West Ham United take on Southampton on Saturday evening in a game which will decide Manuel Pellegrini’s future.
Defeat for West Ham at St Mary’s and the Chilean will be sacked, according to widespread reports.
Southampton have been steadily improving and go into the clash with two wins and a draw from their last five.
The Hammers were comfortably beating Arsenal 1-0 for 55 minutes last time out.
Lame Hammers face relegation zone at Christmas
But a lame collapse saw the Gunners score three goals in nine minutes.
That has left West Ham on the brink of the relegation zone. Lose and they will more than likely find themselves in the bottom three for Christmas.
Pellegrini has one last roll of the dice for the game.
And he is set to make two changes to the side which started against Arsenal, one of them enforced.
Pellegrini to make two changes to side for Saints
Issa Diop will come back into the team in place of Fabian Balbuena. The Paraguayan’s distribution was so poor against Arsenal it put West Ham under unnecessary pressure for the second half.
A change that most West Ham fans will be dreading comes at left-back.
Pellegrini is set to bring in a sinner for the Saints as the woeful Arthur Masuaku returns to the starting XI.
Masuaku will come into the side in place of Aaron Cresswell, who has picked up yet another injury.
It was no coincidence that West Ham conceded three goals in quick succession as soon as Masuaku entered the fray on Monday night. A truly awful defender who has no place near a West Ham squad let alone first team.
Two up top snubbed again as Pellegrini axe looms
Fans have been calling for Pellegrini play Sebastien Haller and Michail Antonio up front together.
But the signs were not good when they did eventually form a striker partnership at 3-1 down against Arsenal.
West Ham got worse if anything.
Supporters will find out on Saturday night if the players really are behind their manager.
Captain Mark Noble’s comments before the Arsenal game suggested Pellegrini is not getting his message across to the team.
Predicted West Ham starting XI vs Southampton:
Martin, Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Masuaku, Anderson, Noble, Rice, Snodgrass, Fornals, Antonio.