Portsmouth v Southampton: early team news ahead of the south-coast derby

Ross McCrorie. Picture: Robin Jones.
Ross McCrorie. Picture: Robin Jones.
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Oli Hawkins looks set to continue in central defence in the south-coast derby against Southampton tomorrow night. 

The striker was converted back to a defender during Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Wycombe.

Nevertheless, Hawkins delivered a man-of-the-match performance alongside Christian Burgess and Kenny Jackett’s likely to retain that centre-back pairing.

Captain Tom Naylor is a doubt after sustaining two knocks at Adams Park.

If he's not fit then Ross McCrorie will come into the starting line-up.

Ellis Harrison is suspended following his dismissal against the Chairboys, which may mean Gareth Evans features on the right-wing.

Third-year scholar Leon Maloney will be on the substitutes’ bench.  

Meanwhile, Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has admitted he’ll field his strongest side possible for the trip to Fratton Park.

However, that will not include winger Moussa Djenepo – Saints’ £15m summer signing from Standard Liege.

The Mali international has scored twice for the St Mary’s outfit this season and is their current top scorer.

Yet he sat out Southampton’s 3-1 defeat against Bournemouth with a muscle issue and will not be fit to face the Blues.

Nathan Redmond is an injury doubt after returning to the Saints starting XI against the Cherries following an ankle problem.

The England wide man suffered cramp on his return and may not be risked.