Saints Likely To Play First Team Against Brentford To Make Up For Lack Of Pre Season Preparation.
Wednesday, 16th Sep 2020 08:52
Saints pre season was not ideal and was interrupted by International duty for key members of the squad, Ralph Hasenhuttl has hinted that the game against Brentford will be used to get his team working together.
Saints played only one pre season friendly and even that one against Swansea was a game split into three 45 minute thirds with the whole squad used, meaning that his full first team got only 45 minutes match action together before multiple substitutions were made etc
This was not ideal preparation and it was made worse by the International break coming in the fortnight before the season opener against Crystal Palace, meaning that he could only get his full squad together a few days before the game.
This means that Ralph is now viewing the game against Brentford not only as a Cup tie, but as a part of the pre season almost, this will mean that most of his first choice players will be making an appearance in the starting line up.
There are a few knocks in the squad including Stuart Armstrong who is still out with a thigh injury picked up on International duty, but the likelihood is it will be the core of the first choice players who will start the game with one or two exceptions.
Ralph had this to say:
"We'll have a look how they are then we will decide, I think it will be good for us to use every game because, as we said, we had a very difficult pre-season without a chance to work with the whole team. "
"So we should really take this game to fight back to winning ways and to the way we want to play.
"We are a little bit far away from it and this is a chance really for us to keep getting better. We want to get through to the next round and the players need the games,"
One player who might come in though is Fraser Forster for a run out in goal, Alex McCarthy did nothing wrong at Palace so will still be first choice but it will be important to give Forster some game time.
Other options might be the likes of Moussa Djenepo who is rusty after missing the entire restart with suspension and injury and has played only 13 minutes in the last 6 months, that coming at Palace in the dying stages, as well as Michael Obafemi.
One player who isn't likely to feature is Sofiane Boufal, he was not on the bench at Palace and with Djenepo fit again, it looks like Saints will look to get something back by selling him in the next week or so.
Photo: Action Images
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