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Barclays Premier League
Saturday, 10th August 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Saints V FC Koln The Preview
Saturday, 3rd Aug 2019 10:26
Saints take on FC Koln at St Mary's in their final pre season friendly, what can the Saints fans expect to glean from this outing.
So far in pre season Ralph Hasenhuttl has given little away about his intentions for the coming season, all the games so far have seen multiple substitutions and even the starting line up's have seen a mixed selection meaning that although the fans can predict a little from his games last season, there is still some room for speculation in some positions.
But Ralph has indicated in his comments that this game will be a little different, that he will be looking more to starting with a line up that is in his plans for the coming season and make fewer changes.
In the games so far he has also switched from one formation to another and it will be interesting to see which one he employs in the first half in this encounter.
For Saints fans though the excitement will be in seeing new signings Che Adams and Moussa Djenepo for the first time, Adams has already played and scored in pre season so is likely to start, but Djenepo having only recently arrived after his participation in the African Nations tournament looks set to start on the bench and come on in the second half.
The area that will concern Saints fans in the centra defensive positions, who will be Ralph's first choices there in the absence of a new signing in this area, he has five to choose from with Jan Bednarek & Jannik Vestergaard being the two most likely and then the question will be whether Wesley Hoedt will now figure in his plans or whether he will prefer Yoshida or Jack Stephens.
The one disappointment of the summer is that with only five days to go before the deadline we have yet to sign a central defender and this is our achilles heel, the pre season has shown that we still lack a composed leader in this part of the team, overall we are a better squad than last year, but we really do need to bring in someone.
Everyone knows this and the manager has spoken of the need, so why we haven't sorted this yet is puzzling, yes we perhaps need to sell before we can buy but there should be some money in the kitty to sort out this problem.
The hope is that few clubs have done any serious business so far this summer and the last days of the transfer window are always the busiest, fingers crossed that this is the case for Saints.
But in the meantime we will get an answer or two about the coming season this afternoon against the German side, who look to have a following of around 1,000 or so fans this afternoon.
The Billy Goats as they are nicknamed won promotion back to the Bundesliga last season after being relegated the previous season, prior to that they had qualified for the Europa League, so their demise was as swift as their return to the top flight.
They should provide a good test for Saints and although these days pre season friendlies are little more than glorified training sessions, this should have a little more edge than usual with the season being so close.
Photo: Action Images
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