Southampton go in search of their first victory of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign as they host West Ham at St Mary’s this afternoon.
The Saints have picked up two points from their opening three league outings, losing to Everton and drawing with Manchester United and Newcastle.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side did thrash Newport County 8-0 in the Carabao Cup in between their two Premier League draws, but they are yet to taste a top-flight win to earn them three points since the campaign started.
Will Hasenhuttl make any changes to his side against West Ham? Here is our predicted XI for the match…
We are predicting that the Austrian will make three changes to his starting XI from the draw at St James’ Park, with Romain Perraud, Jan Bednarek and Nathan Redmond coming into the team.
Starting off in the heart of the defence, we are predicting Bednarek to come into the team in place of Jack Stephens after six goals conceded in three league matches. Hasenhuttl needs to do something to address the leaky backline and starting the Poland international could help. We have published an article explaining our reasoning behind this proposed switch, with the 25-year-old’s performances last season suggesting that he could have a bigger impact than Stephens.
The second change we are predicting is Perraud for Kyle Walker-Peters. The former Spurs defender had a solid game at left-back against Newcastle, but we believe that the balance of having a left-footed player at left-back will be more effective for Southampton against West Ham. It allows the build-up play to progress faster down that side, instead of Walker-Peters needing to cut back onto his right foot when he receives the ball as he is a right-back by trade.
Our final change to the XI is Redmond in for Moussa Djenepo on the left. The Mali international endured a torrid afternoon against the Magpies as he recorded a SofaScore rating of 6.1, missing a ‘big chance’ and losing seven of his 10 duels on the pitch.
He lost possession nine times from 37 touches and was tackled in three of his five dribble attempts. This shows that he had a poor performance and deserves to drop out of the side, with the £16.2m-rated Redmond coming in to have a chance to show what he can do. The wing wizard came on for Djenepo at Newcastle and created a ‘big chance’ in just 32 minutes on the pitch, offering a glimpse of the threat he can provide.
We are predicting that the rest of the team will remain the same from the draw with Steve Bruce’s side a fortnight ago.