Merson describes Southampton’s clash against Stoke City as a cup final

Southampton are in desperate need of points heading into this weekend’s Premier League action.

Mauricio Pellegrino’s side have picked up just five top-flight wins all season, and only one of those has come in their last 15 matches.

As it stands, the coastal club are out of the relegation zone on goal difference alone.

Despite the Saints’ current predicament, the slight positive is that they have only lost once in their last six league games.

The team’s FA Cup form has been positive as they find themselves in the quarter-finals of the competition.

Last weekend, Pellegrino’s side took on Burnley at Turf Moor, and they were staring at another defeat until Manolo Gabbiadini saved them in the dying minutes with an equaliser.

Earlier in the season, Southampton were beaten by the Potters 2-1 at the Bet365 Stadium.

With only 11 league games remaining, the coastal club need to collect as many points as possible in order retain their place in the division.

Former Arsenal player Paul Merson thinks that this weekend’s encounter is a crucial one for Southampton.

The pundit told Sky Sports:

“For me, Southampton have to win this game. It’s like a cup final for them because after this four of their next five games in the league are away from home. This is probably one of Southampton’s biggest games in a long time, especially with an FA Cup quarter-final coming up. They have the chance to reach the last four so they’ll want to get a couple of positive result in the league before that.”

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