The Saints march into the UEFA Europa League qualifiers and they get to take on the highest unseeded team that they could possibly have bumped into.
That will be Vitesse, who Saints boss Ronald Koeman used to coach, incidentally. So this will re-unite him with a former club but there won’t be any sentiment when the Saints dumped them out of the competition.
In a brilliant bit of foresight before the draw was even made, Southampton did a week of pre-season out in Holland, taking wins over Feyenoord and Groningen.
They’ll get to go back next week to face Vitesse and the Saints should be taking a lead there. Southampton have an abundance of options in the anytime goalscorer market to chose from for Thursday night’s fixture, from Graziano Pelle to Shane Long.
Vitesse have played four previous matches against English sides and have lost three and won one. On top of that, they failed to score a single goal in any of those games.
To their credit last season, they were the third top scoring side in the Eredivisie but still only managed a sixth place finish. There should be a comfortable win at St Marys for Southampton who are trading at 1/3 with Coral, and the draw is at 4/1 and the visitors at 15/2.