PREVIEW: West Ham United vs Southampton

By SFC Media time Fri 29 Aug Club

Saints return to London on Saturday for their third Premier League game of the season, just a few days on from their successful trip to Millwall in the Capital One Cup.

Tuesday’s 2-0 win at The Den gave Ronald Koeman his first competitive win as Southampton manager in game that he fielded eight of the eleven that started in last Saturday’s goalless draw against West Bromwich Albion.

Gastón Ramírez was given a late run-out at The Den on his return to full fitness, and the Uruguayan playmaker could come into contention for this weekend's game at Upton Park.

Two players who won’t make the journey are strikers Sam Gallagher and Jay Rodriguez who remain sidelined as Saints go in search of their first league win of the campaign. Lloyd Isgrove is also unlikely to be involved after limping out of Tuesday's game.

Hosts West Ham go into the match with a league win under their belt following last weekend’s 3-1 victory at Crystal Palace. That success saw them pick up their first points of the season having lost on the opening day to Tottenham.

The Hammers exited the Capital One Cup after a penalty shoot-out against Sheffield United in midweek. Recent arrival Diafra Sakho marked his home debut with a first goal for the club, but Winston Reid’s own-goal took the game to extra-time and spot-kicks, which the Blades won 5-4.

Scoring more goals is the remit for Sam Allardyce’s men this season, and Sakho’s signing aside, the Irons have added fresh faces to their attacking options with Mauro Zarate and Enner Valencia also swelling their forward line up.

“What we need to do is produce the quality of finishing we did against Crystal Palace,” said Allardyce. “If we do that on a regular basis this season we'll get a lot of wins under our belt. A little bit more consistency in front of goal and we'll be fine.”

They’ll need those options in light of the news that skipper Kevin Nolan is out for six weeks. The West Ham midfielder contributed seven goals last term including one against Saints in a 3-1 win at the Boleyn Ground during February. 

The Hammers will also be without Andy Carroll, Matt Jarvis, Carl Jenkinson and James Collins who are all sidelined through injury.

Mike Dean has been appointed as the referee for this game. So far this season he has taken charge of Manchester United’s opening day defeat to Swansea City, and last weekend’s goalless draw between Aston Villa and Newcastle United where he dismissed former Saints defender Mike Williamson late on.

If you can’t make the game, then don’t forget to follow the club’s official channels on social media, with live updates on Twitter and Facebook.

Audio commentary is available to subscribers of Saints Player, and don’t forget to keep on checking saintsfc.co.uk throughout the weekend for further previews and all of the reaction to the game.

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