Southampton Match Preview
By Tom Dowsett
Friday 28 Feb 2020 17:34:00
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West Ham United may have suffered a narrow defeat at Liverpool on Monday night but they will certainly take heart from their performance. They are now looking to build momentum as they face a crucial home encounter with Southampton visiting Stratford on Saturday afternoon.

It would be a good end to the month If they were to grab three points, as it would see them pick up their first victory since the 4-0 demolition of AFC Bournemouth on New Year's Day.

Although Ralph Hasenhüttl's Saints have been picking up results since the turn of the year, they haven't won here since September 2016 when Claude Puel masterminded a 3-0 victory.

David Moyes will surely have fond memories of the last time he took charge of this fixture, as back in March 2018, the Hammers confirmed that the points would remain in East London by inflicting a first defeat in charge of the Saints for then manager Mark Hughes before half-time. The Scotsman could really do with a similar outcome this time around.

If they do manage to claim, what would be only a fourth home success, it will mean that the Irons have achieved their first double of the season after they won the reverse fixture back in December in what turned out to be Manuel Pellegrini's last victory in charge.

Moyes may feel that this is the right opportunity for Jarrod Bowen to make his full debut and if he does, the winger will also be appearing in front of the home fans for the first time since completing his deadline day move from Hull City last month. 

Tomáš Souček will be missing for up to three weeks with a hip injury sustained shortly after half-time at Anfield on Monday night so Pablo Fornals will fill in for him after making an impact off the bench against the league leaders.

It was originally thought that Ryan Fredericks would miss the rest of the season after he picked up a shoulder injury in the 2-0 defeat at Manchester City on 19 February but, following successful surgery, the news was confirmed on Wednesday that he will only be out for six weeks. 

Jeremy Ngakia filled in for the former Fulham man against Jürgen Klopp's Reds last time out and once again performed impressively, leaving the Hammers' boss with the dilemma of whether to stick with the youngster or go with the more experienced option of Pablo Zabaleta.

On Merseyside, Felipe Anderson started for the first time since the encounter away at newly-promoted Sheffield United on 10 January and he could retain his place if Moyes plays the same formation. However, if he changes shape and employs Sébastien Haller as the lone striker, then Michail Antonio will join the midfield, though Manuel Lanzini is also in contention.

Saturday's match is a 3pm kick-off and the referee is Anthony Taylor.


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