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Southampton: Hasenhuttl must start Stuart Armstrong against Chelsea

After drawing 2-2 against Burnley in their latest Premier League outing, Southampton are back in Carabao Cup action with the tough task of trying to get past Chelsea at Stamford Bridge who just demolished Norwich City 7-0 in their previous league match.

On the chalkboard

One player that played a part in Southampton’s draw against Burnley that we feel should be in the starting XI in midweek is midfielder Stuart Armstrong who replaced Theo Walcott in the 74th minute at the weekend.

After being out with a calf injury earlier in the season, Armstrong has played just 47 minutes of Premier League action for the Saints so far this season, coming from two substitute appearances in their two previous league games.

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Looking ahead to their midweek cup clash against Chelsea, we feel that if he is deemed fit enough to start, then this could be a good opportunity for Armstrong to get a decent amount of minutes under his belt before the club get back to Premier League business at the weekend with an away clash against Watford.

Southampton signed Armstrong in the 2018 summer transfer window from Scottish club Celtic on a four-year deal in a move worth a reported fee of £7m.

Since then, the 29-year-old, who is currently picking up a weekly wage of £50k-per-week according to Spotrac, has made 106 appearances for the Saints in which he has managed to score 14 goals and provide 11 assists in the process.

Last season saw Armstrong score four goals and provide five assists, ultimately earning himself an overall season rating of 6.82/10, making him Southampton’s eighth-highest rated player according to WhoScored.

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In addition to this, Armstrong, who can play on the left and right side of midfield as well as centrally, making him a good versatile option for the Saints, also managed to rack up an average of 1.7 shots per game.

On top of that, 1.1 key passes per game and 1.8 tackles per game in the Premier League were produced by the Scot last season, proving himself as a well-rounded midfield player, which could cause Chelsea some problems in midweek if he’s fit enough to start.

With those statistics in mind, it’s hardly a surprise to hear him dubbed “creative” by pundit Karen Carney.

In our view, Armstrong could give Southampton a good chance of beating the Blues this week and pushing through to the next round of the competition if he starts and manages to regain some of the form he showed last season.

In other news: Ralph must secure Saints move for £8.1m-rated gem who JWP once dubbed “promising” – opinion

Article title: Southampton: Hasenhuttl must start Stuart Armstrong against Chelsea

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