The Southampton fans are extremely concerned in the Transfer Tavern due to their club’s precarious position in the Premier League after 27 fixtures.
Mauricio Pellegrino is far from a fan-favourite at Saint Mary’s right now due to his side’s miserable form in the Premier League which has seen Southampton claim just 1 win in 14 league outings. That single victory arrived at the beginning of February against West Bromwich Albion who they face again today in the 5th round of the FA Cup.
Although a cup run is always desirable and a significantly entertaining element of any clubs season, the majority of Saints supporters would happily accept a defeat against The Baggies today if the result ensured their Premier League survival. But despite this, Southampton will fancy their chances of recording their second victory over Alan Pardew’s side in the space of 2 weeks today.
After losing to Chelsea earlier this week, West Brom’s fate looks fairly conclusive now they sit 8 points adrift of survival in 20th position, so the prospect of a cup run and a Wembley appearance or two represents their only realistic hope of success this season.
With that in mind, Southampton will have to be at their very best to record victory today, as it’s likely that West Brom will be investing plenty of physical and emotional energy into this fixture, especially considering they suffered defeat against Pellegrino’s side just two weeks ago.
One player who simply has to step up his performance in this match to prove he is worthy of holding down a place in Southampton’s starting eleven is their Serbian international winger Dusan Tadic (valued at £13.5 million by Transfermarkt).
On paper Tadic is one of Southampton’s most creative attacking outlets, but so far this season his performances have fallen well below the standard he has set for himself in previous seasons. The 29-year-old has registered just 3 goals and 3 assists from his 27 appearances during the current campaign, but his overall performances have also lacked the attacking intensity he has demonstrated in the past.
Mauricio Pellegrino has continued to stand by Tadic throughout his below-par spell, but the Argentine manager will need to be strong and make some bold decisions if he wants to keep his side in the top-flight this year, and Tadic could become the first man to be dropped from the starting eleven if he fails to perform at The Hawthorns today.