Southampton v West Ham: Five players under the spotlight

St Marys Southampton

Includes a small round-up of their season so far, and the last time they met.

Last season 1-1

Odds: Southampton 10/11, Draw 13/5, West Ham 19/5

Both sides go into this game having picked up four points from their first three games, and having lost last time out. Southampton lost at Norwich whilst West Ham’s defeat to Stoke at home was relatively surprising.

As mentioned earlier in the week, West Ham are without Joe Cole, Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll going into this game, Carroll suffered a further injury as he was stepping up his recovery from injury.

For Mauricio Pochettino there seems to be no such worries for the Southampton boss as he has a near full-strength squad to choose from.

With Southampton odds on, a lot of people seem to fancy a home win. Here are a few players to look out for in this game:

Luke Shaw

He missed out on their last outing at Norwich as he was unused sub, perhaps Pochettino was protecting him from a knock he picked up against Sunderland. He seems to be catching the eye of many in the footballing world, so will he put in another impressive performance to enhance his reputation further?

Victor Wanyama

Their big money signing from Celtic has been under the radar when it comes to the wider footballing audience since moving to the South Coast. Though he will have a pivotal role in this game if Allardyce decides to set up West Ham to play a little deeper and thwart his opponents, Wanyama will see a lot of the ball and may be the one to start a lot of Southampton’s moves.

Kevin Nolan

The West Ham captain always seems to have a pivotal role to play in Allardyce’s set-up, and is often the player who can swing the game in the Hammers’ favour. The question is how often will he need to tuck back into midfield rather than playing an advanced position to stop the home side from playing their flowing, passing game?

Mohamed Diame

He is the man in the middle that seems to make West Ham tick, if he plays well, West Ham play well. He was subject to a few inquiries recently but he seems to have been a little quiet, can he come to the fore and this game and get the Hammers moving?

Rickie Lambert

The last time he went on an international break, he returned to his club and scored a 90th minute penalty. But after a trip to Ukraine in midweek, will that affect Lambert’s performance in any way? It will be interesting to see how he has fully adapted to being an England international when returning to his club.

Last time they met:

Southampton 1-1 West Ham UnitedPremier League April 2013

Both sides went into this game with the hope of picking up points to ease any relegation fears they may have had, and they came away with a share of the spoils.

After a goalless first half, Southampton took the lead just before the hour mark with a Gaston Ramirez strike, after having his initial shot blocked. Andy Carroll replied fairly swiftly for the visitors as his free-kick went under the Saints wall to level the game up, giving both sides a point and moving them closer to Premier League safety.

image: © mischatuffield

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