With Southampton set to take on Burnley this afternoon after grabbing their first league victory of the season with a 1-0 win over Leeds United last weekend, Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl revealed that he has almost a full squad at his disposal apart from Jack Stephens, who is still recovering from a knee injury he picked up earlier in the season.
Taking this into account, it seems as though Hasenhuttl has a few big calls to make about who starts against the Clarets today.
On the chalkboard
One decision that we think should be fairly easy for him to make is to drop Mohamed Elyounoussi out of the team on this occasion.
The Norwegian started and played the majority of the match against Leeds, failing to register one shot on target or make one accurate cross or long ball. He also lost possession 19 times and racked up an average passing accuracy percentage of 68%, ultimately earning himself an uninspiring overall match rating of 6.3/10, making him the lowest-rated Saints player on the day according to SofaScore.
Given how the winger, who is currently valued at £10.8m by Transfermarkt, was taken out of the team for the 3-1 defeat against Chelsea, it seems as though he failed to restore the faith Hasenhuttl put in him when he started against Leeds, which says to us that he may not be good enough to play at this level on a consistent basis.
Do you think Elyounoussi should start against Burnley?
So far this season, the 27-year-old has made six appearances for the Saints in the Premier League but has only managed to score one goal, which came during their 2-2 draw against Newcastle United, proving that he is not a consistent threat in front of goal.
Looking ahead to today’s game, we feel that Southampton would probably have a better chance of beating Burnley without Elyounoussi in the starting XI, instead seeing if he can have a positive impact off the bench if needed. The numbers suggest that he has not been good enough to warrant a place in the starting XI, especially after the Leeds game.