WELCOME back to Premier League action following that international break – they get worse every time, don’t they?

Well, they would if not for Saints skipper James Ward-Prowse picking up his ninth England cap and turning home a rebound of his saved penalty for his second international goal.

The 26-year-old midfielder will have enjoyed that but won’t be in contention for the visit of Leeds United to St Mary’s on Saturday, October 16 (3PM) after his red card at Chelsea.

He will miss the next three for Saints after 102 consecutive league showings, but this births an opportunity for another player to step up and make his point to manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.

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Jack Stephens is still out with injury but Stuart Armstrong will be back in contention, after he made the matchday squad at Stamford Bridge.

Fellow Scot Che Adams was forced to withdraw from the international squad and missed the tie vs Faroe Islands, meaning he is likely unavailable for selection.

It leaves Hasenhuttl with some difficult choices, but here’s how we think the Austrian boss will line up.

Formation: 4-2-2-2


Alex McCarthy will remain as Hasenhuttl’s number one after some impressive performances in the last four-to-five fixtures.

Daily Echo: Saints' Alex McCarthy (Pic: Stuart Martin)Saints' Alex McCarthy (Pic: Stuart Martin)


Tino Livramento will continue his run of starting every game for Saints in the Premier League this season, despite starting for England under-21 in Andorra at the beginning of the week. Jan Bednarek and Mohammed Salisu are shoo-ins as always for centre-back now, while Kyle Walker-Peters could start at left-back again over Romain Perraud.

Daily Echo: Centre-back Mohammed Salisu (Pic: Stuart Martin)Centre-back Mohammed Salisu (Pic: Stuart Martin)


This is where it gets a little tricky, with James Ward-Prowse’s absence and the imminent return of Stuart Armstrong. I think the Scot will appear from the bench first. That means Oriol Romeu will partner with Ibrahima Diallo in central midfield. Moi Elyounoussi hit a brace for Norway during the international break so will likely receive a start while Nathan Redmond has been seemingly undroppable for Hasenhuttl. This is the first time I’ve named him in a predicted team for a Premier League game, so what’s the bet it’s the first time he’s dropped..?

Daily Echo: French midfielder Ibrahima Diallo (Pic: PA)French midfielder Ibrahima Diallo (Pic: PA)


After he was ineligible against his parent side, the international form of Armando Broja and the injury to Che Adams should be enough to afford the Albanian a first Premier League start. The frontman is also incredibly quick and will be ideal to hit the high-intensity Leeds side on the counter. He would partner equally nippy Adam Armstrong, who will know that he has to post some goals during the next five.

Daily Echo: Former Blackburn Rovers forward Adam Armstrong (Pic: Stuart Martin)Former Blackburn Rovers forward Adam Armstrong (Pic: Stuart Martin)


Daily Echo: Saints FC predicted team vs Leeds United 16.10.21Saints FC predicted team vs Leeds United 16.10.21