Just over two weeks on from their 1-0 win over Aston Villa which led to Dean Smith losing his job at the Midlands club, Southampton come up against the 50-year-old once again for his first game in charge of Norwich City this afternoon.
Speaking ahead of the match at Carrow Road, Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl revealed that defender Jack Stephens is the only player unavailable for selection as a result of the serious knee injury he sustained earlier in the campaign.
With this in mind, here’s how we think Southampton will line up against Norwich, with two changes from the starting XI from the win over Villa 15 days ago.
In goal, considering that he’s played in every league game so far this season, it would be safe to assume that Hasenhuttl will stick with Alex McCarthy.
In defence, with Valentino Livramento being declared fit after dropping out of England’s under-21 squad last week through injury, we can see him starting at right-back, with Kyle Walker-Peters occupying the left-back position.
For the centre-back pairing, we think Hasenhuttl will stick with Mohamed Salisu but bring Lyanco in for Jan Bednarek after the Brazilian impressed during the last 34 minutes of the game against Villa. On that night, he blocked two shots and made one tackle, one interception and one clearance whilst winning three of his four duels, ultimately earning himself an overall match rating of 7/10 from SofaScore.
In midfield, we can see Hasenhuttl sticking with the central duo of Oriol Romeu and James Ward-Prowse, who has recovered from a bug which forced him out of international duty for England.
On the wings, with Nathan Redmond being available for selection after missing the Villa game as a result of a positive virus test, we think he will go straight back into the team. Stuart Armstrong, who is currently earning a wage of £50k-per-week according to Spotrac, drops to the substitutes’ bench after an ineffective display against Villa as Mohamed Elyounoussi returns to the right-hand side.
Up top, even though Armando Broja has apparently been declared fit enough to play, we can see Hasenhuttl sticking with the duo of Adam Armstrong and Che Adams to see if they can get Smith’s reign at Norwich off to a bad start and pick up another win for the Saints.