In-form Southampton will host newly-promoted Burnley on Sunday at St. Mary’s Stadium in the eighth game-week of the Premier League. The Saints are unbeaten in their last six games in all competitions and what needs special mention is that they have conceded zero goals in the process. Burnley, on the other hand, have struggled so far in their immediate Premier League comeback campaign.
Burnley head onto the eighth game week sitting 14th on the table with 7 points from 7 games. They would be feeling hard done by in the last game where a late and controversial Koscielny goal denied them a hard fought draw against mighty Arsenal. The Clarets have been slightly inconsistent thus far but they have shown that they could give any team a good run for their money on their day, just ask Liverpool!
On paper, Southampton look too strong for Sean Dyche’s side but Claude Puel’s side cannot afford to get complacent.
Southampton will be without full-backs Cedric Soares and Ryan Bertrand in their visit to Burnley. Right-back Cedric suffered a foot problem last time out against Leicester while left-back Bertrand picked up a hamstring injury on international duty. Florin Gardos is out injured as well. Club record transfer Sofiane Boufal could be in line for his Southampton debut off the bench after finally coming back from a lengthy spell on the sidelines. Shane Long and Jay Rodriguez are also doubtful for the game.
Burnley goalkeeper and captain Tom Heaton should be fit after a minor calf strain that forced him to withdraw from the England squad last weekend. Forward Andre Gray serves the third game of a four-match ban. Ashley Barnes is missing through injury.
The Saints will line up in their favoured 4-4-2 diamond formation. Forster will start under the bar behind the back four of Martina, Fonte, van Dijk and Targett. Romeu will start as the base of the midfield diamond while Davis and Hojbjerg will operate as the two box to box midfielders. Tadic will start at the tip of the midfield diamond. Austin will start up front alongside Redmond in a two-pronged attack.
Starting XI: Forster; Martina, Fonte, van Dijk, Targett; Romeu, Davis, Hojbjerg, Tadic; Redmond, Austin
Burnley will line up in a 4-5-1 formation. Heaton will start between the sticks behind the back four of Lowton, Keane, Mee and Ward. Marney will start as the defensive midfielder with Defour and Hendrick as the two box to box midfielders. Gudmundsson and Boyd will start on the flanks with Vokes spearheading the attack.
Starting XI: Heaton; Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward; Gudmundsson, Defour, Marney, Hendrick, Boyd; Vokes
Southampton- Charlie Austin
Charlie Austin is in amazing form right now having scored five goals in the last five games and will be looking to get on the scoresheet again as he starts up front.
Burnley- Jeff Hendrick
Hendrick, one of the standout performers in the Euros, has done very well at Burnley since joining the Clarets this summer. The Irishman will be a player to look forward to.
Southampton win @2/5
Burnley win @17/2