Southampton v Exeter preview

Team news for Saturday's League One clash between Southampton and Exeter City at St Mary's.

Last Updated: 31/12/10 at 13:23

Holmes: Missing for Saints

Holmes: Missing for Saints

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Lee Holmes is the only absentee ahead of Southampton's clash with Exeter on New Year's Day.

The former Derby winger underwent surgery on his injured ankle earlier in December and will miss the rest of the season.

Midfielder Danny Butterfield will hope to have recovered in time from the dead leg he suffered in the 4-1 win over Huddersfield.

Left-back Joseph Mills, winger Jason Puncheon and midfielder Anthony Pulis continue their loan spells away from the club and will not return to the squad in time.

Striker Rickie Lambert scored against the Terriers and will look to improve his haul of seven league goals to remain the club's top scorer.

Nigel Adkins' side can enter the automatic promotion places but are also in danger of losing their play-off position if they fail to win.

Exeter will resume their promotion push with a clean bill of health for the trip.

Paul Tisdale's men have not played since December 18, when they thrashed Sheffield Wednesday, keeping his charges fresh for the encounter at St Mary's.

Troy Archibald-Henville returns after missing the 5-1 defeat of the Owls through a one-match suspension.

Tisdale may tinker with his squad with the Grecians one point off the play-offs.

He told thisisdevon.co.uk: "We have got a good core of 17 or 18 players and the 11 who play on Saturday will probably not be the same 11 that play the rest of the season.

"I want the squad to stay together because I think we have got a chance of pushing even further up the table."

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