With just nine points from eight games so far this season in the Premier League, Mauricio Pellegrino’s side have not been able to back up their performances from the previous season so far in this campaign but have a chance to assert their dominance this weekend when they face Tony Pulis’ West Bromwich Albion side.
The Baggies have picked up just a point more than the Saints so far and will look to make it three wins in three against the South Coast side. Both teams will look for all three points and here is the predicted lineup Pellegrino might field for this tie:
Full-back Jeremy Pied remains the only player unavailable for first-team selection ahead of this tie for Pellegrino.
Expected line up (4-4-2)
The manager has stuck to a compact 4-4-2 system in the last few games and is expected to go with it this weekend as well. While Fraser Forster has been effective for the country, he needs to be a bit more consistent for his club and will hope for a clean sheet from this tie.
Maya Yoshida and Virgil van Dijk are currently the first choice centre-backs for the Saints, keeping Wesley Hoedt on the bench. Cedric Soares and Ryan Bertrand should be the full-back pairing, boasting of experience and skill of decent quality.
Mario Lemina has been a revelation this season for Southampton and is easily one of the first names on the team sheet for the club. He should be partnered with Oriol Romeu in the middle of the park. The industry and concentration of this pair will be key to Southampton’s chances this weekend.
Nathan Redmond has been effective on the wings in attack but he might have to play a slightly withdrawn role as a part of the midfield four. He is expected to start on the left side of the midfield.
Dusan Tadic was effective in a number 10 role but has accustomed himself well with the role on the right wing. He is expected to keep his place in the side, completing the midfield for the Saints.
With Pellegrino happy to use two strikers to hurt West Brom, Manolo Gabbiadini and Shane Long will have a chance to form a strong partnership in attack for Southampton.
The duo complements each other’s attributes well and are in decent form at the moment. The Baggies will have to be at their best to help stop them from linking up in front of goal.
Here is how they might line up