Manager Alan Pardew rested experienced defender Radhi Jaidi and he should be restored to the line-up, possibly at the expense of fellow veteran Chris Perry.
First-choice goalkeeper and club captain Kelvin Davis has been on the bench for the past two matches after a spell out with a groin injury.
The problem is still affecting Davis' kicking, and with deputy Bartosz Bialkowski performing well there is no need to rush him back.
Full-back Graeme Murty is out until the end of January with an ankle injury.
Meanwhile, Pardew blasted Southampton's second-half display after they edged past an impressive Exeter side forced to play almost an hour with 10 men.
He said: "One or two of our players thought after half-time, steady here, this is going to be comfortable, but it was far from comfortable for us.
"We did not step onto them which is out of character for us and if you do not get that third goal then you encourage them. But that is professional football, you have to be doing the right things at the right time all the time."