Southampton desperate for victory against Bournemouth as survival battle heats up

Southampton desperate for victory against Bournemouth as survival battle heats up

Southampton host Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday desperately needing a victory to keep their hopes of avoiding relegation alive.

Saints head into the game 18th in the table, four points adrift of Swansea City with only four games remaining.

Manager Mark Hughes’ arrival at the club has failed to spark an upturn in their fortunes, with the Welshman picking up just one point since replacing Mauricio Pellegrino back in March.

The Saints have lost four of their last five league games, but face a Bournemouth side also struggling for form.

Eddie Howe’s team haven’t won in five games, although they are 11th in the Premier League and should steer clear of trouble this season.

Tickets for the game are still available at official Southampton website. For affordable hotel rooms in the city centre, check Cheaprooms.co.uk. The closest hotel to the stadium is the Premier Inn Southampton City Centre.

Hughes has no injury concerns following Southampton’s 2-0 defeat against in the FA Cup last Sunday.

However, Sofiane Boufal won’t be considered for selection after it was revealed that he has been banished to train on his own following a dressing-room bust-up with Hughes.

The 24-year-old refused his manager’s request to warm-up during Saints’ 3-2 Premier League defeat at home to Chelsea earlier this month and Hughes verbally laid into Boufal after the game.

The midfielder has not featured in the squad for the South Coast strugglers’ last two matches, a 0-0 draw at Leicester and Sunday’s cup game against Chelsea.

For Bournemouth, Adam Smith is not yet ready to return to action, while Junior Stanislas and Tyrone Mings are unlikely to play again this season.

The two sides fought out a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth earlier in the season, with striker Charlie Austin rescuing a point for Saints after Ryan Fraser had put the home side ahead.

Bournemouth have recorded just two wins in their past 10 meetings with Southampton in all competitions. Their most recent success was a 2-0 victory back in March 2016.

With games against Everton, Swansea City and Manchester City still to come, time is running out for Southampton to claw their way out of trouble.

Southampton are favourites, along with West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City, to be relegated this season, but a victory over Bournemouth could breathe some life into their survival hopes.

With Swansea set to face Chelsea on Saturday the upcoming weekend may go a long way to determining whether Southampton can avoid dropping into the Championship at the end of the season.