Southampton team news: The players set to miss Ipswich match.
Southampton will be hoping they can put two wretched results behind them as Russell Martin’s side face a quick turnaround from Friday night’s 4-1 home defeat to fellow relegated side Leicester City at St Mary’s.
However, their encounter on Tuesday night presents Martin with a different challenge altogether, as Saints cross paths with Ipswich Town for the first time in a league encounter since 6th March 2012 in a 1-1 draw.
Whilst Kieran McKenna’s side were tipped by outsiders for a successful return to the second tier after a four-year absence, not many would have seen them sitting above the likes of Southampton in the table at this early stage, but the Tractor Boys currently find themselves 6 places and 5 points clear of their opponents.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Southampton team news heading into the game.
Will Flynn Downes feature against his former club?
One selection headache the Saints boss has been posed with ahead of Tuesday night’s fixture is whether central midfielder Flynn Downes will be available to feature against his former employers.
The midfielder joined Ipswich as a seven-year-old back in 2006 and stayed at Portman Road until 2021, making 99 senior appearances and scoring three times.
Since joining from West Ham United on loan in the summer, Downes has featured in three of Southampton’s Championship outings, playing the full 90 minutes against QPR and Sunderland alongside Will Smallbone in the centre of midfield.
This continued into Friday night’s heavy defeat by the Foxes, but the 24-year-old was substituted on 50 minutes with a knock and replaced by Carlos Alcaraz.
Whilst the type of injury sustained hasn’t been revealed, Martin has provided an update on this topic as per the Daily Echo.
“Flynn Downes has come off and he’s touch and go for tomorrow, but it’s not going to be a long one.” Martin stated.
Which players are now available for selection ahead of Tuesday night’s clash?
Despite that potential blow, Southampton have had some good news in the build up to this game, as both Jan Bednarek and Kamaldeen Sulemana are both in contention to play a part against Ipswich.
The Polish international defender had started every game under his new head coach prior to the international break, but was absent on Friday having sustained an injury in the 34th minute of his national side’s 2-0 defeat to Albania in a Euro 2024 Qualifier on September 10th.
However, the aforementioned report by the Daily Echo state that Bednarek has been given the all clear to make a return to the squad.
As for Sulemana, the Ghanaian was making his first appearance under Russell Martin on Friday night after a summer which included injuries and rumours of a potential move away from the club.
After an initial bright cameo, the midfielder’s sending off on 94 minutes for a tackle on James Justin compiled Southampton’s misery on the night, but this has since been overturned.
Martin was glad that the refereeing authorities came to the right decision and spoke about his player’s devastation about a potential three-game ban.
“I’m excited about what he can come in and do. He was gutted after the game, genuinely devastated that he might have to miss three games after being out so long.
“I’m really pleased they have made the right decision after the appeal and I’m looking forward to getting him back on the pitch.”
How will Southampton fare against Ipswich Town?
This has the ingredients of a high-intensity encounter, with Southampton desperate to return to winning ways.
However, Ipswich have a 100% away record on the line as they head to the South Coast, having already fended off Sunderland, QPR and most recently Sheffield Wednesday on their travels, but this game presents themselves with one of their toughest challenges yet since returning to the Championship.
Martin will be under no illusions that the first 15 to 20 minutes will be crucial, having got off to horrendous starts in their previous two outings.