|Fulham 0 v 1 Southampton|
Tuesday, 27th August 2019 Kick-off 19:45
Saints At Fulham The Preview
Tuesday, 27th Aug 2019 14:26
Saints are taking the cups seriously this season says Ralph Hasenhuttl, this evening we will find out with a challenging trip to Craven Cottage to take on Fulham.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has publicly stated that he will be taking a strong squad up to London this evening, however he has also admitted that he needs to give one or two a game who have not featured much so far both in attack and at the back.
Fulham have started the season well and sit in 5th place although so far Saints loanee Harrison Reed has played little part only coming off the bench so far and not at all in their last two games including their home defeat on Saturday to Nottingham Forest.
Last season we travelled there in the League and lost 3-2 , in hindsight the last nail in the coffin for Mark Hughes who was replaced shortly afterwards.
Saints have to do better this year, back then some appalling marking cost us three goals and we can't afford to be so generous again.
I would expect Alex McCarthy to get a game in goal to keep him sharp and I would not be surprised to see the likes of Cedric, Yoshida, Stuart Armstrong and even Michael Obafemi in line for starts as well.
Pre match comments from Ralph Hasenhuttl though suggest that one player who might not be on the pitch at kick off is Sofiane Boufal, the Austrian expressing concern that the Morroccan is up to a full 90 minutes at the moment.
That could tell you something about the future Boufal has at the club, given that he has only played 27 minutes football out of 270 Premier League minutes so far, he should be raring to go, such is modern football and social media those 27 minutes have been treated by some like the second coming, but are they enough to convince Ralph.
There will be several key moments in the next week that will decide whether Boufal has a future at St Mary's, the first will be tonight and the truth is if he isn't on the pitch then he isn't going to be able to convince Ralph and the second is whether anyone makes a reasonable offer for a player who has not produced much in a Saints shirt since his arrival.
Yes he has undoubted talent, but sometimes that is not enough, if we don't get a decent offer then he will be a good option off the bench at times, but sometimes you have to cut and run and this may be one of them.
The game itself is an interesting one, in many respects it is about as tough as we could have got in the draw, but for Fulham the priority is promotion, from this viewpoint and with a tough trip to Cardiff on Saturday, they might be resting a few players themselves, so this might be a good time to play them.
The League cup offers us our best shot at glory this season, Saints as a club need to get the fans back on side after the last couple of seaons, they need to get the feel good factor going again, a good run in this competition is a good way to do just that.
Photo: Action Images
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