One change to the Southampton team named at Arsenal last week. The injured Stuart Armstrong (hamstring) is replaced by Moussa Djenepo. Sofiane Boufal is on the bench, despite stubbing a big toe on his kitchen table at home.
Watford make two changes to the side that went down hard against Burnley. Andre Gray and the injured Craig Dawson are replaced by record signing Ismaila Sarr and Adam Masina.
Southampton: McCarthy, Cedric, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand, Djenepo, Ward-Prowse, Hojbjerg, Redmond, Ings, Obafemi.
Subs: Yoshida, Long, Adams, Romeu, Boufal, Gunn, Valery.
Watford: Foster, Femenia, Mariappa, Cathcart, Masina, Holebas, Doucoure, Capoue, Hughes, Deulofeu, Sarr.
Subs: Gomes, Deeney, Chalobah, Gray, Quina, Foulquier, Pereyra.
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland).
Anyone up for a relegation six-pointer? Good, good, just as well, because the bottom two face off at St Mary’s this evening, and whoever loses this will find themselves careering hysterically towards the slough of despond.
A draw’s no good for either team, we know this much already. Watford are bottom, five points adrift of safety already, while Saints are just one place and point better off. The Hornets have only won one game in the league this season; Southampton have managed to double that tally, but then Watford haven’t lost one of their home fixtures 9-0. So it’s swings and roundabouts.
Up and down and round and round we go. Watford beat Norwich impressively at the start of the month, a mere two Premier League fixtures ago; Saints haven’t tasted victory in the division since the middle of September. But that was at Sheffield United, who are now proven to be nobody’s mugs, and
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men really should have trounced Arsenal by two or three goals last weekend, the eventual 2-2 result at the Emirates scarcely believable given the chances they carved out.
Good luck calling this one, then. Both teams are desperate; both are capable of pulling a performance out of the bag on their day. Both are good for capitulation, too. So this could be a rollercoaster ride. Buckle up. It’s on!
Kick off: 5.30pm GMT.