Five Key Matches
v Manchester United (A) on August 21
Red Devils fans won’t forget a verbal skirmish between Puel and United great Alex Ferguson in 2007 during a Champions League game, adding extra spice to this clash.
v Arsenal (A) on September 11
These are the games they need to win to break into the top four, a reunion of sorts for Puel, who was mentored by Arsene Wenger at Monaco.
v Everton (H) on November 27
A chance to show Koeman what he’s left behind when he revisits St Mary’s for the first time since making the switch to the Toffees.
v Tottenham Hotspur (A) on March 19
Southampton landed a 2-1 dagger blow to ex-manager Mauricio Pochettino’s men at White Hart Lane last season and will be keen to dish up another defeat.
v Bournemouth (H) on April 2
Last season was just the second time in more than half a century the south coast neighbours played in the same division. It was a win apiece with the Cherries tasting victory in their last encounter. A get square at home for Southampton would be a nice fillip on the run-in.
SBS Host Lucy Zelic's Prediction: 11th
New boss Claude Puel has a tough task emulating last season’s sixth place finish last season but his record suggests an ability to get the most out of young players and a knack for building a team capable of beating those with greater financial resources.