West Bromwich Albion v Southampton Preview: Baggies welcome Saints in relegation six-pointer

West Bromwich Albion v Southampton Preview: Baggies welcome Saints in relegation six-pointer

Alan Pardew and his West Bromwich Albion side entertain Southampton in an encounter which could determine either teams' destiny beyond this season.

Ryan White

A crucial game at the bottom of the Premier League table takes place this Saturday as foot-of-the-ladder outfit West Bromwich Albion host 18th-placed Southampton in a game that could make or break the rest of the campaign for either team. 

Alan Pardew manages the Baggies on the back of a 3-0 defeat to unsurprising league leaders Manchester City whilst the visitors entertained fellow south coast club Brighton & Hove Albion at St. Mary's. Despite going a goal behind the Saints clawed back a draw thanks to centre-half Jack Stephens

West Brom, four points adrift of safety, have racked up five points from a possible fifteen. As for Southampton, without a win in twelve league games, they have managed three successive draws but will be eager to turn those levellers into three points to avoid the drop. 

A win for Saturday's hosts won't see them climb outside the bottom three but it may mean the West Midlands side be within touching distance. Mauricio Pellegrino's Saints could go as high as 13th if they can claim the triumph. 

Southampton on top in reverse fixture

West Brom last encountered the Saints in October when the Baggies, then being managed by Tony Pulis, visited St. Mary's. A fairly even game was turned on its head by a single moment of brilliance as Sofiane Boufal, coming on as a substitute performed a sublime dribble and finished in the bottom corner of Ben Foster's goal minutes from time. 

Saturday's away team narrowly top the head-to-head record with 29 victories to their name, compared to West Bromwich Albion's 24 wins - the same number ending in draws. 

The last time Southampton travelled to the Hawthorns it finished in their favour as a single Jordy Clasie goal was enough for his squad to go back to Hampshire with all three points.

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Baggies weak in midfield with numerous absentees

Pardew has a tough midfield selection ahead of this weekend's action with three notable first-team members on the sidelines; James Morrison and Nacer Chadli remain in the treatment room but Grzegorz Krychowiak was forced off in the visit to Manchester City midweek. 

Jonny Evans, heavily rumoured to depart the Hawthorns in last month's transfer window, was absent of the trip north on Wednesday but may return to the starting line-up for the visit of Southampton. 

January loan signing Daniel Sturridge could make his second Baggies appearance after only being used as a late substitute during the midweek defeat at the Etihad.

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Newest arrival set to make first start for Saints

Mauricio Pellegrino only made the one signing in January and that was Guido Carrillo - whose made two appearances off the bench against Watford in the FA Cup and Brighton - with a name in the first eleven seemingly likely following the minor setback to Manolo Gabbiadini which would see the Italian miss out on the trip to the Hawthorns.