THE first half of Southampton's Championship playoff semi-final against West Brom takes place this afternoon at the Hawthorns.

Russell Martin's side have already beaten the Baggies on two occasions this season and will look to repeat that again.

Forward Che Adams has been assessed this week after picking up an injury in Southampton's win at Leeds last Saturday.

It remains touch and go wether he will be fit enough to play any part of the first leg. With that in mind, here is how we predict Saints will line up this afternoon...


Alex McCarthy may be about to play his final games in a Saints shirt as his contract is set to expire at the end of the season.

What better was for him to bow out on the South Coast than to get Saints back to the Premier League?


The biggest question surrounding Southampton's backline on Sunday is whether they will continue with the back-five they played at Leeds or revert to a back-four.

Whatever they do, Kyle Walker-Peters, Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Jan Bednarek are must-start players.

Daily Echo: Kyle Walker-Peters enjoyed the attacking freedom of playing at wing-backKyle Walker-Peters enjoyed the attacking freedom of playing at wing-back (Image: Southampton FC)

Captain Jack Stephens was brilliant at West Brom earlier this season. We predict Martin will stick with the back-five system and start Ryan Manning.


No surprises here, Flynn Downes simply has to start.

The loanee has been faultless this season and will be key to promotion, which in turn will strengthen Southampton's chances of keeping him.

Will Smallbone and Joe Aribo were brilliant at Leeds, the new system giving them the freedom to move forward and join the attack.

Daily Echo: Will Smallbone impressed in his goalscoring appearance against LeedsWill Smallbone impressed in his goalscoring appearance against Leeds (Image: Stuart Martin)

Even if Martin reverts to the tried and tested 4-3-3, Aribo and Smallbone are best placed to start in front of Downes.


As mentioned, Adams remains a doubt for Southampton after picking up a knock at Leeds.

The Scotland international has not been seen in any of the images or videos Southampton's media team have shared this week - perhaps an indication of his fitness. 

If he is unable to play, Kamaldeen Sulemana may be best placed to come into the starting lineup having replaced him at Elland Road.

Partnering Kamaldeen up front will be Adam Armstrong, Southampton's standout attacking player this season.

Daily Echo: Southampton's Adam Armstrong scored at Leeds last time outSouthampton's Adam Armstrong scored at Leeds last time out (Image: Stuart Martin)

Full predicted team:

McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Harwood-Bellis, Bednarek, Stephens, Manning; Downes, Aribo, Smallbone; A Armstrong, Kamaldeen.