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Title-chasing Saints boosted by Chappers and Dave

Premier League hopefuls Southampton - the current Championship leaders - will feel like they have secured two new signings ahead of the January transfer window as they welcome back Richard Chaplow and David Connolly after injury.

Chaplow had been the driving force down the right hand side for the Saints before his injury at Bristol City early in December. His injury coincided with a slump in form for his team.

Connolly, whose goals helped launch Southampton into the League One automatic promotion places last season, will be looking forward to renewing his partnership with Rickie Lambert (pictured), who already has 15 goals to his credit so far this campaign.

The Saints extended their lead at the top of the Championship to three points with a 2-0 Boxing Day win against Crystal Palace, with Connolly coming on after 79 minutes, while second-placed West Ham could only manage a 1-1 draw at Birmingham.

By Paul Blake


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