Southampton host Wolverhampton Wanderers at St Mary’s on Saturday knowing that three points will take them a massive step closer to Premier League survival.
Going into the weekend’s fixtures Saints have a five-point cushion ahead of 18th-placed Cardiff City with only one relegation spot still up for grabs, but with the Bluebirds facing fellow strugglers Burnley and Brighton and Hove Albion in their next two matches it seems like a crucial period.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men were unfortunate in the end not to take anything against Liverpool following a positive display, and they may be facing Wolves at just the right time following their FA Cup semi-final collapse last weekend.
That defeat against Watford could go one of two ways; affect Nuno Santo’s men mentally for the rest of the campaign, or act as a catalyst to bounce back and secure a seventh-place finish in the top flight.
Hasenhuttl will have confidence in his team to deliver, but the appointment of Jon Moss as referee for the clash is hardly ideal.
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The one positive is that only one official who has taken charge of more than 20 Premier League matches this term has a higher home win percentage than his (65.2%), as per WhoScored.
Aside from that they are hard to come by, and back in August Southampton captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was dismissed by Moss as the south coast outfit were beaten 2-1 by Leicester City at St Mary’s.
In fact, Saints are without a win in their previous eight Premier League fixtures when the 48-year-old has been the man in the middle, with their last success coming away at West Ham United in September 2016.
A change of fortune in that regard is certainly required this weekend, because if they fail to pick up three points and Cardiff do the fight for survival will be very much alive and kicking again.