Southampton defender Toby Alderweireld will be side-lined for up to four weeks with a hamstring injury.
The Atletico Madrid loanee has been one of the Saints' top performers in another stellar campaign and seamlessly took over from Croatian centre-back Dejan Lovren, who left for Liverpool in the summer.
The Belgian has been pivotal in the tightest defence in the Premier League, as they collected their 10th clean sheet of the season in the 1-0 win over Manchester United, but the 25-year-old was forced off in the 21st minute by Florin Gardos with a hamstring complaint when he pulled up intercepting a pass intended for Robin Van Persie.
This latest setback has left Ronald Koeman with only two central defenders. With Maya Yoshida currently on Asian Cup duty with Japan, captain Jose Fonte and Gardos are the only senior centre-backs at the Dutchman’s disposal.
Koeman could bring in the inexperienced Jason McCarthy but he could also be forced into spending some money.
The Southampton boss said in his post-match conference: "I don't know (if we need to sign another centre half), we have to speak about that, we know that Maya will be away for some weeks, we know that,
"We knew already if we get some injuries then maybe it can be a problem but I think in our squad we can do some changes in positions to keep going."