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West Bromwich Albion 0 v 2 Southampton
SkyBet Championship
Friday, 16th February 2024 Kick-off 20:00
Southampton At West Bromwich Albion The Preview
Friday, 16th Feb 2024 14:39

The clock has been reset on our unbeaten run and it couldn’t be much tougher with a trip to The Hawthorns to take on arguably the 5th best team in the Championship, with the Baggies looking to cement their place in the play offs.

Tuesday night at Bristol City was a setback, but now Russell Martin needs to make sure that a drama does not become a crisis as he takes his team to West Brom.

At Ashton Gate Saints clearly missed the drive of Flynn Downes in the centre of the park but Martin has suggested that he expects that the loanee from West Ham will be fit for the game this evening.

After the defeat on Tuesday Martin knows that he has to get his team back on track and quickly, therefore the inclusion of Downes would be a start and I think that Stuart Armstrong will also return to the starting line up after being rested against Bristol City.

I would also expect at least one change if not two up front Adam Armstrong is a given, I would hope that he would be joined by Ryan Fraser and perhaps we could see Che Adams also back in the team

If Adams does not pass muster then an outside bet might be a rare start for Sekou Mara, some will balk at this, but Mara has added pace and strength off the bench and Russell Martin has hinted that he may well start a game at some point.

Although if neither of those options are used then I think Sam Edozie might get the nod over David Brooks as he looked the livelier up at Bristol.

For their part West Brom are a little patchy at present, but they go into this game on the back of three good results, so will fancy their chances on their own patch.

Their place in the play off spots is based on their home form, they have won 11, drawn 3 and lost just 2, that is up their with all of the 4 clubs above them, however their fans don’t see too many goals, in their 16 home games so far they have scored just 27 goals, but their meagre 11 conceded, means they don’t drop too many points at The Hawthorns.

So it is going to be a tough ask for Saints to get even a point, let alone a win, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done, this Southampton side has shown that it has fight in it, both against teams in the top half and also when the going gets tough in any game.

You don’t have a 25 game unbeaten run without having something about you, so Saints supporters should be optimistic and not pessimistic about our chances, not just tonight but the rest of the season.

But we do also have to look at ourselves, we have conceded 3 goals both of the last 2 games, the question asked is did we become a little too complacent in those games, did we push forward and leave ourselves open to counter attacks in a way that we weren’t doing for most of the last four months.

This is the big aspect of our game that Russell Martin needs to look at alongside defensive coach Colin Calderwood, to ensure that their is not a repeat of this, not just tonight, but the rest of the season.

A big big game tonight, but to be blunt I am probably going to be saying this in every preview for the rest of what has been a momentous and entertaining season.

Photo: Action Images

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TimSaint added 15:48 - Feb 16
Downes is a must if fit. He was missed big time in CM. Also recall S Arm.
At Bristol, with Edozie and Brooks, we were too lightweight on the wings, so Fraser and A Arm to return to the flanks and Che down the middle if fit.

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