Mauricio Pellegrino says Southampton FA Cup tie against West Brom ‘like a final’

Mauricio Pellegrino says Southampton and West Brom “have nothing to lose” ahead of their fifth-round FA Cup tie on Saturday.

Both sides are in the relegation zone with 11 games left of the Premier League season – West Brom sit rock bottom and are six points adrift of Southampton in 18th.

Pellegrino suggested he could be making some changes to his starting eleven at the Hawthorns, but insists he will be setting up his side with the intention of progressing to the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Southampton 0-2 Liverpool

“Yes we are taking the FA Cup seriously, for many reasons,” said Pellegrino.

“Both teams have nothing to lose – we have to go forward because it’s like a final. Obviously, we have another chance if it’s a draw but that we have this possibility to progress is amazing.

“We want to move forward to the next round but also it can help us to improve as a team, to introduce players who have not played so much in recent games. It can also help us to believe more in our improvement since January.

“For those aspects I think it’ll be really important to play seriously in the game, and to try to do our best.

Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino has demanded his players show their courage as they fight for Premier League surivival.

On their previous trip to the Hawthorns, on February 3, Southampton earned a 3-2 victory and Pellegrino anticipates that this weekend’s game could involve even more goals with each side desperate to progress to the next phase.

“I can imagine both teams changing their style of play, maybe more attacking football because both teams need to score goals to progress,” he added.