Southampton welcome Fulham to St Mary’s on Tuesday evening in what will be the Saints’ first taste of Carabao Cup action this season, and it could well be a tougher game than it looks on paper.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men recorded their first victory of the season last time out against Brighton, but the Cottagers have also enjoyed a decent start to the campaign under Scott Parker with three wins out of five in the Championship.
The tie will hand Hasenhuttl the chance to get a few fringe players some game time, so let’s take a look at who we think the Austrian will select in his starting lineup…
A much changed lineup from the one that started against the Seagulls, but Hasenhuttl cannot waste this opportunity to get some players up to speed.
We think the former RB Leipzig boss should hand Alex McCarthy a first start of the season.
Ryan Bertrand was dropped for that game, so he should be handed a chance to prove himself again whilst it would be wise to get Cedric Soares some match fitness under his belt.
Ahead of the midfield two who started against Brighton, we think four players should be given their first starts of the campaign.
£15m summer signing Moussa Djenepo scored his first goal for the club with a screamer at the Amex after coming off the bench, whilst Sofiane Boufal also grabbed an assist in that game as a substitute – both men deserve to start against Fulham on the back of their impressive cameos.
Stuart Armstrong has made two appearances from the bench this term but would benefit from a first start as the likes of Che Adams and Nathan Redmond are rested.
Michael Obafemi, 19, who has one appearance so far this term, should be handed a start to see if he can impress.