Southampton host Wolves at St. Mary’s today as they go in search of their first win of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side beat Championship outfit Sheffield United on penalties in midweek as they progressed through to the next round of the League Cup, but attentions now turn back to league action.
How many changes will Ralph make? Here is our predicted XI…
We are predicting that he will make seven changes to the team, with Alex McCarthy, Tino Livramento, Jan Bednarek, James Ward-Prowse, Mo Elyounoussi, Che Adams and Adam Armstrong coming in.
Between the sticks, Alex McCarthy deserves to return to the XI after being rested in the League Cup. He has kept two clean sheets in a row in the Premier League, which is why he does not need to be axed for Fraser Forster for this clash with Wolves.
At right-back, Livramento could return. We published an article explaining how Yan Valery failed to take his chance to impress the head coach in midweek, which means that the summer signing from Chelsea should immediately be reinstated for this match. Another change in the defence could be Jan Bednarek coming in for Lyanco, who struggled against Sheffield United.
In midfield, the £41k-per-week beast Ibrahima Diallo should make way for club captain James Ward-Prowse. The skipper was rested in midweek and Ralph will want to have his voice and leadership back on the pitch for Premier League action.
We published an article explaining why Armstrong should return to the side in place of Armando Broja. However, we also believe that Che Adams will come back into the team to start alongside Armstrong in a 4-2-2-2 formation, with Moussa Djenepo failing to catch the eye against the Blades, opening the door for him to be sacrificed for the change in formation.
That then allows Nathan Redmond to occupy the wide left role in the two behind the strikers, with the final change being Elyounoussi returning to play out on the right-wing. Nathan Tella started in midweek and provided an assist for one of the goals, but the Norweigan – who was on loan at Celtic last term – has started the last three Premier League games and Hasenhuttl should keep his faith in the winger.