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Southampton 1 v 1 Manchester United
Barclays Premier League
Sunday, 22nd August 2021 Kick-off 14:00
Saints Need To Make Four Changes For The Manchester United Game
Saturday, 21st Aug 2021 10:52

Ralph Hasenhuttl 's task is simple as he ponders his team selection ahead of the fixture against the Red Devils on Sunday afternoon, he needs to bring back into the side four players he left on the bench at Goodison Park last weekend.

Ask any Saints supporters who went up to Everton last Saturday and they will tell you where the manager went wrong, it was just inexplicable how he could have left 3 key players on the bench and he picked the wrong goalkeeper.

Jan Bednarek, Kyle Walker Peters and Stuart Armstrong were up there with our best performers last season and should have played in the game at Goodison and so should have Fraser Forster.

I am a big supporter of Ralph Hasenhuttl but his team selection was baffling, on a positive note though we did discover a lot about Tino Livramento and he looked a player.

So for the visit of Manchester United Ralph has to make four simple changes.

Firstly he needs to put Fraser Forster in goal, I don't buy the reason for picking Alex McCarthy ahead of him being that he had shown more in pre season, having watched the friendlies it was Forster who looked the more confident and accomplished, he should have played at Everton and he needs to play at St Mary's on Sunday.

In the centre of defence Jan Bednarek needs to replace Jack Stephens, I would concur that Stephens is a good club servant, he is a good squad player, but he should not be in the starting line up ahead of Jan Bednarek.

At Right back Kyle Walker Peters should return, but I would not drop Livramento, I would push him into the midfield.

Joining him there should also be Stuart Armstrong, one should play left the other right, this would be harsh dropping Moussa Djenepo who offered us a lot of flair at Everton, but this is a different game, we need those who can defend as well as attack.

So Ralph's task is simple, go with the tried and tested players in what will be a tough game.

Photo: Action Images

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Block8 added 10:56 - Aug 21
Still no ST, can't get there today either. To say I'm angry would be a massive understatement been a fan since 8 years old but my patience is wearing thin.
Absolute shambles 😠😠😠😠😠😠

JoeEgg added 11:10 - Aug 21
I like the way Nick says he is a big supporter of Ralph and then criticises no less than 4 selections made for the very first game of the season. Our defence will be exposed time and time again this season and we will still fail to score enough goals. We need a proper replacement for Vestergard and if the latest rumours are correct we are not going to get one. If Ralph's team selections, tactics and use of substitutes improves 100% we just make 4th from bottom.

Kenm added 11:22 - Aug 21
Hasenhuttl got in players to STRENGHEN our defence, but Everton proved that it is not the case, as I believed that as Leeds finished above us last season they have a better defence ?. As ManU put 5 passed them, I have an awful feeling if we crumble again (as we have done so many times) we could be proping up the table. One big concern about hasenhuttl is he seems to never have a PLAN B OR C ??

RobtheSaint added 11:28 - Aug 21
Luckily we have a good record of signing South Americans from Italy and Spain.

WestSussexSaint added 11:34 - Aug 21
I don’t always agree with your player views Nick but on this occasion I picked my starting XI earlier and it matched yours exactly for the same reasons. Let’s hope Ralph agrees!

highfield49 added 11:34 - Aug 21
Whatever the reasons behind the team selection at Everton I think most supporters would agree with your assessment of the changes needed for the game tomorrow Nick. Sadly, I think McCarthy will continue in goal and I'm not confident that Walcott and Djenepo won't start as well. None of us posters see the players in training, I presume anyway, and there might be reasons for some of the baffling choices but it's blindingly obvious to most of us where the team could and should be strengthened. Most of all I'm hoping that the club are being less than honest about not signing a 'keeper before next summer. As far as I'm aware Sergio Romero is a free agent after leaving Man Utd in the summer, at the very least he should be getting a trial to see if he is still fit for purpose.

Toussaint added 11:41 - Aug 21
I read the lad from Torino flew in this morning looks good on u tube but no mistakes shown on those videos..agree with team selection Armstrong KWP Jan B was like a crazy man or Ralf was up drinking all night but I feel if he continues playing MacCarthy over FF it will get him the sack , everyone can see who the better keeper is except Ralf ,hes shot shy since the 0-9

1teeminants added 11:47 - Aug 21
I completely agree with your team selection Nick I just have a horrible feeling Ralph doesn’t.

Colburn added 12:11 - Aug 21
Whoever starts, our biggest issue seems to be how the pendulum swings in the second half of games after a good first half and our lack of reaction to the change in the game with fresh legs. I don't understand why some managers will make changes when two down to try to avoid loss yet don't make changes to avoid losing a two nil lead.. I would rather see Forster in goal because I think he communicates better thus organises better. I also agree with swapping Walcott for KWP and maybe push Livramento to midfield, but I would leave Djenepo in there because I do think he battles well these days as well as the flair. He was immense at home to Liverpool last year in a warrior role. Let's hope Varane makes his debut and has a nervy game with a couple of errors as can happen with a big name first game.

saintmark1976 added 12:17 - Aug 21
Block8, I received my season tickets on Thursday but no car parking permit. I went to the stadium yesterday ( my second unnecessary 60 mile round trip visit this summer) and was told “we haven’t sent out any permits yet”. However, it was suggested that if on Sunday I turn up at the car park my name will be “on the list” rather like Pike’s scene in Dad’s Army. What a shambolic way to run a business and treat those who pay you money.

In reference to tomorrow’s team selection. I expect that Ralph is at this very moment tearing up small pieces of paper prior to putting names on them before putting them into a hat. He will shake the hat tomorrow morning and get his wife to pick out the team. She couldn’t possibly do worse than Ralph’s selection last week at Everton.

underweststand added 12:27 - Aug 21
I think most of us are in agreement (with you) about Ralph's Everton selections.
BUT.. it wasn't so crazy to play Tino from the start, it gave him his Prem. debut and a chance to show up - and in that respect he DAJFU (for an hour at least), but Ralph made his usual error in waiting too long to put on his subs. at the time when the game was already lost...(not surprising against a club we only beat away - every 25 years).

However, we clearly missed KWP and Stuart A. as Walcott went AWOL for long periods and Djenepo rotated between making schoolboy mistakes and a world class dribbler.

We must play our best / strongest side (whatever that is) and try to keep a clean sheet, but clearly Ralph is in a distinct minority when he chooses McCarthy ahead of Forster.
We all hear about Forster's huge salary, but as we've still got him, we ought to play him and get the best out of what's left of his contract.


dirk_doone added 12:31 - Aug 21
Spot on, Nick.

DellBoyWally added 13:05 - Aug 21
We could try playing a system to suit the players we have? Just a thought!
FF in goal, back 4 of KWP, JanB, MoS, Pernaud! midfield of Stuey, Livra, Romeo, JWP, front 2 of Arma, Che
Subs of Tella, Moussa, MoEly, IbraD, ShLong, (escape route for long ball when 2up with 10mins to go) Stephens (back 5 to close out the game!!)

sandywelsh added 13:25 - Aug 21
I would pick the same team as you Nick. Fraser Forster must start!!!!

WoolstonSaint2 added 13:32 - Aug 21
Doesn't matter who we play. Squad is Championship standard, driven by strange tactics and team formation. God help us

WoolstonSaint2 added 13:32 - Aug 21
Doesn't matter who we play. Squad is Championship standard, driven by strange tactics and team formation. God help us

kingolaf added 13:48 - Aug 21
Best change we should make is the clueless idiot picking the side.

YosemiteSaint added 18:45 - Aug 21
Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't think we're that far off the top 10. For me at least, this summer's transfer business has been spectacular. We got rid of dead weight—a category in which I'd place Lemina, Hoedt, Vestergaard, and Ings—for an amazing return. And we've got some very good prospects that we can throw right into battle (as Livramento showed last week). All this change will take a while to bed, though, and it starts with the defense. Salisu and Bednarek should be our first choice pairing at CB; they just need to work out communication, and they'll improve now that they've got some decent competition among the new guys. I think we'll be OK (if only because there are once again at least two teams that won't be competitive in the Prem, but mostly because we've got some good talent that will improve).

Having said all this, the one position we failed to address was keeper. I can't see Foster or McCarthy working out. If we leak goals in the first half of the season hopefully we can find a new keeper at Xmastime.

In the meantime, I think your squad selection is spot-on for ManU, Nick. Hopefully Ralph reads this site.

sidsaint added 19:22 - Aug 21
Agree with most of the above re selections. We have a tough start to the season and with some clubs e.g Brighton and Brentford performing better than I expected we cannot let too many who have easier starts get away from us and build confidence.

KriSaint added 02:15 - Aug 22
I'm lost about Ralph's ideas but can intuitively see him try starting with a 5 - 3 - 2 because of the very strong opposition and because he would love a clean sheet to steady the ship.

McCarthy (because Ralph rarely changes keeper overnight).

KWP, Bednarek, Stephens, Salisu, Perraud.
(KWP, Stephens & Perraud all with permission to move forward when playing the ball out from the back).

Stuey, JWP, Livra - running themselves to the ground

Adams, A. Armstrong

Walcott or Broja or Obafemi or even Long
Romeu (also useful as cover for central defender I imagine)

VeloSaint added 08:18 - Aug 22
I'd have no issue with all 4 coming back in, but as it now appears McCarthy is 1st choice and will be signing an extension according to the echo, he will start. Cant see any formation change either.

Just want us to compete over the 90, with everyone on the pitch putting in a shift. Utd have the talent to win this comfortably even if all our players put in 10/10 performances but would be great to see us make them work bloody hard for it.

ElijahK added 09:32 - Aug 22
I think basically everyone’s agreeing with you and your selection here, and I sure do as well. But I don’t get why soo many people on here criticise Ralph over the KWP/Livermento and Armstrong/Walcott swaps as from what I heard, Armstrong had a minor injury so wasn’t played, and Livermento had a cracking game so wasn’t actually that bad. Yet people still criticise Ralph for them, even though they were both fair choices.

With Bednerak/Stephens, well personally I’d want that as well, but at the same Salisu was just as poor last week as Stephens was so it’s not like Stephens single handed lay let us down. And with the McCarthy/Forster situation, well I personally prefer McCarthy (as I see their saving skills as equal with McCarthy coming out too much and Forster too little, but McCarthy’s distribution being decent whilst with Forster we’ll be lucky if it’s not an oppositions throw on) but I wouldn’t mind seeing Forster play this one just to give him a try as if he works out then great play him more, and if he doesn’t well it’ll help to shut up all those going on about him playing and will show that McCarthy is the better of the two keepers.

But hopefully we can get a real decent result today! COYR!!!

KriSaint added 13:34 - Aug 22
I don' t know whether to laugh or cry.

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