Victor Wanyama and Morgan Schneiderlin returning from injury could provide Southampton with the extra impetus needed to secure a European place for next season.
The duo, who have been such a force in helping to make the Saints the tightest defence in England, both made their return in Saturday's fixture against Queens Park Rangers.
With them back in the squad it could be the perfect boost to the Southampton squad ahead of the end-of-season run in.
As a pair, there are few better partnerships in the Premier League, and Saints boss Ronald Koeman will no doubt know this.
They form an extra barrier in front of the defence that has made them so difficult to break down they are the envy of even the top sides.
With them both back from injury yesterday, Koeman will surely field them together on Wednesday against West Ham United at St. Mary's.
Missed when out
Although what they do sometimes goes unnoticed, when they have been out of the team recently, the Saints have not looked quite their usual selves.
With Wanyama starting at Loftus Road yesterday though, the extra dominance in the centre of the park was evident as they took control in the first half.
Having not played since coming off with a hamstring injury in the 1-0 win at Ipswich in the FA Cup, the Saints have scraped past Newcastle and lost to both Crystal Palace and Swansea.
Schneiderlin energy key
Whilst Wanyama does the dirty work, his partner in front of the back four does a different, more cultured job.
For Schneiderlin possesses the passing range and energy needed to play for any big club.
With him teammate behind him in midfield, the Frenchman knows he can make his now trademark forays forward that has seen him score four goals this season in all competitions.
End of season push
Having them back together at such a key point in their season is going to give the Saints a huge boost in their push for European places.
With two of their best players returning it will give the squad added depth and allow Koeman to utilise his players better from the bench as options have been limited in their absence.
Should they qualify for Europe next season, they would be hard pushed to find a midfield pairing quite as ready for the task that poses as the two they currently have on their books, a fact that Ronald Koeman will no doubt be aware of.
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