It has been an excellent five weeks for Saints and manager Russell Martin, going seven unbeaten in the Championship.

The results saw the boss nominated for October's manager of the month award and the club claw within nine points of automatic promotion. 

Saints have a chance to go into the final international break of 2023 with almost complete satisfaction as they host West Bromwich Albion.

The group have come a long way from their hapless selves in four consecutive league defeats, in which self-destruction and toothlessness were the key takeaways.

Martin's side have, however, fallen at the last hurdles before both international breaks already this season, leaving some question marks hanging over at the time. 

Having gone four unbeaten to start the campaign, a shock 5-0 defeat at Sunderland, the day after the summer transfer window shut, reverberated around Staplewood. 

It took them until the very end of the month to finally recover from that, kickstarting a comeback run with a 3-1 win over Leeds United. 

Victories against Stoke City and Rotherham could have put to bed any concerns before the October international break but Millers goalkeeper Viktor Johansson had other ideas. 

Not beating second bottom gave credence to doubters with two weeks left to stew over it - it is approaching double-figures the number of times Martin has since mentioned it. 

Saints have taken 10 points from the 12 available since, scoring 93rd, 95th and 96th-minute goals since to evidence their character and grit. 

West Brom, under Marcelo Bielsa's former assistant and the man who led Huddersfield to a playoff final, Carlos Corberan, conclude this block of games

They will be stern opposition. Rising quietly but surely up to fifth in the Championship table, they sit just one point below Saints in fourth. 

They have been characterised by a solid defence, keeping a league-high of seven clean sheets with only runaway Leicester City conceding fewer goals than their 15.

West Brom are disciplined, never break shape, and are happy to let teams spread the ball around in innocuous areas, but yet still score at the same rate as Saints (25 in 15). 

Corberan's side are better at the Hawthorns than they are on the road, winning just two on their travels this season.

However, those victories, a 4-0 thumping at Preston North End and a comfortable 2-0 win at Coventry City, have come in their last three trips. 

West Brom have not conceded the first goal in any of their last eight league matches, but Saints have scored first in each of their last eight. 

The litmus test will be unlocking the visitors. Saints top scorer Adam Armstrong has been involved in 15 goals (12 goals and three assists) in his last 10 home Championship matches.

Stuart Armstrong will be key in this area too but Martin hinted at a possible second change, as well as Jan Bednarek coming out, due to a knock taken last week.

That could also be James Bree, who was withdrawn at the Den after 71 minutes due to a minor concern, or Kamaldeen Sulemana, who has carried an injury for a month. 

Whatever team Martin puts out, a positive result - ideally, a sixth win in eight - would be welcome to keep the good vibes rolling.

Martin told the Daily Echo: "It would be lovely for momentum and to keep putting pressure on the teams above us, but I'm sure West Brom will be feeling the same way.

"If we can keep on performing I am really confident that we can get a result and a positive feeling going into the break.

"It is so powerful when you have momentum and belief. If we can get through this and win, I think we'll be in a brilliant place to come back to."