Hasenhuttl faces anxious wait over Stephens' injury

21 September 2021 01:26:10 GMTPlus11
Jack Stephens could be facing a spell on the sidelines

Ralph Hasenhuttl is set for an anxious wait over the extent of Jack Stephens' knee injury as he plots for Tuesday's EFL Cup tie with Sheffield United.

The Saints' centre-back lasted 37 minutes of Saturday's 0-0 at Manchester City, leaving Hasenhuttl short of defensive options for the trip to Bramall Lane.

Southampton are 17/20 to win their third round clash at Sheffield United, while they can be backed at 33/1 to win the tournament outright.

It wouldn't be good, because he was in perfect shape.

Ralph Hasenhuttl

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The summer sale of Jannik Vestergaard to Leicester has left Stephens as a key figure at the heart of the club's defence and he has started all five Premier League games.

The 27-year-old had looked in total control alongside Jan Bednarek at the Etihad at the weekend before dropping to the ground clutching the back of his knee. He was replaced by Mohamed Salisu, who helped winless Southampton secure an impressive clean sheet against the league champions.

Debut for Lyanco?

Bednarek and Salisu are the only other centre-backs to have appeared for Saints this season, which means Hasenhuttl may be tempted to hand a debut to summer signing Lyanco against Sheffield United. The Brazil Under-23 star signed from Italian side Torino on a four-year deal.

Hasenhuttl will be hoping, therefore, Stephens recovers quickly but is acutely aware that he has a history of knee problems.

"He had knee problems, but hopefully it is not too bad," the Austrian told Hampshire Live. "But it wouldn't be good, because he was in perfect shape.

"He was a really important player for us and so early in the season an injury wouldnt be good for us."

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