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PURPLE PATCH: With the Premier League returning this weekend, we took a look at Southampton’s recent run of form which has left them fourth in the table and the team everyone is talking about.

Why the Saints are marching in

In what is developing into one of the most open Premier League seasons in recent memory, several of the so-called ‘lesser teams’ are really sticking their head above the parapet.

One of those might just be Southampton, whose impressive recent form saw them climb to the head of affairs in the Premier League for the first time in their history.

Since losing 9-1 to Leicester last season, things have been very much on the up for Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side, particularly since the turn of the year.

The south coast club have won 14 times in 2020 – a feat only bettered by last season’s top-two Liverpool (19) and Manchester City (16).

The Saints started the season poorly with two defeats, but since then have really turned the corner and have gone on a real Purple Patch.

They’ve won five of their last six league games, with a 3-3 draw against Chelsea the only minor blemish on an otherwise perfect copybook.

As well defeating Burnley, West Brom and Everton, they have seen off Aston Villa and most recently Newcastle – a win that saw them top the league table.

The injury to star striker Danny Ings is a big loss, but Che Adams showed against the Magpies he’s a more than capable replacement and the Saints will be counting on him to keep up his fine recent form.

Talk of a title bid might be a tad premature, but if their form continues, Southampton’s fans might start dreaming.