Southampton haven’t started the current campaign too badly as their summer signings appear to be finding their feet at St Mary’s already.
The Saints managed to escape the dreaded crutches of relegation by the skin of their teeth last season and they could find themselves in a similar position once again if they fail to ensure consistency this time round. Indeed, Mark Hughes is still yet to identify his best possible starting XI, but most of his first team members have impressed so far.
It’s important that the Welshman can find a settled side, but he may need a lot of luck to do so as injuries can impact his match selection.
Therefore, in an ideal world where Southampton have a fully fit squad with no injuries or suspensions to speak of, here’s an idea of what Hughes’ strongest XI would look like…
SOUTHAMPTON’S STRONGEST POSSIBLE XI
We’ve gone with a standard 4-4-2 formation, as that is the formation that would allow Hughes to make the most of two strikers at the pinnacle of the attack, while ensuring solidity and fluency with a flat midfield four.
Jack Stephens and Wesley Hoedt have pretty much cemented their place in the side and will continue to improve together as matches come and go. Indeed, Ryan Bertrand continues to establish himself as one of the most impressive full-backs in English football, while Cedric Soares offers something in attacking and defensive areas.
In midfield, the likes of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Mario Lemina can offer an added attacking threat from range and will often be the source of any goals for Southampton. Meanwhile, James-Ward Prowse makes the most of his crossing ability out wide and can cut inside to play through the middle, with Nathan Redmond putting his electrifying pace and trickery to good use against the opposition’s defenders.
Lastly, the Saints struggled to find the perfect partnership up front last season as goals were hard to come by, but Danny Ings has already found the back of the net and Charlie Austin was the Saints’ top scorer in the last campaign despite missing a huge chunk due to injury.
Southampton fans – Thoughts?
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