Ronald Koeman will welcome back José Fonte and Victor Wanyama from suspension for Sunday's visit of Liverpool, but will keep Jay Rodriguez with the under-21s this weekend.
Rodriguez played an hour for Technical Director Martin Hunter’s side in their 3-1 win at Middlesbrough last Monday, after recovering from a foot injury, and he will remain with them for their own game against Liverpool this Sunday, at Chester’s Deva Stadium.
"Jay made a good step, because it was the first 60 minutes that he played after a long time and he will play again in the under-21s this weekend for 90 minutes and if he gets that 90 minutes plus a good two weeks of training then he will be available for the first team,” Koeman told Southampton’s official YouTube channel.
While Rodriguez’s first-team return is still awaited, the Saints boss is pleased to have Fonte back from a one-game ban and Wanyama from his five-match suspension.
“That's important, because both are important for the team,” he said. “Both are physical, strong players. José is different than Victor of course, because he was only one week and Victor had a long time out of the team, but both are back and that's really a good boost for the rest of the team.”
Striker Charlie Austin remains sidelined as expected for Liverpool, but Koeman is optimistic he will be available after the international break.
"We have still Charlie Austin out, not available, like Florin, but Charlie is doing well,” said Koeman. “He's close to being back and normally he will be fit after the international break.”