With six games played in the Premier League so far this season, Southampton have had a fairly underwhelming start having drawn four matches and lost two, scoring four goals and conceding seven in the process.
Their latest challenge sees Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side make the trip to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea this afternoon for their next attempt at securing that elusive first league win of the campaign.
The Saints have been hit with a big injury blow recently, with defender Jack Stephens set for a spell out on the sidelines after rupturing a tendon in his knee during the recent 0-0 draw against Manchester City.
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at how the Saints could line up at Stamford Bridge – we expect Hasenhuttl to make two changes to the team from last week’s defeat to Wolves.
Will Southampton get their first league win today?
In goal, Alex McCarthy should continue after playing all of their league games so far this season.
In front of him, Valentino Livramento, who impressed in Southampton’s previous league outing against Wolves and earned himself an overall match rating of 7/10 from SofaScore, should be deployed at right-back to face his former club.
On the other side, Kyle Walker-Peters should start in the left-back position as per, adding an extra attacking threat from the defence after racking up averages of one shot, one key pass and 2.5 dribbles per game (per WhoScored).
In the two centre-back positions, the Saints should stick with Jan Bednarek and Mohammed Salisu, who played together against Wolves, to see if the pair can create a good partnership while Stephens is out injured.
Ahead of the back four, a midfield duo of Oriol Romeu and club captain James Ward-Prowse could provide a great balance of defence. The Spaniard has made more tackles per game (2.8) than any Southampton player this season, while Ward-Prowse already has a goal to his name, giving the Saints an ideal balance against a Chelsea side who have scored 12 league goals and conceded just two so far this season.
Out wide is where Hasenhuttl should be looking to make some changes this afternoon, with Nathan Redmond and Mohamed Elyounoussi both starting against Wolves but failing to make any sort of impact in terms of scoring or setting up goals. They should be replaced by Moussa Djenepo and Theo Walcott respectively to see if they can freshen up Southampton’s stale attack.
At the top of the pitch, we feel that Hasenhuttl should stick with the pairing of Che Adams and Adam Armstrong and hope they can be enough to trouble Chelsea’s sturdy defence. Armstrong has had more shots per game (3.2) than any other Saints player this season in the league, so he may be their best hope of giving the Champions League holders a bloody nose this afternoon.