Southampton go in search of their first win of the pre-season when they host French giants Monaco at St. Mary’s on Wednesday at 7:45pm (UK time).
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Ralph Hasenhuttl will be under pressure to deliver after a wretched end to the 2021/22 Premier League season, but has only been able to inspire his side to 0-0 draws against SK Austria Klagenfurt and Watford in their last two friendlies, following a 3-1 defeat to RB Leipzig. Just this match and another test against Villarreal at the weekend remain before Saints travel to Tottenham for their season opener.
As for Monaco, this is their final friendly before they face PSV Eindhoven in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier, which is closely followed by their Ligue 1 opener against Strasbourg. Philippe Clement’s side enjoyed an unbeaten start to pre-season that included a 2-2 draw with Inter, but lost 2-1 away to Porto last time out.
Southampton team news
James Ward-Prowse returned to the starting line-up for his first minutes of pre-season against Watford on Saturday — a welcome sight for Saints fans. However, Nathan Redmond, Theo Walcott and Romain Perraud are all yet to feature, though they’ll likely all get a runout in this match.
Gavin Bazunu, Willy Caballero and Alex McCarthy will all compete for the No.1 jersey this season, with the former playing the full 90 minutes on Saturday.
Monaco team news
Guillermo Maripan started against Porto despite being withdrawn due to injury against Inter. Clement vastly reduced the number of substitutes he used on Saturday and will likely use this match as a dress rehearsal for the Champions League clash with PSV.
Wissam Ben Yedder scored from the spot against Porto and will be Monaco’s danger man again. The France international scored 25 goals in Ligue 1 last season — a record bettered only by PSG star Kylian Mbappe’s 28.
There will be a familiar face in the Monaco squad for Southampton fans as Takumi Minamino sealed a move to the French club from Liverpool this summer. Minamino spent the second half of the 2020/21 season loan at St. Mary’s, scoring twice in 10 Premier League appearances.
Scoreline prediction: Southampton 0-2 Monaco
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