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For me we need to go back to a back four and this is the team I would start with.

 

Austin looks done for me and Lemina just can't be bothered half the time.

 

Ward-Prowse is unlucky not to start but PEH has done well this pre-season and gets the nod over him 46adf9041bd01cd456f38e123dbfb657.jpg

 

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I'd go with the same team as the OP personally but think Hughes will stick with the current formation fir the near future. I'd probably have Lemina in for Hoj but neither of them, nor Romeu, have nailed their credentials to the managers door in pre-season.

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Hughes has clearly hung his hat on five at the back this season.

 

 

 

I can't really see the point playing five at the back, at home, to a Burnley side that will mostly likely play with 9 behind the ball and a lone isolated striker hoping to nick one on a break or from a set piece.

 

 

 

Most likely this game will see us camped out in Burnley's half for much of the game trying to find away to unlock a massed defence.

 

 

 

I'd be tempted to stick with Austin for this one just get him in around Burnley's box he is the player most likely to fashion a goal in a packed Burnley area for me.

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Lets not get tonked first game of the season, keep it tight until the 70th minute and then see if the game is there to be won.

A boring and defensive line up with the occasionally break to hopefully catch them off guard.

 

McCarthy

Taggart LB

Bertrand RB

Vestergaard

Stephens

Yoshida

Romeu (sits in front of the back five)

Lemina

HOJ

Armstrong

Gabby

 

1-5-1-3-1 formation

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I like Dazza 82s team and formation for the Burnley game. Shame Lemina hasn’t been involved in pre season so we’d have to use PEH. PEH has a good attitude, but then so did Franny and he was terrible as well.

 

One definite change I would make is Gunn in goal, looks more assured than McCarthy, who has been a bit too casual and sloppy in pre season. Standards need to improve.

 

Burnley will be expecting a very comfortable 3 points even after their Istanbul trip but hopefully Saints can cause a surprise and sneak a 1-0. One thing Saints have to be this season is as fit as the WGS era and arguably the Poch era. That WGS side wasn’t hugely gifted either but boy did they work and press. This lot will get several hidings next season if they don’t get fit and outlast better sides by staying in games like the WGS teams did. We don’t have a Beattie but hopefully we can share the goals around the side a bit more.

 

We’ll have to get behind them this season and hope they hang in on there against better opposition in the majority of games of games for 70 minutes and manage to sneak goals late on by being much fitter than the last 2 years and opponents tired by midweek European games etc.

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————————McCarthy————————

——Vestergaard—Yoshida—Bertrand——

Ward-Prowse——————————Targett

——————Hojberg—Romeu——————

———Armstrong————Elyounoussi———

———————Gabbiadini————————-

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I have no idea what the starting lineup will be and right now I’m not sure that Sparky does either !

We need to get back to the relegation mentality of the tail end of last season though, fight for every ball and die for the shirt !

Having witnessed the last 2 friendlies I am intrigued to see how things evolve but am not building my hopes up as there still appears to be weaknesses throughout the squad and the system !

COYS

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My thoughts given the pre-season.

 

....................McCarthy..........................

Stephens..Yoshida..Vestergaard..Bertrand

......................Romeu...........................

............Armstrong.......Lemina...............

....Gabbiadini...Gallagher....Elyanoussi....

 

Allowing for a possible change of Lemina with JWP. Not everyone's cup of tea, I know, but pace and guile up front, creativity behind the front 3.

 

(awaits the forum experts to shoot me down)

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If we are to persist with 3 at CB (god knows why we’d wanna have 3 of them on the pitch when they’re all utter garbage) then one of them has to be Bertrand. Then Targett at LWB. Austin is pointless and still treats it like we’re playing Wessex League, he must have been back on the coke over the summer.

 

McCarthy

Yoshida

Bertrand

Vestergarrd

JWP

Targett

Lemina

PEH

Armstrong

Elyounoussi

Gabbiadini

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We've got to the end of pre-season with quite a few issues that still seem unresolved.

 

Keeper: McCarthy has had a couple of slips which were surprising after his end-of-season form. Still think he'll start, but at least we've got a strong backup and Gunn will be breathing down his neck.

 

CB: Without Maya, and even persisting with three Cbs, we're slow and vulnerable to through balls. Only Stephens is reasonably quick, but suspect in the air. Can a combination be found that will look solid? Maybe Yoshida/Vestergaard/Stephens where we are against quality opposition who will play through us, swap Stephens for Hoedt/Bednarek where we're expecting an aerial attack. And Bertrand could be an option but it's a bit sad if we need him when there are five CBs on the books The other big question is whether Hughes will persist with three. Looks likely as it's been that way all pre-season but I'd rather go back to two, allowing two DM and attacking options.

 

With three at the back the wing backs need to get forward. Yesterday they stayed so high up the pitch that the space behind them was easy to exploit, especially with no CB pace to cover.

 

Full/wing backs: If something's going on with Cedric, we've got a gap to fill and have tried Reed, JWP, Targett and McQueen there. Targett looked the best on Weds, but weaker defensively yesterday. Maybe would work in a four.

 

DM: Romeu must start although he's not up to his old standard. We need that bite. Lemina doesn't seem at the races. Head elsewhere? Think we have to persist with Hojbjerg but he's not inspiring confidence. JWP seems busier and links play well, but I'm not sure it's his position.

 

AM: On paper, we've got lots of options but we need a combination that can work together. Remembering last season where Boufal, Redmond and Tadic together never worked, we need at least one who can hold, recycle and play in the others. I really don't know who will start next week, and I'm not sure MH knows either. I'd probably favour Armstrong, Elyounoussi and JWP, although Redmond could be an option if his commitment is there.

 

Strikers: I hope the two striker experiment is over. Every time we've tried it we just have two isolated strikers. Gabbiadini and Long will work and move to create chances but Austin doesn't bring enough. For me, Gabbiadini is head and shoulders above the others. Long can join him from the bench if needed.

 

So I really haven't a clue who'll start, but I'd go with

 

McCarthy

Targett/Cedric Yoshida Vestergaard Bertrand

Romeu Hojbjerg

Ward-Prowse Armstrong Elyounoussi

Gabbiadini

 

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Edited by Shroppie
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I’m pinning my hopes on Burnley playing their strongest team in Istanbul on Thursday night and picking up some knocks, fingers crossed Pope and Heaton are still injured. They will keep it tight and try to nick a 1-0 like they did last season , I’ll go for0-0

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We've got to the end of pre-season with quite a few issues that still seem unresolved.

 

Keeper: McCarthy has had a couple of slips which were surprising after his end-of-season form. Still think he'll start, but at least we've got a strong backup and Gunn will be breathing down his neck.

 

CB: Without Maya, and even persisting with three Cbs, we're slow and vulnerable to through balls. Only Stephens is reasonably quick, but suspect in the air. Can a combination be found that will look solid? Maybe Yoshida/Vestergaard/Stephens where we are against quality opposition who will play through us, swap Stephens for Hoedt/Bednarek where we're expecting an aerial attack. And Bertrand could be an option but it's a bit sad if we need him when there are five CBs on the books The other big question is whether Highest will persist with three. Looks likely as it's been that way all pre-season but I'd rather go back to two, allowing two DM and attacking options.

 

With three at the back the wing backs need to get forward. Yesterday they stayed so high up the pitch that the space behind them was easy to exploit, especially with no CB pace to cover.

 

Full/wing backs: If something's going on with Cedric, we've got a gap to fill and have tried Reed, JWP, Targett and McQueen there. Targett looked the best on Weds, but weaker defensively yesterday. Maybe would work in a four.

 

DM: Romeu must start although he's not up to his old standard. We need that bite. Lemina doesn't seem at the races. Head elsewhere? Think we have to persist with Hojbjerg but he's not inspiring confidence. JWP seems busier and links play well, but I'm not sure it's his position.

 

AM: On paper, we've got lots of options but we need a combination that can work together. Remembering last season where Boufal, Redmond and Tadic together never worked, we need at least one who can hold, recycle and play in the others. I really don't know who will start next week, and I'm not sure MH knows either. I'd probably favour Armstrong, Elyounoussi and JWP, although Redmond could be an option if his commitment is there.

 

Strikers: I hope the two striker experiment is over. Every time we've tried it we just have two isolated strikers. Gabbiadini and Long will work and move to create chances but Austin doesn't bring enough. For me, Gabbiadini is head and shoulders above the others. Long can join him from the bench if needed.

 

So I really haven't a clue who'll start, but I'd go with

 

McCarthy

Targett/Cedric Yoshida Vestergaard Bertrand

Romeu Hojbjerg

Ward-Prowse Armstrong Elyounoussi

Gabbiadini

 

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Agree with much of this Shroppie, and even though Hughes has gotten rid some of trouble makers Reed has infected the club with, there’s still far too many around. I want us as fans to get behind them but after the last 2 years if they get into half arsed mode again I do think we’ve got to let the individuals concerned know in no uncertain terms a much higher work rate is expected of Southampton FC players and give the ones who aren’t outting it in a horrible afternoon and support loudly the ones who are 100 per cent. We were too easy going on slackers last year, Cedric, Lemina, at times Bertrand and Austin and others need to start putting a far better shift in.

 

I’d rather have Gallagher, Reed and Sims starting, if we are going to lose then at least let’s work hard and be professional.

 

Disappointed as this summer was a chance to eradicate the bad apples but pre season has been more of the same.

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I'd prefer us to revert to a 4 but given we've prepared playing 5 we should probably start it.

I'd prefer at least one of Stephens/Yoshida in the 3. Given we're playing burnley bednarek's aerial ability just swings it for the remaining slot.

Centre mid picks itself as Lemina seems missing.

Up front i'd love to see us going with gallagher from the start, though just as long as he's on the bench above long.

 

Mccarthy

Targett Stephens Vestergaard Bednarek Bertrand

Hojberg Romeu Amstrong

Gallagher Austin

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I'd prefer us to revert to a 4 but given we've prepared playing 5 we should probably start it.

I'd prefer at least one of Stephens/Yoshida in the 3. Given we're playing burnley bednarek's aerial ability just swings it for the remaining slot.

Centre mid picks itself as Lemina seems missing.

Up front i'd love to see us going with gallagher from the start, though just as long as he's on the bench above long.

 

Mccarthy

Targett Stephens Vestergaard Bednarek Bertrand

Hojberg Romeu Amstrong

Gallagher Austin

Yoshida has to be miles ahead of Stephens, surely?

 

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I’m pinning my hopes on Burnley playing their strongest team in Istanbul on Thursday night and picking up some knocks, fingers crossed Pope and Heaton are still injured. They will keep it tight and try to nick a 1-0 like they did last season , I’ll go for0-0

Pope is out for most of the season, Heaton is injured, they have brought Hart in (or are bringing him in). Having Hart could be a positive for us. They also have a friendly against Espanyol today, so we will be their 3rd game in a week with a trip to Turkey in between. It all looks good for us, trouble is we are looking decidedly crap so they will probably get away with it.

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Happy to play 3 at the back. The tests we've had in pre season are nothing like what we'll face in the PL and especially Burnley. It suits dealing with direct play and crosses. Burnley won't be winning the ball high up and exploiting gaps with clever technical players. So happy to play 3 at the back as long as there's no Hoedt or Stephens. More worrying is going forward.

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Jeez, people are slitting their wrists and the season hasn't even begun yet! Next we'll have babies in the womb slitting their wrists as they're destined to become Saints fans! This is a fresh start people. Let's get a few games out the way before we see what shape the team is in! We can't be worse than when we had Pellegrino in charge...can we?

 

Nah. We'll beat Burnley - I've thought this since I saw the fixtures announced, I have a feeling in me bones. Whether we will go on to have a good run remains to be seen, but I certainly think we have a soft opening fixture. 2-0 Saints.

 

----------------------McCarthy----------------------

 

------Bednarek---Vestergaard----Hoedt-----------

 

Targett---Hojbjerg------Lemina-------Bertrand

 

-------Elyounoussi---Austin---Gabbiadini---------

 

SUBS: Stephens, Reed, JWP, Romeu, Long, Redmond, Gunn

 

That's what I think Hughes will go with, not the team I'd choose personally.

 

(Cue a loss to Burnley and me transforming from a happy-clapper to a wrist-slitter...)

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Jeez, people are slitting their wrists and the season hasn't even begun yet! Next we'll have babies in the womb slitting their wrists as they're destined to become Saints fans! This is a fresh start people. Let's get a few games out the way before we see what shape the team is in! We can't be worse than when we had Pellegrino in charge...can we?

 

Nah. We'll beat Burnley - I've thought this since I saw the fixtures announced, I have a feeling in me bones. Whether we will go on to have a good run remains to be seen, but I certainly think we have a soft opening fixture. 2-0 Saints.

 

----------------------McCarthy----------------------

 

------Bednarek---Vestergaard----Hoedt-----------

 

Targett---Hojbjerg------Lemina-------Bertrand

 

-------Elyounoussi---Austin---Gabbiadini---------

 

SUBS: Stephens, Reed, JWP, Romeu, Long, Redmond, Gunn

 

That's what I think Hughes will go with, not the team I'd choose personally.

 

(Cue a loss to Burnley and me transforming from a happy-clapper to a wrist-slitter...)

No Yoshida?

 

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Switch to a back 4 - the one holding midfielder in 3-5-2 doesn’t give us a strong enough foothold in the centre of the park as England discovered in the WC - never mind the CBs aren’t mobile enough to cover space if the wingbacks are exposed.

 

However unappealing, Romeu and Hoj seem the natural pairing at the base of midfield. Lemina is not disciplined enough. Perhaps Reed’s time has come because Hoj has shown very little. At least Romeu has shown quality in the past. The situation is not ideal.

 

Gabbi and Austin don’t click. Gabbi goes missing when he’s dropping deep and needs to play on the shoulder if he plays.

 

When we’ve successfully played a 4-2-3-1, our no.10 has always beeen a compromise between defence and attack. That’s why the safety-first Davis was always preferred. Armstrong seems the obvious choice but Lemina also has the tools to play there. Personally think it’s his natural position and he’d flourish there.

 

We’ve still not addressed the lack of pace in the side - it’s probably why I’d persist with Remond (even if he’s not terribly pacy) with Mou on the other side.

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No Yoshida?

 

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Will he be match fit? He's only played 20 odd minutes of pre-season. I'd hope so but I wouldn't be surprised if we went with the same back 3 as against Borussia Munchwhateverthey'recalled.

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No idea what to expect after yesterday, feel pretty deflated by it all at the mo.

 

Maybe stick Vesterguard up front for the giggles. Something to do. Will probably prove more of a threat than anyone else.

 

I love Yoshida, but the fact he's being held up now as our best CB shows up our transfer dealings over the last 2 years. Vesterguard could be good, but he looks so slow at the back. Hoedt and Vesterguard together look like a recipe for some hammerings to me. Another recruitment masterstroke?

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Lets not get tonked first game of the season, keep it tight until the 70th minute and then see if the game is there to be won.

A boring and defensive line up with the occasionally break to hopefully catch them off guard

 

Isn't that the tactic that Burnley used all last season? If we do the same it will be the most boring game in history!

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If we are to persist with 3 at CB (god knows why we’d wanna have 3 of them on the pitch when they’re all utter garbage) then one of them has to be Bertrand. Then Targett at LWB. Austin is pointless and still treats it like we’re playing Wessex League, he must have been back on the coke over the summer.

 

McCarthy

Yoshida

Bertrand

Vestergarrd

JWP

Targett

Lemina

PEH

Armstrong

Elyounoussi

Gabbiadini

 

 

Yeah Austins useless except for the fact that he scores far more goals than Gabbiadini and the position they play is cf.

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Jeez, people are slitting their wrists and the season hasn't even begun yet! Next we'll have babies in the womb slitting their wrists as they're destined to become Saints fans! This is a fresh start people. Let's get a few games out the way before we see what shape the team is in! We can't be worse than when we had Pellegrino in charge...can we?

 

Nah. We'll beat Burnley - I've thought this since I saw the fixtures announced, I have a feeling in me bones. Whether we will go on to have a good run remains to be seen, but I certainly think we have a soft opening fixture. 2-0 Saints.

 

----------------------McCarthy----------------------

 

------Bednarek---Vestergaard----Hoedt-----------

 

Targett---Hojbjerg------Lemina-------Bertrand

 

-------Elyounoussi---Austin---Gabbiadini---------

 

SUBS: Stephens, Reed, JWP, Romeu, Long, Redmond, Gunn

 

That's what I think Hughes will go with, not the team I'd choose personally.

 

(Cue a loss to Burnley and me transforming from a happy-clapper to a wrist-slitter...)

 

I agree perhaps we can wait for the season to start before we get into full-on doom and gloom mode.

 

Based upon what I’ve seen so far, I think this lineup is pretty close to what Hughes will go with, but I think Armstrong starts ahead of Moi, and it’s a toss-up between Hoj and Romeu. I’d personally like the front three to consist of Moi, Armstrong and Gabbiadini. Perhaps the new boys will do a better job of picking out Gabbiadini’s runs, this season.

 

I’m not sure that such a defensive lineup will be necessary against a team that will probably sit back and look to profit from counterattacks and set pieces.

 

Long term Yoshi should be in as the right CB, and Cedric at RWB assuming there’s no truth to the rumours that he’s thrown his toys out of the pram VVD-style. I can also see Gunn replacing McCarthy permanently at some point this season.

 

My main worry is the loss of Tadic, but my hope is that a full season under more competent management than last year’s nonsense will produce better results.

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Jeez, people are slitting their wrists and the season hasn't even begun yet! Next we'll have babies in the womb slitting their wrists as they're destined to become Saints fans! This is a fresh start people. Let's get a few games out the way before we see what shape the team is in! We can't be worse than when we had Pellegrino in charge...can we?

 

Nah. We'll beat Burnley - I've thought this since I saw the fixtures announced, I have a feeling in me bones. Whether we will go on to have a good run remains to be seen, but I certainly think we have a soft opening fixture. 2-0 Saints.

 

----------------------McCarthy----------------------

 

------Bednarek---Vestergaard----Hoedt-----------

 

Targett---Hojbjerg------Lemina-------Bertrand

 

-------Elyounoussi---Austin---Gabbiadini---------

 

SUBS: Stephens, Reed, JWP, Romeu, Long, Redmond, Gunn

 

That's what I think Hughes will go with, not the team I'd choose personally.

 

(Cue a loss to Burnley and me transforming from a happy-clapper to a wrist-slitter...)

Is Armstrong injured?
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I'd prefer us to revert to a 4 but given we've prepared playing 5 we should probably start it.

I'd prefer at least one of Stephens/Yoshida in the 3. Given we're playing burnley bednarek's aerial ability just swings it for the remaining slot.

Centre mid picks itself as Lemina seems missing.

Up front i'd love to see us going with gallagher from the start, though just as long as he's on the bench above long.

 

Mccarthy

Targett Stephens Vestergaard Bednarek Bertrand

Hojberg Romeu Amstrong

Gallagher Austin

 

That back 5 looks horrendous. In fact that team looks horrendous. Got relegation written all over it.

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Saints starting XI.

 

Goalkeeper - Alex McCarthy

Left back - Ryan Bertrand

Centre back - Maya Yoshida

Centre back - Vestergard

Right back - James Ward-Prowse (or Targett) - Cedric may not be match fit yet.

Right mid - Nathan Redmond

CM - Oriel Romeu

CM - Jan Pierre Holgberg

Left mid - Elyounoussi-

Attacking mid - Armstrong

Striker - Gabbiadini

 

However i think Hughes will go for three CB's, we need to step up Valery as Cedric cover as i fear about the right back cover spot.

Lastly, i hope that Lemina doesn't start until his attitude improves looked woeful/unfit and lazy against BMG.

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Is Armstrong injured?

 

That’s what I get for posting when I should be working. :mcinnes: Ok, Armstrong needs to go in somewhere but God knows where. I can see us starting with Austin and Gabs so I guess maybe Elyounoussi on the bench and Armstrong in. Glad I’m not Hughes. I still think we lack a creative attacking midfielder but who knows where he’d slot in even if we got one; Maybe Austin on the bench, with Gabbiadini as the sole striker.

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With the players we have right now, for this season I'd play

McCarthy

Yoshida Vestgaard Bertrand If that didn't work I'd go

Cedric Romeu Hoijberg Targett McCarthy

Armstrong Cedric Yoshida Vestgaard Bertrand

Elyounoussi Romeu Hoijberg

Austin Armstrong

Elyounoussi Redmond

Austin

In transfer window I'd sell Lemina, and buy a cm, a rb and a cf

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3-5-2 McCarthy

Yoshida Vestgaard Bertrand

Cedric Romeu Hoijberg Targett

Armstrong

Elyounoussi

Austin

 

4-3-3 McCarthy

 

Cedric Yoshida Vestgaard Bertrand

Romeu Hoijberg

Armstrong

Elyounoussi Redmond

Austin

 

Transfers : Sell Lemina, buy a rb, a cm, and a cf

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Transfers : Sell Lemina, buy a rb, a cm, and a cf

 

Not necesarrily disagreeing with you but with less than a week to act this is highly unlikely. You know the speed at which Les & Wilson act so I can't see that happening.

 

Also, not sure the £ we'd recoup from the sale of one player would generate enough to go on a spending spree.

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