Southampton's Mauricio Pellegrino asking for trouble if Mario Lemina doesn't start against Liverpool

Southampton's Argentinian manager Mauricio Pellegrino looks on before  the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at Wembley Stadium in London,...

Mario Lemina has not made back to back Premier League starts for Southampton since December.

Southampton's Argentinian manager Mauricio Pellegrino looks on before  the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at Wembley Stadium in London,...

One of the main issues that Southampton fans have had with Mauricio Pellegrino since he arrived at St Mary's in the summer has been the constant surprises that seem to come with many of his team selections.

One common joke that seems to pop up regularly amongst the Saints fans on social media after a game where one of their players has played particularly well is that that player will be rewarded for their fine display by starting the next game on the bench.

Southampton's Gabonese midfielder Mario Lemina runs with the ball during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and West Bromwich Albion at St Mary's Stadium in...

Mario Lemina is one of the players who appears to have been one of the main victims of Pellegrino's rotation policy, with the summer signing still awaiting his first back to back appearances of 2018. 

Lemina has arguably been one of the club's best players this term and has been in every matchday squad since the turn of the year, and yet he has started just twice in 2018 and, somewhat criminally, been an unused substitute on three occasions since the defeat to Crystal Palace last month. 

Mario Lemina of Southampton scores during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Southampton at The Hawthorns on February 3, 2018 in West Bromwich, England.

However, the former Juventus man provided all the evidence that Pellegrino could need to play him more often in the Saints' most recent game, starring and scoring in the 3-2 win over West Brom at The Hawthorns. 

Given that display and his general form throughout the campaign, it would surely be fair to say that Pellegrino - who is already under a lot of pressure from the fans - is simply asking for trouble if he does not decide to end Lemina's wait for back to back starts when they face Liverpool this weekend.

If he decides to take Lemina out of the starting lineup and put him on the bench, and the Saints lose, his decision making will be questioned once again. How can the manager justify dropping their best player the previous week to the bench?

Pellegrino has done it before, but after Lemina's inspired display at The Hawthorns, doing it once more will certainly do the manager no favours if Liverpool seal the victory. 

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