
• Arsenal (A) W 2-0 (EFL Cup quarter final)
• Everton (H) W 1-0
• Sparta Praha (A) L 1-0 (Europa League)
• Liverpool (H) D 0-0

Hapoel Be’er Sheva’s last five:

• Ashdod (H) W 5-0
• Hapoel Kfar Saba (A) W 2-0
• Internazionale (H) W 3-2
• Hapoel Haifa (H) W 5-1 (Europa League)
• Hapoel Ashkelon (A) W 5-1

Top performers

Five players have one goal so far in the group stages for Be’er Sheva, but forward Lucio Maranhão also has an assist to his name.

The forward headed home Marahan Radi’s sweeping cross beyond Samir Handanovic in the enthralling 3-2 victory over Internazionale, with Ben Sahar netting a 93rd minute winner.

Hapoel players celebrate the win over Internazionale<br>

Europa League top scorers: Maranhão, Sahar, Buzaglo, Nwakaeme, Vitor (1)

Charlie Austin has scored six goals in his last six starts in all competitions and he will be hoping to break into double figures for the season.

Europe League top scorers: Austin (2), Rodriguez (1), van Dijk (1)

Did you know?

- Israeli sides made eight trips to England in European competition, and have never won any of those matches, losing on each of the last six visits.

- Southampton have lost just once in their last 16 home games in all competitions, winning 11 and drawing four of those matches.

Not at the game?

Don’t worry if you’re not at the game on Thursday, as we’ll be keeping you right up to date.

Our Matchday Live centre on southamptonfc.com will feature build-up and team news ahead of kick-off, as well as live updates from the game and FREE audio commentary.

Additionally, our social media channels will also be offering exclusive, behind-the-scenes access, as well as updates from the match.

Supporter Information 

- Please note, alcohol will not be served within the stadium concourses at this fixture due to UEFA regulations.

- The clubs will also be holding a minute's silence to pay respects to those who sadly lost their lives on the Chapecoense flight in Colombia.

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