31/08/2012 16:17, Report by A Marshall, A O'Connor
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Preview: Saints vs Reds

out. The hosts have some new faces available - including Shinji Kagawa's Japan team-mate Maya Yoshida and Emmanuel Mayuka - so there are fresh options for Adkins. Tadanari Lee is back from a foot injury.

Opposition boss: Nigel Adkins has led the South Coast side to consecutive promotions and has worked wonders with the club. Remarkably, he was the physio at Scunthorpe before taking over the reins from Brian Laws although he had enjoyed a successful stint as boss of Bangor City beforehand. As a player, he kept goal for Tranmere Rovers and Wigan Athletic in the Football League.

Star man: Rickie Lambert was the Championship's top goalscorer last season and got off the mark in the top flight during the opening-weekend defeat at Manchester City. Easily paying back the £1million fee he cost from Bristol Rovers, the boyhood Liverpool fan has been a massive hit with the Saints and thoroughly deserves a crack at the big time after representing Blackpool, Macclesfield, Stockport and Rochdale earlier in his career - joining Macc and 'Dale on free transfers.

Quote/unquote: "Southampton lost their first two games, which obviously wasn't the best start for them. But Nigel Adkins has done a great job down there to bring them up to the Barclays Premier League. It's a good set-up - a good training ground and a good stadium - and they have a bit of money behind them now. They have every chance of staying in the league. They need a first win to kickstart momentum but hopefully it's not on Sunday." - Sir Alex Ferguson.

Sub-plots: The Reds have won three times at St Mary's in the FA Cup and condemned Harry Redknapp's side to relegation on

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Premier League