Premier League
Home | Scoreboard | Match Schedule | Standings | Clubs | Transfers | Player Leaders

Southampton-Watford Preview

(Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino has accepted the fact that his job is at risk ahead of Saturday's trip to Watford.

The Saints (4-8-10) may have beaten Fulham 1-0 in the FA Cup last weekend, but they are without a win over nine matches (0-4-5) in the Premier League and have plummeted to 17th in the table - outside of the relegation zone courtesy of merely goal differential.

A 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace last time out in the league saw pressure heap on head coach Pellegrino, but the Argentinian says that he accepts such a situation goes hand-in-hand with being a Premier League manager.

"It is part of our job," Pellegrino said. "The biggest risk in football is to work in football. In football you need results, they are everything. I don't think about that because it is part of our life. I just try to do my best.

"Obviously in football there are three results possible. Everything can pass, and every week history can change. I understand the situation of the fans because we have the same feeling. We are responsible for our situation."

The low morale at Southampton took a further hit with the departure of centre-back Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool in a huge transfer at the start of January, but Pellegrino says that the club aren't looking to replace him in the transfer market. Instead, a striker is the priority, according to the manager.

"I think the priority is to try to help the final third because Charlie Austin will be out and we don't have his profile in the squad," Pellegrino said. "That is one of our priorities."

Austin's hamstring strain is expected to keep him out for at least a month, but Cedric Soares, Wesley Hoedt and Matty Targett are close to returns after the own injury problems.

Watford (7-4-11) have plenty of injury issues of their own. Nathaniel Chalobah and Younes Kaboul are long-term absentees, while Kiko, Will Hughes, Miguel Britos, Tommy Hoban and Troy Deeney are doubts for this weekend's game.

However, despite that large injury list, the Hornets are not looking to bring in new faces.

"We are extremely happy with our squad," Watford technical director Filippo Giraldi said this week. "Usually we use the January transfer window to correct what is wrong, or if there has been issues like injury. But, we are extremely happy with our squad. We think we have a very talented and well-balanced squad."

Such an attitude is admirable, but performances on the pitch of late haven't matched such a positive assessment of Watford's squad. Seven losses in the last nine games have seen Marco Silva's side slip back towards trouble, and while their league position stands at 10th prior to the matchday, they are just five points clear of the relegation zone in what is a hugely compacted lower Premier League table.

Watford won 2-0 when these teams met at St. Mary's in September. That was their first win over the Saints in five matches since returning to the top-flight.

Updated January 11, 2018

Sports Data API Powered by STATS © 2019 by STATS.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.