Southampton face West Ham in an early-season relegation ‘six-pointer’ at St. Mary’s Stadium.
The Saints go into the game in the bottom three, just one point behind Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men have been beaten just once in their last four games, a run of form desperately needed after a dreadful start to the season.
So how will they lineup?
After many early-season reshuffles, the Saints’ defence appears to be far more settled now. Alex McCarthy has recently replaced Angus Gunn, while Cedric and Ryan Bertrand slot in at full-back. Jack Stephens and Jan Bednarek are the common centre-back pairing, as highlighted by WhoScored.
James Ward-Prowse and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg have become a settled unit at the heart of the midfield, but there may be changes on the wings. Nathan Redmond’s poor form has been criticised by his boss this season, and he has some poor attacking statistics. He is dispossessed 1.9 times per game and has 2.4 bad control touches on average for the Saints this term. Sofiane Boufal is the obvious replacement for the Englishman should he come through his fitness test following his toe injury.
Up front, Danny Ings will be expected to retain his place given his form, but he could have Che Adams for company. Shane Long should drop out as he’s yet to score in 11 appearances this season, making way for Adams who surely deserves some more chances to kick-start his St. Mary’s career. Considering it is only his first season in the Premier League, it would probably be unfair to kick him to the kerb so quickly, especially when others are underperforming.
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