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Despite losing out their key players to league counterparts, Southampton have managed to create their own identity in the league until this season. However, their top-flight status is now in jeopardy and a defeat to Chelsea this weekend has further endangered their Premier League existence.
Mauricio Pellegrino faced a dismissal following a dismal run of form and things have not improved much under Mark Hughes either. However, a 2-0 lead against Chelsea was thought to be that turnaround but conceding thrice in quick succession late in the game sent them further deep down the drop zone.
The Saints are now 5 points adrift of safety and their Thursday night clash against Leicester City at King Power Stadium might add more misery to their escape plan if they lose it.
Started as the second fiddle to Fraser Forster but earned the first-choice status under Pellegrino and has retained his place between the sticks under new boss Mark Hughes as well.
The Polish youngster scored a goal on Saturday afternoon against Chelsea but failed to defend a two-goal lead and suffered a disappointing defeat at St. Mary’s. The suspension of Jack Stephens has allowed Bednarek to impress in his deep defensive role and the player must grab these opportunities to earn a regular status.
The Japanese international is the most experienced centre-back in the current Saints squad. Yoshida, however, must take charge of his defensive line and inspire them to stage a late resurgence in order to avoid a relegation.
The Dutchman must step up now, shaking off the shambles, and help his side to script a ‘great escape’ in the remaining few games.
The Portuguese full-back has underperformed this season as he has offered little going forward, also struggling to track back and perform his defensive duties on many occasions.
Romeu has featured week in week out in the Saints midfield, screening the backline and settling down well in a destructive role in the middle of the park.
The former Juventus midfielder had some sparkling moments but failed to perform consistently and live up to the expectations. However, he must step up now and deliver his absolute best to win the remaining fixtures.
The English international has been impressive with his overlaps, crosses, one-twos and attacking contribution but has struggled defensively, particularly while defending the counter-attacks.
The youngster has been impressive from set-pieces and holds a bright career ahead if he continues to improve and meet the level of expectations.
The Serbian is now one of the senior names in the Saints squad who needs to guide his teammates to script a comeback and complete the uphill task of avoiding a relegation scare.
Shane Long provides work rate but has not been convincing enough in front of goal. Manolo Gabbiadini is out of form as well and so the gaffer must hand Charlie Austin a run of games.