Southampton will travel to Aston Villa tonight when the Premier League returns to action and manager Ralph Hasenhuttl will be quietly confident that his side can snatch some points on the road against Steven Gerrard’s fragile side.
The Saints have started the season with two wins and a draw, sitting comfortable in 12th, but were beaten last time out in a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Tino Livramento is still on the mend following his ACL injury, but Hasenhuttl stated that “it looks good” with regard to the time scale on recovery.
New signing Duje Caleta-Car is in with a chance of starting, as is Ainsley Maitland-Niles who also joined this summer.
With these absentees considered, here’s how we expect Southampton to line up against Aston Villa tonight…
We expect to see three changes to the team that fell to defeat against the Old Gold, with Hasenhuttl throwing some new faces into the starting lineup.
Those changes will start at the heart of defence, as we expect Caleta-Car to be handed his debut. The “strong” 25-year-old could be given a chance against an underperforming Villa side.
He will likely partner the impressive Armel Bella-Kotchap, who will both sit in front of the ever-present Gavin Gazunu in goal.
Kyle Walker-Peters and Romain Perraud will continue as full-backs.
We also expect another change in the heart of midfield, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles to be handed a full debut too alongside captain James Ward-Prowse. They will hold down the midfield, whilst Joe Aribo stars just in front of them as a second striker.
Adam Armstrong is expected to drop out in favour of the tricky Moussa Djenepo, whilst Mohamed Elyounoussi will continue on the opposite flank.