Southampton return to Premier League action with a tricky game against league leaders Liverpool at St Mary’s on Monday night.
After an impressive start to the 2020/21 campaign; the Saints have now failed to win any of their last four fixtures in the top-flight, with just one goal in that time.
Fortunately for the South Coast club, they are able to welcome back manager Ralph Hasenhuttl to the touchline after he missed the game against West Ham after having to self-isolate and he will be backing his side to pull off an upset against the Merseyside club on Monday.
However, it seems likely that the Austrian will make some changes to his side, with the Saints looking tired at times in their 0-0 draw with West Ham last time out.
Here’s how Football FanCast expects Hasenhuttl to line his side up against Liverpool, with two changes from the side that started against the Hammers…
It was confirmed on Sunday that Alex McCarthy will have to miss the game after testing positive, so it seems likely that Fraser Forster will start in his place in goal.
There’s one change in the Southampton defence, as whilst Jack Stephens has performed well in the absence of Jannik Vestergaard recently, he is not blessed with pace and could be exploited by the lightning-fast Liverpool front three.
This allows summer signing Mohammed Salisu to make his first appearance for the Saints and with Vestergaard having labelled the 21-year-old a “big talent” earlier this season, what better way for the centre-back to prove it by showing his quality against the Champions.
There’s one change in the Southampton midfield too, as Stuart Armstrong reclaims his place in the starting XI after signing a contract extension last week and he replaces Moussa Djenepo, who has been disappointingly ineffective lately.
Che Adams and Danny Ings weren’t at their best against West Ham, but their pace and link-up play in the Saints attack could cause real problems for this makeshift Liverpool defence, so it would be a surprise if Hasenhuttl didn’t start them together up front.