Hasenhuttl talks up visiting Canaries

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl thinks Norwich City (Match betting – Southampton 8/15, draw 10/3, Norwich 11/2) are a better team than their league position suggests as they prepare to face them at St Mary’s on Friday evening.

The Saints arrive into the match in the middle of a good run of form, being unbeaten in their last four matches.

They have won two and drawn two of those games and are now tenth in the table as they seek a top-half finish, which would be a marked improvement to last year, when they ended the season badly and tumbled down to 15th.

On Friday, they prepare to host Norwich (Relegation – 1/8, To stay up – 9/2) with the Canaries seeking three points to get off the bottom of the table.

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There has been a great deal of improvement under Dean Smith since he took over from Daniel Farke and now there is genuine hope that they can avoid dropping back down to the Championship a year after promotion.

They have lost each of their last two against Manchester City and Liverpool but prior to those games, they picked up valuable points against Everton and Watford.

Ahead of the contest, Hasenhuttl has praised the City side and believes they can get out of trouble.

“He (Smith) still has a long way to go with this team, but they’ve shown in the past games that the performances are much better than the results,” the Austrian told his pre-match press conference.

“You can see there’s a clear way of playing football, a clear way of how they want to play and this is not an easy opponent, not an easy game for us.”

The Saints are set to welcome back left-back Romain Perraud after a bout of Covid-19, while Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul could return after recovering from a shoulder problem.

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