Southampton‘s season could still go either way. With 12 games played they are four points shy of eighth going into Sunday’s home clash against managerless Everton. But they’re also just four points above the drop zone.
In a lot of ways, this season has been much like last for the Saints and new head coach Mauricio Pellegrino – who replaced Claude Puel after finishing eighth and reaching the EFL Cup final – is starting to come under pressure for failing to improve their fortunes.
With a lack of firepower evident in their lowly tally of just nine goals, the Saints are the Premier League’s fourth-lowest scorers this season. Pellegrino has tried several systems in an attempt to liven his side up but has been unable to do so.
What won’t help is Mario Lemina‘s continued absence. The £15million summer signing from Juventus has been hugely impressive on the South Coast but he has been forced to sit out the last three with an ankle injury.
Set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation for last weekend’s 3-0 loss at Liverpool, Pellegrino opted to start with Shane Long as the lone striker. But the Republic of Ireland forward has not scored a Premier League goal since February. The temptation will be to bring Manolo Gabbiadini or Charlie Austin into the side in his place.
Our unique algorithm has predicted the Saints side it believes is most likely to start, but you can also give it a go yourself.
Just click ‘create your own’ on the lineup at the top of the page and pick the XI players you would choose, and you can also see their stats per 90 minutes once you’ve picked them.
When you’re happy with your team, press confirm and you’ll be able to share it with your friends via social media.