El Classicoast

Southampton travel to the Vitality Stadium to face Bournemouth on Sunday in the Premier League’s early kick off. The Saints should be full of confidence off the back of their two most recent results and will be looking to build on their recent upturn in form.

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino will be likely to make changes to his starting eleven with fullback Cedric Soares sustaining a hamstring injury against Manchester City while Shane Long will face a late fitness test after picking up a calf problem.

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Dusan Tadic and Charlie Austin were both rested in midweek, I expect both to return to Saints line up to face the Cherries. With cedric’s abscense we are likely to see Jeremy Pied deputise. The biggest question is who will play in centre midefield, Pierre Emile Hojbjerg has been outstanding on his return to first team football, Oriol Romeu chiped in with a rare goal on Wednesday and fit again Mario Lemina has picked up where he left off.

Which formation will Pellegrino look to use? At home against Everton he opted for a four at the back system while against City he shifted to a back three. Pellegrino spoke about his sides adaptability after the City game, “Its important because we can adapt in different moments” the Argentine added that the intelligence of his players is what makes it possible.

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Southampton will be more attacking at the weekend with a positive result being crucial for Pellegrino’s men “Both teams will need to get points, and I think it will be really, really tough, but I feel that my players are ready to play a good game.”

Bournemouth also lost in in midweek however there were differing moods in each camp following the results. Cherries manager Eddie Howe said “Before the Burnley game, I think we’ve been in good form and building nicely throughout the season and I don’t think we should let that result affect us too much.”

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There are no fresh injury worries for Bournemouth, they may recall Junior Stanislas after two months out if he passes a fitness test. Defenders Brad Smith and Tyrone Mings remain absent with respective hip and back problems.

Bournemouth vs Southampton

Sunday 3rd December

Vitality Stadium

KO @ 1.30pm GMT

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