Predicted Southampton line-up to face Burnley in the Premier League
Southampton will be aiming to bounce back from a dismal campaign last time out which saw them narrowly escape the drop, only to finish 17th on the final day of the season. The team has looked considerably revitalised under Mark Hughes and the former Stoke manager will be aiming to kick-start the campaign on a positive note.
The Saints take on Burnley at home on Saturday and the Clarets will be brimming with confidence after making a return to Europe this season. The Saints will be going up against a well-drilled Sean Dyche team that could be very hard to breach.
Probable Southampton XI
Manager: Mark Hughes
Alex McCarthy (GK)
Angus Gunn has been brought in but McCarthy should start against Burnley, given that Gunn is inexperienced in the Premier League.
Jan Bednarek (LCB)
The Polish international took his time to settle into the squad and should be given a regular role this time out in a 3-man defence.
Maya Yoshida (CB)
Arguably Southampton’s best central defender over the last two seasons, not counting Van Dijk of course. Yoshida has been a rock at the back for the Saints and will be aiming for a repeat performance this time as well.
Jannik Vestergaard (RCB)
Southampton’s new signing in central defence is a highly-rated player and should slot straight into the starting line-up.
Cedric Soares (RWB)
The Portuguese defender was handed a wing-back role under Mark Hughes towards the business end of last season and he excelled in it. He should be deployed in a similar role this time as well.
Ryan Bertrand (LWB)
Southampton’s captain has been in sensational form for the Saints over the last few seasons. He is a constant threat down the left flank and his deliveries into the box will be crucial.
Oriol Romeu (CM)
The former Chelsea man is a dominant presence for the Saints in the middle of the park. His aggressive tough-tackling style provides the defence with a lot of relief.
Mario Lemina (CM)
With Romeu in support, Lemina can focus on surging forward to support the attackers. He has an exceptional work rate as well, which is why Hughes should start him this week.
Nathan Redmond (RW)
Redmond failed to impress last season but could hit the ground running this time out after a fresh summer break.
Charlie Austin (ST)
Though Austin’s previous season was plagued by injury problems, the striker was a regular on the scoresheet and a clinical finisher in the final third. He should lead the line ahead of Shane Long this season.
Mohamed Elyounoussi (LW)
Elyounoussi should slot straight into the void left by Dusan Tadic. An intelligent and creative winger, who will certainly thrive alongside Charlie Austin and Nathan Redmond.