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Cardiff City 1 v 0 Southampton
Barclays Premier League
Saturday, 8th December 2018 Kick-off 15:00
Saints At Cardiff The Preview
Friday, 7th Dec 2018 14:49

The first game in charge for Ralph Hasenhuttl and the big question is who has impressed him in his short time in charge and will be in his starting line up.

Ralph Hasenhuttl will be seen in the flesh for the first time by 3,000 Saints fans at Cardiff on Saturday who will give him a rousing reception and the hope is that this alone will go long way to changing a toxic atmosphere surrounding the club into a positive one.

Klopp of the Alps or KOTA has already enthused many and hopefuly included in that number will be a couple of dozen members of his squad.

I would not expect him to stray too far off the beaten track for his first starting XI and he will still be guided by Kelvin Davis, but I do hope he can address the debacle that has been our central defence.

After the Fulham game Wesley Hoedt became the scapegoat, yet in the two games we have been dropped him nothing changed in fact it got worse, we conceded five goals that epitomised the season, each scorer being unmarked from close range, that has to stop.

I would hope he goes for Wesley Hoedt and Jannik Vestergaard as a pairing, they were ok in the opening games this season and perhaps the new manager can work with them and get them into some sort of solid duo, to be blunt the Yoshida/Stephens pairing has been used many times over the past two years and has not succeeded and is not good enough.

Hoedt and Vestergaard could improve, certainly if Stuart Armstrong can come good so could Vestergaard and Hoedt.

In the midfield Lemina should return after suspension the only question being whether its Davis or Ward Prowse whom he replaces, both had good enough games at Spurs to justify staying in the team.

Otherwise the only other question is about who is up front, will Charlie Austin have impressed him or will he opt for Gabbadini, certainly it looks like Ings, Obafemi and Long are not going to be fit so he will have few options up front unless he opts to go completely left field and bring in someone like Sam Gallagher.

The pattern is set though, the issues are centre of defence and central striker, we need to adapt and hope that our new man can inspire the team enough to carry us through against Cardiff.

But there is a positive attitude at least around St Mary's and that has to be good, it is just a pity that we have so many injuries at the moment.

Saints can win this and hopefully will, one point from our last three games does not reflect the effort we put in only the errors made at the back, it should have been at least four points and what a difference that would now make.

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underweststand added 15:38 - Dec 7
Maybe not so difficult to guess that two teams near/in the relegation zone will go at it hammer and tongs to get all 3 points.

We've seen some of the good football that Saints have played in games in the last few weeks , but it usually came long after we'd conceded stupid goals and lost the match (!")

Keeping a clean sheet would be one step forward, but if Ralph H. has managed to instill something into our sqaud - we may even be able score a few ... It would be too much to expect a massive turnaround in form in his first game - but one lives in hope.

Whatever the outcome , it might be unfair to judge the team performance on the basis of two days training with players he's not seen before, much less guess how they might perform against the " top half " teams in the coming weeks.

HythePeer added 15:54 - Dec 7
I read that Gallagher is injured, too.

SanMarco added 18:54 - Dec 7
Is the Polish lad not available? We basically are looking for the 'least worst' pair at the back - I'm not clever enough to guess which two that would be.

We need to take our chances tomorrow. Who knows if we score 3 we may even win.

mattthelegend added 22:05 - Dec 7
You say Yoshida and Stephens conceded 5 goals, but please consider the opposition we were up against. Certainly no mugs, do you really think Hoedt would have performed any better? Bednarek deserves a run at least, looked decent enough when he was thrown into it towards the end of last season.

aceofthebase added 22:38 - Dec 7
Give it a break! Hoedt has had a good run and has not performed very well and as for Cedric!
I suspect we will have a re run of all the old players and problems and nothing much will have changed. There is a good hype going around but I'll be surprised if our performance is much better, but it had improved over the last few matches with Hughes. He has something to work on.

allsaint54 added 23:20 - Dec 7

DPeps added 06:17 - Dec 8
Cardiff have some pace up front, so probably won't be Hoedt and Vestergaard. Like it or not, I think Yoshida will start

LordDZLucan added 12:34 - Dec 8
We've just got to cut out the mistakes in bad positions for which the midfield is just as culpable as the defence.

richardmdcooper added 12:35 - Dec 8
Excited to see the positive impact Ralph will have. On another note though nick, i don’t understand what you see in hoedt- he is by far the weakest of our centre halves. I would try bednarek with either yosh or Vestergaard

SaintPaulVW added 16:54 - Dec 8
Oh Mr H do you see what a job you've taken on now!

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