FT: Southampton 1 Tottenham 2

FULL TIME: A profligate Spurs claim all three points at St Mary's after a dominating first half. Bale and Dempsey sent them on their way, but a strong second-half performance from the hosts nearly brought an equaliser. In the end, Jay Rodriguez's first goal for the club was a mere consolation

The Saints fans are beckoning their side forward in search of that equaliser, but it all seems too late now

On comes Michael Dawson in place of goalscorer Clint Dempsey

Livermore booked for a poor challenge

I'm not sure if Sandro meant to block that, but it's heroic if so. A thunderous effort is driven up but rebounds out off Sandro's head.

Southampton are still giving it a go here, and they're flooding that Spurs half again. Numerous shots coming in, numerous shots getting blocked.

AVB has attempted to take the sting out of Southampton's attack by flooding the midfield, and it's a plan that so far has worked.

Rodriguez has bagged his first goal for Southampton, but he certainly wants more. Another shot flashes just wide from the young striker

Sigurdsson will replace a disappointing Defoe for Spurs, while Guly do Prado and Reeves come on for Davis and Fox for Southampton

And it nearly pays off with some excellent passing football. A number of intricate passes culminates in Adam Lallana breaking through. He pulls it back but no-one is there.

It's backs against the wall time for Spurs as Southampton are really starting to turn the screw.

Verthongen is booked for cynically pulling back Mayuka. No complaints to be had.

Bale has been quiet in this second-half as Southampton regained the ascendancy, but the winger manages to get a shot away. Boruc saves easily.

Yoshida deals well with an on-rushing Defoe, sliding in to regain possession with a well-timed challenge.

Mayuka's ball in falls to Lambert six yards out. The ball won't fall for him though, but he still forces the corner.

The Saints are marching now! A lofted ball in is poorly dealth with again, and Jay Rodriguez is inches away from an equaliser. Spurs are living on the edge here.

GOAL: And there it is! Southampton are straight back in it as the corner is poorly defended by Spurs. Jay Rodriguez is on hand to finish high into the net for his first Saints goal. 2-1, and is the comeback on?

The subsequent free-kick creates a havoc in the penalty area, and it very nearly ends up in the net. It's a corner though.

It's a booking for Sandro as he goes in a little too tough

Tom Huddlestone is replaced by Jake Livermore

The Saints fans - after booing their side off at half-time - are far more vocal now. You can see the difference in the hosts as well, they're more fired up after a drab first-half.

Southampton are really starting to amp up the pressure now. Rickie Lambert has put in two great crosses in two minutes, with both nearly ending in goals. Scorer turned provider?

Emmanuel Mayuka comes on for Jason Puncheon

But then Spurs - once again - hit on the break. The Saints are struggling to deal with the pace of Bale and Walker especially, and the latter flashes an attempt wide.

Tottenham are happy to let Southampton push forward now then, and Daniel Fox duly obliges with a rising shot that narrowly misses the crossbar.

Jermain Defoe has started the second-half in the same way he ended the first, creating problems for the Saints defence. His high cross is claimed by Boruc though.

Jason Puncheon unleashes a low effort from 18 yards out, the ball flashes just wide though.

No changes at the break for either side, by the way.

We're off for the second half then, can Southampton rescue it?

Southampton fan Matthew Penny is remaining realistic. He says that Adkins is the right man for the job, but insists that a defender needs to be brought in in January. On today's showing, he's not far off.

A very fair question is posed by Brian Daniels: Where is Emmanuel Adebayor? Would have gobbled up some of Defoe's chances, I'm sure.

Having seen how poor Southampton have been in this first half, I'm far more inclined to go with the former. If Defoe had his scoring boots on it could have been five already!

Gary Barnes poses this question after the first-half at St Mary's: "Could turn out to be a heavy defeat for the Saints - or will Spurs revert to past habits of snatching defeat from victory?"

What did you make of the first half? What changes should either manager make at the break? Feel free to e-mail me at: Matthew.Stead@bskyb.com or Tweet me at: MattStead91

HALF TIME: As expected at St Mary's as Tottenham race into a comfortable 2-0 lead. Saints are moving the ball about well with Lallana and Fox impressing, but the lack of firepower is hurting them. Bale has been instrumental for Spurs - bagging the first - but Defoe should have put the game beyond doubt with numerous chances. Dempsey grabbed the second.

An excellent passing move down the right between Clyne and Fox nearly bears fruit, and the rapid right-back holds the ball up in the area. No-one on the end of it though.

Southampton have looked poor so far. Comfortable in possession but Spurs are happy to let them have the ball and then hit them with explosive pace. Perfect game-plan from AVB so far.

GOAL: Lennon and Defoe link up well, the Englishman's shot trickles past Boruc and nearly over the line, but Dempsey is there to make sure.

Southampton nearly hit Spurs on the break there, Lambert just being thwarted.

Defoe nearly breaks through down the right hand side this time, but it's another offside. Must be nearly ten for Spurs overall now.

Defoe is having no trouble finding space against a generally static Saints defence, but his shooting has been lacklustre today.

If you would like to get in contact at any point this afternoon then please don't hesitate. You can contact me direct via e-mail: Matthew.Stead@bskyb.com, and you can also Tweet me: @MattStead91

Walker and Bale are stretching Southampton's defence on either wing at the minute. The former has once again supplied an unmarked Defoe, but the striker has wasted the opportunity again.

Lallana is keeping Southampton ticking here, but they just look so insipid up front.

And the Welshman very nearly breaks through the offside trap there, he's just caught though.

Bale is the difference so far, and he's whipped in a lovely delivery. It's cleared for a corner.

Lallana, Fox and Schneiderlin are looking very lively for Southampton. All three are combining well, but Spurs' resistance won't break.

GOAL: Huddlestone lofts in a beautiful through ball for Gareth Bale to power home a header into the far corner for the opening goal.

Great work from Kyle Walker on the right-hand side, and he feeds Defoe 12 yards out. There's not many other people you'd want on that chance, but the dimunitive striker puts it just wide.

Both sides still trying to get a feel of the game, Spurs seem to be placing the onus on Southampton to attack.

There's an excellent atmosphere around St Mary's from the home support. Good to see they're still backing manager Nigel Adkins.

Huddlestone is involved again, this time nearly releasing Jermain Defoe. Saints keeper Artur Boruc is quick off his line, though.

Tom Huddlestone whips in a free-kick which Southampton defend well, both defences on top so far.

Southampton are moving the ball well, but they're coming up against a resolute Spurs defence at the minute. Scrappy opening but intriguing game.

A sloppy misplaced pass from Tom Huddlestone nearly gives Rickie Lambert space to run, but the flag is up for offside.

Southampton start to bring themselves into the game then, and Rickie Lambert's cross just evades captain Adam Lallana.

Good build-up play down the left creates confusion in the Saints' penalty area, and the ball nearly finds its way in via Aaron Lennon. It just trickles wide, though.

Spurs have started brightly, forcing Southampton back into their own half.

KICK OFF The game is underway at St Mary's Stadium.

The teams are ready then, and we're moments away from kick-off...

Finally, James Pinnegar could have stumbled onto a lot of money here. His prediction of 4-0 to Spurs is available on SkyBet at 40/1.

Saints fan Alex Roswell is feeling confident with the return of Rickie Lambert, and backs under-fire Nigel Adkins to turn the fortunes of the club around. Could the English marksman be fired up after being dropped last week?

John Platt isn't too happy about Spurs' starting line-up seemingly though, pointing out that two of their players - Brad Friedel and William Gallas - are older than manager Andre Villas-Boas. John wants all three out, but is that the way forward for Spurs?

Could there be hope for Southampton though? Gabriel Sutton certainly thinks so, as he backs a 2-1 win for the hosts. He's calling for Rickie Lambert to out-perform Jermain Defoe as well.

Steve Morley fancies Gareth Bale to be integral to Spurs on his return to St Mary's, backing a 3-1 win for the visitors.

Looking at those teams then, the Saints have recalled Rickie Lambert to the starting line-up after his surprise exclusion for last week's loss to West Ham. Spurs on the other hand are able to recall winger Gareth Bale after the Welshman missed two games due to the birth of his child. He is one of four changes made after Thursday's Europa League draw against Maribor.

If you don't fancy that though their Opta tip is for Spurs to lead at half-time, which is offered at 6/4. Southampton have been trailing in all eight of their Premier League games so far, so if you fancy a flutter that looks good value. Aside from that, Gareth Bale is 13/2 to score first on his return to St Mary's.

So then, let's have a look at the latest odds from our friends over at SkyBet. They have Southampton at 3/1, even with home advantage, while Spurs to win is odds on at 10/11. The draw is offered at 5/2.

I look forward to hearing from you and will endeavour to post as many of your thoughts, opinions and reactions as I can.

If you would like to get in contact at any point this afternoon then please don't hesitate. You can contact me direct via e-mail: Matthew.Stead@bskyb.com, and you can also Tweet me: @MattStead91

Tottenham starting XI: Friedel, Walker, Caulker, Gallas, Vertonghen, Sandro, Huddlestone, Lennon, Dempsey, Bale, Defoe

Southampton starting XI: Boruc, Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Fox, Puncheon, Schneiderlin, Steven Davis, Lallana, Lambert, Rodriguez

The teams are in...

Welcome to our minute-by-minute commentary of Southampton's Premier League match against Tottenham at St Mary's Stadium.

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