Southampton welcome Burnley to St Mary’s in Saturday’s early kick-off.
The encounter will be a repeat of each side’s Premier League opener, which ended with a 3-0 win for the Clarets at Turf Moor on a day where the Saints’ season really didn’t get off to the best of starts.
However, after a phenomenal run of five wins and a draw from their last eight Premier League outings, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side now sit just six points off sixth-placed Tottenham with a nice run of fixtures ahead.
Southampton take on Aston Villa, West Ham, Newcastle, Norwich, Arsenal and Watford following the clash with Burnley, where even a few wins will be valuable to them in their push for Europe.
Let’s take a look at the XI that we think Hasenhuttl should deploy against Sean Dyche’s men…
As you can see, we think the former RB Leipzig boss should make three changes to the side which suffered an FA Cup defeat to Tottenham.
In that game, James Ward-Prowse was forced to leave the field on a stretcher, although he has since recovered and returned to training – however, having played every minute of Southampton’s 25 Premier League games, we think he shouldn’t return to the fold immediately and should be allowed a small rest.
In his place at right-back – which is where he started against Spurs – we think Kyle Walker-Peters should be handed his debut for the club in what seems like a kind game to give him a taste of the action, given Burnley’s lack of goal threat – they have netted the fourth-fewest amount of goals in the division this term.
The second change sees Alex McCarthy replace Angus Gunn – the former Manchester City man hasn’t appeared in the Premier League since that 9-0 defeat to Leicester.
Lastly, after another ineffective performance from Sofiane Boufal – the Moroccan has just one goal and two assists this term – we think Hasenhuttl should drop the former Lille man in place of Moussa Djenepo, who sat out the FA Cup loss to Jose Mourinho’s men.
In other news, this Southampton player has been compared to Champions League stars Jadon Sancho and Douglas Costa…