February 1, 2018 / 4:18 PM / a year ago

Carrillo set for Southampton start as Gabbiadini faces late test

FILE PHOTO - Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - Nantes vs Monaco - The Stade de la Beaujoire - Louis Fonteneau, Nantes, France - November 29, 2017 Monaco's Guido Carrillo REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

(Reuters) - Southampton’s Guido Carrillo is in contention to start Saturday’s Premier League clash at West Bromwich Albion as fellow forward Manolo Gabbiadini faces a late fitness test, manager Mauricio Pellegrino said on Thursday.

Argentine Carrillo, who signed from Monaco for around 19 million pounds last week, impressed on his league debut once he was introduced as a 46th-minute substitute in the 1-1 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday.

“It is one possibility, I think he (Carrillo) was alive and he showed with his energy that he wants to help the team and show his potential,” Pellegrino told a news conference when asked if the club’s record signing would start.

“Little by little he will come back to his best level and the connection of the team will get better.”

Southampton are currently without top scorer Charlie Austin and could be dealt another injury blow after Italian Gabbiadini missed Thursday’s training.

“He is with the doctor now trying to do a scan... he feels some pain in his hip and we’ll decide tomorrow. I am waiting for the doctor for some information,” Pellegrino added.

Southampton are 18th in the league with 23 points and Pellegrino said the club had to take positives from Wednesday’s clash into the game against basement side West Brom.

“After the (Brighton) goal we controlled the game,” he said. “We need to try and win games. We have to continue doing things to try and improve but we have to think about one game at a time.

“I imagine that away we will have more space but at the same time we have to control the opponent (West Brom) – the opponent is really strong in set plays.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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