Coming off the back of a disappointing 2-1 defeat against Norwich City last weekend, Southampton have a big task of taking on Liverpool at Anfield this weekend for their latest Premier League fixture.
In terms of which players Ralph Hasenhuttl could select for his starting XI to take on the Reds, one player who featured in the defeat at Carrow Road but should not be in the team on this occasion is Kyle Walker-Peters.
With 90 minutes under his belt against Norwich in the left-back position, the 24-year-old failed to make the most out of this latest opportunity to impress Hasenhuttl and show that he is capable of playing there regularly, with Valentino Livramento having snatched the right-back role off him this season.
In the defeat to the Canaries, Walker-Peters lost possession 17 times, won just 50% of his duels and committed four fouls, one of which led to him being given a yellow card. He ultimately earned a rather underwhelming overall match rating of 6.7/10 from SofaScore, making him one of Southampton’s lowest-rated starting outfield players on the day.
With this in mind, and the daunting prospect of facing Mohamed Salah, who has 17 goals in as many games under his belt so far this season, perhaps it would be best if the Austrian took Walker-Peters out of the team on this occasion, or else Liverpool’s attacking players could tear him apart.
In terms of who Hasenhuttl could pick at left-back instead of Walker-Peters, who has been described as “honest” by fellow Saints star Theo Walcott, this could be a good opportunity for Romain Perraud to come back into the team after spending the three previous league games on the substitutes’ bench.
Given how Perraud is a natural left-back, he could be more suited to taking on Salah this weekend than Walker-Peters, especially since the Frenchman has a higher tackles per game (1.8) and clearances per game average (1.5) than the 24-year-old, who is currently valued at £16.2m by Transfermarkt.
Whoever Hasenhuttl decides to play at left-back against Liverpool, they will need to be at the top of their game to keep Salah quiet given his blistering form this season.