Southampton are hoping to bounce back from last week’s 1-1 draw against Stoke with a victory over Hull City at St. Mary’s today (10 am ET, watch live online via NBC Sports Live Extra).
Asmir Begovic may have squished the Saints’ plans for world domination when the goalkeeper scored practically from the whistle last week — but Southampton was able to bounce back and grab at least a point. That keeps the hosts in sixth place, level with Manchester City and Everton, and just a point behind Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham. Impressive.
That probably means Southampton don’t much mind being knocked out of the League Cup midweek by Sunderland. Mauricio Pochettino can now turn all his focus on the league, at least. Considering the Saints boss has made 10 changes to the lineup he trotted out midweek, it’s unlikely Southampton were taking the tournament all that seriously in the first place. Only Jay Rodriguez keeps his spot, joined by recent England callups Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert.
It’s hard to imagine the visitors will strive for all three points. The pragmatic approach of Steve Bruce has Hull in 10th, impressive for a newly promoted side, but they’ve scored just eight goals thus far. Despite a 1-0 victory against nine-man Sunderland last week, the Tigers still couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net, needing Carlos Cuellar to do it for them. Of course, it doesn’t help that Robbie Brady is still not healthy. Without their top scorer, Hull will likely bunker down in front of reserve goalkeeper Steve Harper, hoping to come away with a share of the spoils.
Southampton starting XI: Boruc, Clyne, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Wanyama, Schneiderlin, Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Rodriguez, Lambert
Subs: K. Davis, S. Davis, Osvaldo, Cork, Chambers, Hooiveld, Gallagher
Hull City starting XI: Harper, Rosenior, Figueroa, Davies, McShane, Elmohamady, Boyd, Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore, Sagbo
Subs: Jakupovic, Bruce, Quinn, Koren, Gedo, Proschwitz, Graham