Southampton will be looking to continue their unbeaten run in the Premier League with a win against Cardiff City.
The Saints have not lost a single top-flight fixture since the turn of the year, with Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men displaying some vastly improved performances of late.
However, they are still languishing near the bottom three and will be well aware of the magnitude that their game against Neil Warnock’s side presents.
After narrowly falling short at Burnley and being forced to settle for a 1-1 draw, Southampton will be keen to put on a show as they take to St Mary’s Stadium for the first time in February.
Cardiff, though, are playing well. The Bluebirds head into this clash on the back of a 2-0 win against Bournemouth at home.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Maya Yoshida are both back in contention, while Ryan Bertrand is edging ever closer to a return to the starting line-up.
Michael Obafemi and Danny Ings are both out with hamstring problems, and Mario Lemina will also be absent as he continues to recover from surgery on an abdominal injury.
Here is how we predict Southampton to line up against Cardiff.
Alex McCarthy was poor against Burnley and looked less than convincing when claiming crosses. Angus Gunn is a more commanding goalkeeper, and Hasenhuttl could hand him the chance to impress.
Bednarek has been superb this season. He’ll start on the right of a back three.
Yoshida is back in contention after his Asian Cup exploits. He could take the place of Jack Stephens at the back.
Vestergaard was impressive against Burnley and is set to start as the left-sided central defender.
Yan Valery struggled in the reverse fixture against Cardiff, and Saints have an abundance of central options available. Ward-Prowse has been in fine form and could keep his place on the right.
Romeu is a key player for Hasenhuttl. He’ll get the nod against Cardiff.
Hojbjerg is fit after recovering from a concussion. He is likely to captain the team.
Bertrand is closing in on a return, but Hasenhuttl appeared to be unconvinced by his ability to play for 90 minutes. Therefore, Targett could have another chance.
Hasenhuttl may favour a creative option between midfield and attack, so Armstrong may get the nod.
Redmond has been Southampton’s best player this season. He’ll be crucial, with Danny Ings out of action.
Hasenhuttl has a choice of Long, Charlie Austin or Sam Gallagher. He’s likely to favour the more mobile option to try and stretch Cardiff’s defence.
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