Southampton and Watford come face to face once again just two weeks on from last facing each other as the pair meet in the fourth round of the FA Cup at St Mary’s Stadium.
The pair met in the league at Vicarage Road two weekends ago when Watford salvaged a controversial point after a clear handball by Hornets midfielder Abdoulaye Doucouré was not spotted by the match officials.
Neither side will be placing great importance on the game, if the truth is told, with both in a relegation fight. However, they could also see the cup as a welcome distraction from the pressure of the Premier League.
Both teams are currently on terrible runs, with Saints having not won in the league since the end of November, whilst Watford have embarked on a run of just one win in 11.
The Hornets come into the game on the back of another loss, this time at the hands of Leicester City, whilst Saints claimed a creditable 1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.
Saints have struggled a lot this season to keep hold of leads and see games out. This has been prominent of late and is something which they must improve upon.
Winning breeds confidence and if either side are to claim a victory from the game then it could give them great belief going into their up and coming games.
For Saints, this is particularly crucial with a visit from Brighton to come on Wednesday before they make the trip up to the Hawthorns to face West Brom on Saturday.
Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino has spoken to the media ahead of his side’s game against Watford in the cup and has highlighted the importance for his side to build on last weekend’s point against Spurs, as reported by the club’s official website.
Even when you pick up a point against a top side you have to be humble and analyse how you can move forward and how you can improve.
We are trying to improve in all different aspects. In recent matches, we draw against Arsenal, Manchester United or Tottenham, but we couldn’t move forward in games that on paper we have to win, and this is our target now, our goal, our purpose.
He also spoke about wanting to progress through in the cup this weekend and the importance of taking it one game at a time.
In the next game, against Watford, we want to move to another round, and we’ve got this first 90 minutes as a possibility. It could be 90 minutes, it could be 180, but we have to start thinking about our first step and to be focused on ourselves.
I think we have to start thinking about the first game and for us this is the most important. Then, after, we will have time to think about the next few games, because, obviously, in seven days we have got three games, but we have to think about the first one.
In terms of team news, Saints remain without striker Charlie Austin, who is out with a thigh injury which was sustained in the draw with Huddersfield Town before Christmas.
Shane Long and Maya Yoshida will both return to the squad after missing last weekend’s draw.
As for the visitors, they are without a whole host of players with 13 first team names currently sidelined.
Troy Deeney and Tom Cleverley will both have late fitness tests to discover if they can start after missing training all week. Heurelho Gomes and Jose Holebas should both return after missing last weekend’s loss to Leicester City.
The likes of Nathaniel Chalobah, Will Hughes, Miguel Britos and Kiko Femenia are all ruled out of the cup tie this weekend, though.
I anticipate this being a very close game between two very evenly matched sides and it could well come down to the fact that Saints have got less injury problems than their visitors with so many games coming at this time of the year.
I think that Saints will just edge this one 2-1.