Opinion: Could Southampton achieve European football?

As the season edges ever closer to an end, Southampton are eyeing their future in continental competitions.

Opinion: Could Southampton achieve European football?
Ronald Koeman | Photo sourced: Independant.co.uk

Graziano Pelle’s double at Stoke could put him back into form and he may be the saving grace that Southampton need to keep their current position as they patiently pray that Manchester United win the FA Cup.

The Saints are currently seventh in the Premier League table, just three points behind sixth-placed Manchester United and seven from a Champions League spot.

Stoke victory should give squad boost

The win at Stoke pushed Southampton onto 44 points, boosting their chance of returning to European competition. Victory at the Britannia Stadium could be the kick-start the Saints need to keep their dreams of achieving European football alive, with seventh place able to seel a spot if United win the Cup.

Graziano Pelle (left) celebrating after scoring against Stoke | Photo Sourced: Talksport
Graziano Pelle (left) celebrating after scoring against Stoke | Photo Sourced: Talksport

I feel like the Saints’ intense rise has floundered a bit this season, but a few patches of improving form mean that they have moved up in the league with eight matches remaining in the 2015/16 season.

But Saturday's victory at Stoke will count for very little if the team don't follow it up and beat Liverpool who are breathing down Southampton's necks in eighth and on the same number of points with two games in hand.

Saints show inconsistencies against fellow European chasers

With the recent form, they certainly have a good chance of being successful in Europe, however, there is a lot of competition to pick up a spot in the top seven this year. Compared to the other challengers, I think Southampton have been too inconsistent when they have to go up against the likes of Manchester United who are the currently in prime position, as well as West Ham and Liverpool.

International call-ups may hamper chances

With members of the Saints squad being called up to the England senior and under-21 teams, this could hamper on Southampton's chances of gaining European football for next season. 

The workload will increase, and could cause injuries especially at this point in the season, with Southampton having played an extra league game to many of their rivals so far. 

Could Southampton achieve big things in Europe?

I certaintly beleive so.