Southampton return to St Mary’s for their first home game of the season this weekend when they host Liverpool on Saturday afternoon.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side will be looking for a reaction to their dismal 3-0 defeat to Burnley on the opening weekend of the campaign.
Liverpool, meanwhile, come off the back of a 4-1 win against Norwich City in the Premier League and winning the UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea on penalties on Wednesday evening.
This could benefit Southampton, as their opponents had to play 120 minutes of football less than three days before this clash.
The main question mark over the team selection is on the defence that has come in for massive criticism over the past week. It will be intriguing to see if the manager sticks with 5-2-3, which was used against Burnley, 5-3-2, which proved successful for periods of last season, or if he switches to four at the back.
Kevin Danso could be in line to make his Saints debut with Jack Stephens and Jannik Vestergaard the most likely to be under threat for their position.
Here’s how we predict Southampton to line up.
GK: Angus Gunn
Gunn wouldn’t have been pleased with his performance against Burnley after conceding a very saveable goal. There have been calls for Alex McCarthy to come in, but we believe Hasenhuttl will stick with Gunn as his number one.
RWB: Yan Valery
We predict that the manager will stick with five at the back. Therefore, he could pick Valery to play at right wing-back.
CB: Jan Bednarek
If you were to ask Saints fans who the most important defender in the squad is, I’d be willing to be that nearly all of the replies are Jan Bednarek. He’s a certainty to start.
CB: Kevin Danso
This could be a baptism of fire for the 20-year old. But Hasenhuttl is left with little choice after the poor defensive showing against Burnley.
CB: Jannik Vestergaard
Despite having a mistake-ridden game last weekend, we predict the third centre-back position to be filled by Vestergaard. Hasenhuttl has shown little signs of dropping the Danish defender in his time at the club – even after poor games – and that is unlikely to change.
LWB: Ryan Bertrand
Although there have been some calls from fans to play Cedric Soares at left-wing back, we predict the gaffer to stick with Bertrand. Although, he will have to be more defensively-minded against Liverpool.
CM: James Ward-Prowse
Prowsey didn’t do much to cement his place in the side against Burnley. However, we predict the team to play in a 5-3-2 system, which will give the midfielder another chance.
CM: Oriol Romeu
Romeu could prove vital in getting a result against Liverpool. He will look to provide a shield to the defence and break up attacks.
CM: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
The skipper was a big miss last week because of illness. He is now fit and has to come straight back in.
ST: Nathan Redmond
Having Redmond, Danny Ings and Che Adams as a forward three didn’t really work last week. Therefore, we think that Hasenhuttl could revert to having two strikers with pace trying to get beyond the high Liverpool line.
ST: Che Adams
With one of the forwards getting sacrificed, we believe Adams will get the nod over Ings. His pace and power are likely to cause more problems for the Liverpool defence.