Predicted Southampton lineup for Stoke clash – Star man returns among 2 changes from Puel

Predicted Southampton Lineup To Face Stoke City In The Premier League

This is a true relegation six-pointer with the Saints and Stoke separated by just a single point in 16th and 19th places respectively.

Charlie Austin’s hamstring injury continues to rule him out while defender Maya Yoshida is out for at least a month, having damaged his knee.

Shane Long and Steven Davis could be crucial returnees for this match, one in which three points will feel absolutely massive if the home side can manage it.

Mauricio Pellegrino is likely to stick to Southampton’s very regular 4-2-3-1 formation, which may be made up of the following XI.

Probable Southampton XI

GK – Alex McCarthy

Having apparently usurped Fraser Forster, the former Reading and Crystal Palace man is likely to start between the sticks.

RB – Cedric Soares

Saints’ regular right-back should once again have an influence on proceedings and may have an easier time of it as Bertrand would start on the other side.

CB – Jack Stephens

With Yoshida out, it appears Saints will stick with their centre-back pairing from the Burnley game.

Ryan Bertrand

CB – Wesley Hoedt

The Dutchman is likely to continue and has done alright so far.

LB – Ryan Bertrand

The England man is a fine left-back but will have his hands full watching Shaqiri and may be dragged out of position when tracking the winger.

CM – Oriol Romeu

The solid if unspectacular Spaniard is likely to keep his place in the side, potentially alongside Lemina.

CM – Mario Lemina

Steven Davis can play here as well so the young player may have a fight on his hands for a start, though I doubt the boss wants to rock the boat too much in terms of personnel changes.

RW – James Ward-Prowse

There aren’t many better players outside the top six who play in this sort of role, and his expertise will be needed once more.

Dusan Tadic (centre)

CAM – Steven Davis

The former Rangers man is influential and if he is ready to return, he may come in at the expense of Nathan Redmond.

LW – Dusan Tadic

Although he might prefer a central role, Tadic may be moved out here to accommodate Davis, with Redmond missing out. Redmond is a fine player but the brutal fact is that his Premier League goals tally this season is zero.

ST – Shane Long

Guido Carillo is 0/4 in terms of goals so the return of Long is very welcome. The Irish international will at the very least buzz around and cause trouble for the Stoke centre-halves who will have no rest.

Written by Gary Christie

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