People talk about "crunch games" all the time, and it is perhaps overused as a term, but it is difficult to find a better way of describing this weekend's visit to Aston Villa for Saints.
This really is a game that could determine the future for one or both of these clubs. Villa are on a shocking run, with only an uncharacteristic victory over Liverpool at Anfield giving their supporters anything to smile about. They look extremely weak this season, certainly the worst Saints have faced so far, and that includes basement sides QPR and Reading.
But I am sure Villa and their fans will be looking at a winnable game too, as Saints' form has been a little erratic of late too.
Both teams are desperate for the three points, and both will look at each other as a great way of obtaining them. It is likely to be nervy and it could be a case of who deals with it better.
There will be a lot of encouragement for Nigel Adkins to take from the Birmingham side's Carling Cup defeat by League Two Bradford. Villa looked incredibly poor at the back (although Southampton aren't in a great position to talk) and especially bad at dealing with balls into the box. On paper it looks like a game where Rickie Lambert might have a field day.
Southampton shouldn't get too cocky though. Saints' defence has its problems too, and with Jose Fonte certainly out, it will be the target area for Paul Lambert too. Dealing with Benteke is a tall order at the best of times, but with a makeshift back four it will be even more difficult.
The benefit Saints will have is height. The introduction of Jos Hooiveld in place of Fonte, will not only give more height for defending against the Belgian striker, but also as a presence for attacking set pieces.
The good news for Saints comes in the full-back positions. Nathaniel Clyne is fit again, which should see him return at right-back and Jack Cork restored to midfield. On the left Saints will be boosted by the news that sought after young star Luke Shaw has agreed in principle to sign a five-year contract on his 18th birthday.
This is a great chance for Saints to get another win on the board, and Villa's vulnerable situation only enhances that, with 63% of Villa's conceded goals coming through the middle, they look bad at dealing with through balls, and this could be the ideal game for Gaston Ramirez to manipulate play from the middle of a support three.
Saints should be wary of the wounded Villains though, and Paul Lambert will have drummed into his players that they need a response to the Bradford result and recent league games. I am fully confident that if both sides play to the best of their ability Saints will have far too much for their opponents, but Saints will need an Arsenal style performance and not the flatness of the Chelsea game.
Clyne Yoshida Hooiveld Shaw
Puncheon Ramirez Guly
Keep the faith.