Southampton face a tough trip to the Etihad on Wednesday evening where they’ll face Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the Premier League.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side picked up their first win in 10 Premier League games with a 2-0 victory at Bramall Lane at the weekend, whilst City saw their impressive winning run come to an end at the hands of arch-rivals Manchester United.
However, it will still be a huge ask for the Saints to come away with anything from the game on Wednesday night, as Guardiola possesses incredible strength in depth at City, and he will be more than happy to make changes after the slip up against the Red Devils at the weekend.
Unfortunately, injury problems have seriously exposed Southampton’s lack of strength in depth, and with several players having only just returned from injury against Sheffield United, the Austrian has hinted that the likes of Kyle Walker-Peters and Ibrahima Diallo could be rested against City.
Here’s how Football FanCast expects Hasenhuttl to line his side up against the champions-elect, with five changes from the team that started against Sheffield United…
Fraser Forster continues in goal after earning another clean sheet in the win at Bramall Lane.
There’s one change in defence, as Walker-Peters is rested. That sees Mohammed Salisu returning to the side at centre-back, with Jan Bednarek moving back to right-back.
There are three changes in midfield, as Takumi Minamino is rested after recovering from his own injury problems to play against Sheffield United, with Moussa Djenepo replacing him on the left, and hopefully, he can replace the Japanese international’s pressing intensity, with Jurgen Klopp dubbing him a “machine” for his work rate earlier in the season.
Stuart Armstrong also deserves a rest after featuring a lot recently, with Nathan Redmond coming in on the right-hand side.
If Diallo is also not risked at the Etihad, then it seems likely that Alexandre Jankewitz could replace him alongside James Ward-Prowse, and hopefully, the youngster has a more enjoyable trip to Manchester than his last one, where he was sent off within two minutes at Old Trafford.
Finally, in attack, Che Adams replaces the injured Danny Ings to start alongside Nathan Tella, who should keep his place after another impressive display against Sheffield United.