Southampton supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much looking forward to their side’s trip to Leicester City in the Premier League this evening, with the Saints running out of games in their bid to preserve their top-flight status.
Mark Hughes’ men find themselves in 18th place in the English top tier with just five matches of the campaign remaining, with only five victories from their 33 league games so far very much a big reason for their struggles. And after throwing away a two-goal lead in defeat to 2017 champions Chelsea on Saturday, confidence is unlikely to be high among the Saints squad, but it certainly needs to be when they face Claude Puel’s Leicester at the King Power Stadium tonight.
Nonetheless, there are some optimistic Southampton fans in the Tavern ahead of this evening’s clash in the Midlands, with several of our resident Saints supporters well aware that their side simply have to win to keep alive their chances of avoiding relegation.
And many of those Southampton fans lining up at the bar are speculating upon what changes Hughes may seek to make against the Foxes this evening, with the vast majority of the opinion that £10.8 million-rated striker Charlie Austin (as per Transfermarkt) simply must be brought back into the side.
Ultimately, Southampton’s biggest problem this season has been finding the back of the net with just 33 goals to show for their 33 Premier League games this term – this is all despite creating 310 chances so far, the most of any side outside of the top six.
Thus, it’s clear that they need a predatory goal-scorer in the box to finish those chances off, which is exactly what Englishman Austin is.
The 28-year-old has struggled with injury this season but has still managed seven goals in just 19 league appearances for the Saints, a tally which sees him top their goal-scoring charts to further underline their plight this term.
And on just his second appearance back from injury against Arsenal the other week, Austin bagged to emphasise that Southampton need the 28-year-old on the pitch in the danger area to try and finish those chances off – chances that might keep them in the division.
This evening’s clash simply is a must-win one for Hughes’ men after Saturday’s second half debacle against Chelsea – they are already five points adrift of safety and are very much running out of games.
As such, Hughes simply has to start his best striker and only proven goal-scorer at the King Power Stadium if the Saints are to keep their slim survival hopes alive.
Southampton fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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