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Wednesday, 10th March 2021 Kick-off 18:00
Will Ralph Prioritise His Games For Saints Line Up At Manchester City
Wednesday, 10th Mar 2021 12:29
Saints are basking in the aftermath of their first win in the Premier League for two months, but Ralph Hasenhuttl still has injury issues and may make a change or two for the trip to the Etihad to ensure that he doesn't lose any more to the injury list.
Saints were relieved to get a win at Sheffield United on Saturday and it has taken some of the pressure off, but it came at a cost with Danny Ings coming off early in the game with an injury that is likely to keep him out for at least 3 weeks.
He joins Theo Walcott, Oriol Romeu, Will Smallbone, and Michael Obafemi in the treatment room with only Walcott likely to return this season and he is still three weeks away from doing that.
The good news at Bramall Lane though was the return of Kyle Walker-Peters, Takumi Minamino and Ibrahima Diallo to the starting line up.
But now Ralph has a dilemma dare he risk those returning three to play another game so quickly after time out. the above trio returned at Sheffield, but even if they can get through a second game in four days, a third on Sunday at home to Brighton might be a game too far.
This is leading to speculation that the Austrian might prioritise his games over the coming weeks and that he may gamble that whatever side he puts out at Manchester City this evening will struggle to get a result, so make a change or two to protect the vulnerable and make sure that we have as full a squad on Sunday against Brighton and indeed the following week at Bournemouth in the FA Cup.
This would make sense, if Hasenhuttl was to play his full squad and he picked up injuries to key players it would reduce our chances against Brighton substantially and the manager knows that a win against the Seagulls would put us on the cusp of Premier League safety with 9 games to go.
Not to mention that a good end of season run including games in the FA Cup could see this yet become the greatest season in our history, so why risk all that for one game.
So I would expect a few changes this evening, I would not be surprised if Kyle Walker Peters was rested and Kayne Ramsey put in at right back, Ibrahima Diallo might also sit this one out, perhaps Alex Jankewitz may get his chance in Manchester again and even perhaps one of the central defenders may get a rest and Mohammed Salisu make another appearance.
I would not even be surprised if Che Adams is rested, with Ings and Walcott out we are light on strikers, better to rest him in a game where he is going to spent most of the game chasing lost causes, than risk a muscle injury.
So if Ralph does prioritise the games against Brighton & Bournemouth over Manchester City I would not be surprised, indeed I would be delighted, I would rather see us with fit players on Sunday than talking after the game about a glorious narrow victory and another two injuries.
Photo: Action Images
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Letters from Wiltshire #45 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #44 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #43 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #42 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #41 by wessex_exile
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