Southampton will be looking to make it two Premier League wins on the bounce when they welcome Everton to St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday.
The Saints head into this game on the back of an impressive victory last weekend. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side defeated Leicester City 2-1 away from home despite playing for more than half of the game with 10 men.
They did, however, succumb to a shock FA Cup third round replay exit as Derby County advanced via a penalty shootout on Wednesday night.
Everton have been in patchy form of late but were able to comfortably sweep aside Bournemouth with a 2-0 victory in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.
Southampton are set to be without Mario Lemina, Ryan Bertrand and Michael Obafemi as they continue to nurse respective injuries. Maya Yoshida also remains absent as he represents Japan in the Asian Cup.
However, Saturday will see the return of several key players. Yan Valery, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Charlie Austin are in contention after serving suspensions, while Danny Ings has been passed fit after recovering from a hamstring issue.
Here is how we think Southampton will line up against the Toffees.
McCarthy started against Leicester and is set to get the nod ahead of Gunn against Everton.
Valery has been a favourable option for Hasenhuttl. The manager could provide him with another chance to prove his worth at right wing-back.
Bednarek has been outstanding recently and is Southampton’s most in-form defender. He’ll start in central defence.
Stephens turned in a strong technical performance against Derby in midweek and is unlikely to be displaced.
Vestergaard is set to operate on the left-hand side of the back three. He has been in good form.
Matt Targett could start on the left flank, but Hasenhuttl may opt to play Cedric, combatting the pace of Everton’s wide players.
Hojbjerg returns after a four-game suspension. He’s set to captain the team.
Romeu is a vital cog in Hasenhuttl’s plans and is likely to start alongside Hojbjerg in the middle.
Stuart Armstrong looked extremely jaded against Derby. Ward-Prowse is in good form and should retain his place.
Redmond has been fantastic this season. He’ll start and will look to cause havoc in the final third.
Ings is fit and available. He’s Southampton’s best striker and will be keen to score his third goal against Everton in all competitions this season.
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