Southampton return to St Mary’s on Tuesday evening and will be looking to claim their first win since early April when they take on Crystal Palace.
Saints faced the Eagles in their very first Premier League game of this season and looked rather disjointed in falling to a 1-0 defeat at Selhurst Park. Since then, we have seen the very best and the very worst of what Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side can produce on any given day.
With just four matches left to play, the goal is to return to consistently good performances whilst hopefully climbing a few places in the table before the last ball of 2020/21 is kicked.
Palace have been inconsistent themselves this year so Saints will be seeing this evening’s game as an ideal opportunity to grab a win and move back up the table from their current 17th position. Safety was, of course, confirmed after Fulham’s loss and subsequent relegation last night.
Ings could return, others remain out for Southampton
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of facing Roy Hodgson’s Palace, Ralph Hasenhuttl confirmed that Danny Ings could be back in his matchday squad after overcoming a recent thigh injury.
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The striker is a key man for Saints both in scoring and creating chances and his return will be a boost with four big games remaining in this campaign.
Positive news was also heard from Hasenhuttl on midfielder Oriol Romeu. The Spaniard is likely to join in with group training in the coming week and could be back in squads before the end of the season.
Ryan Bertrand’s injury and ongoing contract situation are being kept very quiet and little is known on whether he will appear for Saints again, and Will Smallbone will be aiming for a return in pre-season after his knee injury.
Palace have been boosted by positive progress on injuries that defenders Gary Cahill, James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho have been nursing, but midfielder James McArthur will remain on the sidelines for a while longer.
Predicted Saints line-up
Fraser Forster; Kyle Walker-Peters, Jan Bednarek, Jannik Vestergaard, Mohammed Salisu; James Ward-Prowse, Ibrahima Diallo; Stuart Armstrong, Nathan Tella; Che Adams, Nathan Redmond
Some rotation can be expected but no more than two or three changes perhaps. Mohammed Salisu could come back in at left-back over Jack Stephens, whilst Ibrahima Diallo could be given a start in midfield.
Stuart Armstrong may be pushed into a number 10 role and Moussa Djenepo and Michael Obafemi will be pushing for more minutes.