With the start of the 2018/19 Premier League season right around the corner, there remains a good amount of questions about the immediate future of Southampton going forward. These questions intensify infinitely when we begin to discuss what the first team at Southampton will look like throughout the upcoming campaign.
Giving it the old college try, these predictions will range from boring to extremely risky. But without further ado, here are some predictions for what you can expect from the Southampton first team during the upcoming campaign.
Southampton Predictions for This Season
Sam Gallagher Scores at Least Ten Goals
Going out on loan for the last three seasons, Sam Gallagher has been an in-demand striker for many Championship-calibre sides this summer. However, with the rumours around Gallagher dying down and the end of the transfer window growing closer every day, it is extremely likely that Gallagher starts the campaign with the Saints.
Given the fact that Southampton hasn’t really addressed its lack of scoring so far this summer, it is extremely possible that the Saints will lack a real scoring touch early in the campaign. Potentially forced to try everything, look for Gallagher to get a chance in the first team before the midpoint of the season.
If Gallagher takes advantage of this and earns himself a regular spot in the starting XI, the Englishman truly has every chance to record a double-digit goal tally this season.
Alex McCarthy Locks Down Starting Role
Signing former Manchester City goalkeeper Angus Gunn this summer, Southampton brought in some major competition for Alex McCarthy. Adding to the question marks over the position will be how well Gunn has played during the pre-season while McCarthy struggled at times against stronger quality opponents.
However, when it finally comes down to it, McCarthy will step up and lock down his spot in the starting XI. Taking over the starting role midway through last season, McCarthy was one of the main reasons the Saints are in the Premier League this season. Standing on his head and making multiple breathtaking saves at the end of the campaign, McCarthy proved that he has the quality of a number one goalkeeper.
While Gunn will definitely keep the pressure on McCarthy to perform this season, look for McCarthy to come up big when it truly matters and lock down his spot inside the Southampton starting XI.
Josh Sims Starts More Matches Than Nathan Redmond
A real mixed bag since his arrival on the South Coast during the summer of 2016, Nathan Redmond has had a truly topsy-turvy time. Proving to be an amazing presence on the pitch at times for Southampton, Redmond has struggled more often than not, failing to create opportunities for himself as well as his teammates.
That said, Redmond proved near the end of last season that he may be better suited to come off the bench than as a player in the starting XI. Showing his true talent in those substitute situations, Redmond has opened the door for another Southampton youngster to take his place as a potential regular inside the Saints starting XI.
Breaking through into the Southampton first team under Claude Puel, Josh Sims continued to perform at a solid level once Mark Hughes took over late last season. With Sims now 21 years of age, look for the Saints youth product to breakthrough into the starting XI this season and become a solid presence inside the Southampton first team.
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