Southampton travel away to face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday as they look to end a run of three straight draws in the Premier League.
The Saints are currently sat on three points after four games and are still looking for their first win of the league campaign, with a trip to the champions next up for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
West Ham held the south coast outfit to a 0-0 draw in their last league outing, with Southampton starting with a 4-1-4-1 formation instead of their usual 4-2-2-2.
How many changes will Ralph make? Here is our predicted XI…
We are predicting that he will make three changes to the side, with Ibrahima Diallo, Kyle Walker-Peters and Che Adams coming in.
Starting with Diallo, we are predicting £59k-per-week beast Oriol Romeu to drop out to give the Frenchman an opportunity to impress. The Spaniard was taken off in the 53rd minute against the Hammers for the 22-year-old to come on, having given possession away eight times in the first half, completing 75% of his passes. That substitution may have given an insight into his team selection for this game, with Diallo potentially starting ahead of the ex-Chelsea man.
Valentino Livramento has started all four of Southampton’s Premier League matches this season, but it could be time to give the teenager a rest. He lost six of his eight duels against West Ham and gave possession away 17 times, whilst making zero tackles or interceptions.
This suggests that it could be the perfect opportunity to hand him a rest and start the more experienced Walker-Peters. The 24-year-old started 30 Premier League matches last season and averaged a solid WhoScored rating of 6.84, showing that he knows how to perform consistently at this level. This is why he should come in and start ahead of Livramento for this clash.
Finally, in a change which will see the return of the 4-2-2-2, we are predicting that Adams will come into the side to replace Djenepo. The Mali international played out wide on the left last week, with Mo Elyounoussi in central midfield, and this change sees the latter go out wide with Adams partnering Armstrong up front.
We published an article on Friday explaining exactly why Adams should be unleashed against Manchester City, with his Premier League record in general, and indeed against today’s opponents, taken into account.