Southampton face another important game in the Premier League this weekend as they face fellow relegation rivals West Brom at the Hawthorns.
Saints’ run of games without a win in the league has now extended to 12 games and a win is a must this weekend.
The visitors come into the game after a disappointing draw against Brighton at St Mary’s Stadium on Wednesday evening.
As for the Baggie, they come into this one on the back of an expected 3-0 loss against Manchester City during the week.
Southampton have really struggled to put teams to bed and kill them off and have, on numerous occasions been pegged back from winning positions, which has resulted in them being in the predicament they are in at present.
Alan Pardew, who took over following the sacking of Tony Pulis, is beginning to get his thoughts across to the team and they have been playing much better in recent weeks.
Saints have struggled on the road, winning just once. This came all the way back in mid-September against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park and they have struggled ever since.
Despite this, the Baggies have got the joint worst home record with just 13 points to their name so far, which could give Saints some confidence heading into this encounter.
Both sides need to claim a victory this weekend as a win would do so much for the confidence in either team and it will also more than likely lift them up a couple of places in the league.
The two teams last met back in October when a Sofiane Boufal wonder goal late on was enough for Mauricio Pellegrino’s side to claim all three points at St Mary’s.
The Saints boss sat down and spoke to the media this week to talk about this weekend’s crucial game for his side, saying they have to treat it as a final, as reported by the club’s official website.
It’s a massive game for us. We have to go with the feeling that we’re playing a final.
We have to be focused in every single action from the beginning until the end. We are really well prepared and it’s an amazing opportunity.
Obviously to try to play quick enough to create the space. We have to move the ball quicker than them. The most difficult thing in modern football is to create chances and be efficient in this moment.
He went on to talk about the challenges his opponents could bring and also went on to address the Southampton supporters.
West Brom have got a couple of good results. In set-plays they are strong, with big players and they are playing well so it will be really tough.
We have to be grateful with our supporters. They are always behind us in a difficult situation. We want to give them a good performance, with energy on the pitch. Together we can be stronger.
In terms of team news, Saints remain without Charlie Austin but he has returned to training this week, while Manalo Gabbiadini will miss the trip to the Hawthorns after sustaining a hip injury.
As for the Baggies, they remain without long-term absentees James Morrison and Nacer Chadli.
As many as five players, Kieran Gibbs, Hal Robson-Kanu, Jonny Evans, Jake Livermore and Grzegorz Krychowiak, all face late fitness tests to discover their availability for the match against Southampton this weekend.
I expect this to be another tight game between two very evenly matched sides but expect Saints to enjoy more of the ball despite them being the away side.
I think that this one will end up as 1-1 draw at the Hawthorns.