Burnley v Southampton team news
Danny Drinkwater is unlikely to make his Burnley debut against Southampton on Saturday but Jay Rodriguez could make his Clarets bow against his former club.
Midfielder Drinkwater, signed on loan from Chelsea on Thursday, appears unlikely to feature given he has not played competitive football for a year so may well get a watching brief at Turf Moor.
The former Leicester man is one of just four new signings made by Burnley this summer but boss Sean Dyche says he’s happy with the options at his disposal as the club get set to start their fourth consecutive top-flight campaign.
Of the new arrivals, Rodriguez and full-back Erik Pieters are the most likely to be handed their competitive debuts.
Rodriguez, who re-signed with the Clarets from West Brom for £5million, is pushing Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes, the regular front two from last season, for a spot up top against a club he spent five years at between 2012-2017.
Pieters could start at full-back with doubts over the fitness of Charlie Taylor, who played 90 minutes in a behind closed friendly this week upon his return from a groin injury.
Defenders James Tarkowski and Kevin Long, who missed the final pre-season friendly against Parma, are fit but winger Robbie Brady (rib) and midfielder Steven Defour (calf) miss out.
Burnley have enjoyed a good build-up to the new campaign with five wins from seven pre-season clashes and Dyche is much happier their preparations for this season when compared to the tricky summer of 2018 when they were dragged down by Europa League qualifying.
“There’s been a real clarity from the players in pre-season, really good fitness levels, and we’ve had much better luck with injuries, despite a few niggles,” said Dyche.
Southampton finished just a point behind Burnley in the final standings last season and head to the north west seeking their first win over the Clarets in six matches.
Their two new signings, Che Adams and Moussa Djenepo, are in contention to make their debuts but boss Ralph Hasenhuttl says he has a selection headache when it comes to choosing between his attacking options.
“I have to take a few difficult decisions about who should be in the 18 and who should be in the XI,” Hasenhuttl said at his pre-match press conference.
Former Birmingham striker Adams is a likely starter alongside Danny Ings, who made his loan from Liverpool a permanent switch over the summer.
Che Adams had a very strong season with Birmingham and he now looks set to join Southampton in a £16m deal 💪
— Sporting Life Football (@SportingLifeFC) June 29, 2019
Winger Djenepo only started training with his new teammates last week following international duty with Mali, so he will probably be on the bench.
Fellow new signing Kevin Danso will have to wait to make his debut after his switch from Augsburg on a season-long loan was only confirmed on Friday morning.