Southampton travel to Watford on Saturday and will be looking to extend an important unbeaten run in the Premier League to three games.
Last weekend saw a 2-2 draw with Burnley and Wednesday’s loss to Chelsea in the League Cup did come with significant positives, but Ralph Hasenhuttl and his side will be targeting a return to winning ways against a Watford team close by in the top-flight table.
A huge 5-2 win for Watford and their new manager Claudio Ranieri at Everton last time out will have given Saturday’s hosts a real boost so Southampton will need to be in their best form to take what could be a vital three points.
Ahead of the game, Ralph Hasenhuttl has some big decisions to make as he selects his starting Southampton line-up.
Will James Ward-Prowse come straight back into the team for Southampton?
Saints captain James Ward-Prowse will come back into the matchday squad having missed the last three fixtures in all competitions through suspension.
Supporters have been hugely impressed by the displays of Ibrahima Diallo in their captain’s absence though and it will be very harsh for the young Frenchman to be dropped straight away.
However, Ward-Prowse’s importance will surely mean he comes back into the line-up and that either Diallo or Romeu will have to wait for their turn again. Strong competition for places is a huge positive in midfield areas though.
Stuart Armstrong and Will Smallbone both got valuable minutes under their belts in the League Cup defeat to Chelsea and the former could be ready for a return to the starting team. Young striker Armando Broja is injured though and this means that Che Adams could come in to replace him.
Perhaps the most impressive performance from a strong team display versus Chelsea came from Lyanco though. Fans will be watching the battle for a place in the team between him and Jan Bednarek with interest.
Predicted Southampton line-up
Alex McCarthy; Tino Livramento, Jan Bednarek, Mohammed Salisu, Romain Perraud; James Ward-Prowse, Oriol Romeu; Stuart Armstrong, Nathan Redmond; Che Adams, Adam Armstrong