After seven Premier League games played so far this season, Southampton have drawn four and lost three, leaving them without a win in 17th place, hovering just above the relegation zone.
With the latest international break coming to a close, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s next league test puts them up against Leeds United at St Mary’s in their latest attempt to secure their first top-flight win of the season.
In his latest press conference ahead of the match against Marcelo Bielsa’s side, the Austrian revealed that Southampton will be without Che Adams and Jack Stephens through injury, as well as club captain James Ward-Prowse after the midfielder picked up a red card and a three-game ban in their previous league outing against Chelsea a fortnight ago.
Taking all that into account, here’s how we feel Southampton will line up against Leeds.
In goal, given how he has played every minute of Premier League action so far this season, we see no reason why Hasenhuttl won’t stick with Alex McCarthy in goal.
For the defence, we think the Austrian will stick with the same back four which started against Chelsea, with Valentino Livramento on the right, a central pairing of Jan Bednarek and Mohammed Salisu, and Kyle Walker-Peters at left-back.
In midfield, with Ward-Prowse unavailable, a call-up for Ibrahima Diallo could be on the cards after coming on as a substitute at half-time against Chelsea.
On the right wing, given how Theo Walcott failed to impress at Stamford Bridge with zero shots on target in the opening 45 minutes, we think Mohamed Elyounoussi should return to the starting XI after he recently scored a brace for Norway in their 2-0 win over Montenegro.
Another player who failed to make an impact against Chelsea was Nathan Tella, who racked up a rather disappointing passing accuracy percentage of just 38%. Taking this and Adams’ unavailability into account, we feel that Hasenhuttl will drop Tella and give 20-year-old striker Armando Broja – who netted Albania’s winner against Hungary last week – his first league start of the season, placing Nathan Redmond on the left-hand side of midfield.
Whether or not the manager goes with this XI, we feel that this game is a big one for the Saints and a good opportunity for them to get their first league win of the season against a Leeds side who have also had a rocky start to their campaign, having accumulated just six points from one win, three draws and three defeats.