Allardyce highlights the one big problem with West Ham's line-up against Southampton

Sam Allardyce Press Conference 12/02/2014

Sam Allardyce has chosen an untested system for West Ham's fixture against Southampton.

After Manchester United's late equaliser on Sunday, West Ham are looking to avoid heartbreak tonight when they take on Southampton.

The Hammers were the better side against United just days ago, but had to settle for a 1-1 draw after Blind's goal cancelled out Cheikhou Kouyate's opener.

Now facing the high-flying Saints, West Ham are looking to stay in touch with the top six having won just one of their last seven Premier League games.

The injury crisis at Upton Park means that manager Sam Allardyce is limited in what he can do tonight, and he's chosen an unfamiliar setup at St. Mary's Stadium.

The usual midfield diamond has gone, with Alex Song flanked by Stewart Downing and Morgan Amalfitano in a three-man midfield, as Mark Noble is ruled out with a virus.

The attack is where things are really different though, with three centre forwards playing. Carlton Cole is likely to play down the middle, meaning Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia will occupy wider positions in a patchwork line-up.

Allardyce spoke to the West Ham official website before kick off, and said there could be a big problem for the Hammers given that it's such a new system.

"We're playing a front three which can work very well in a 4-3-3. We've got three strikers playing, even though they'll start wide, we want Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia to come and join in and work with Carlton Cole - it can work very well," said Allardyce.

"The only problem is that we've had little or no time to work on it, based on the timeframe, based on the injuries, and it means that we're going out and hoping a little bit that it'll all work well. If it doesn't, we may have to change it," he added.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch