West Ham v Southampton preview
Last Updated: 20/10/12 2:16pm
Guy Demel: West Ham full-back is an injury worry for the game against Southampton
It may only be October, but Sam Allardyce has already billed West Ham United's home date with Southampton on Saturday as a 'six-pointer'.
The Hammers have made a bright start to life back in the Premier League, and occupy a top-half standing at present, but they are taking nothing for granted.
Allardyce has been around long enough to know that fortunes can change in an instant, making it all the more important to life live in the present.
That means taking as many points as possible off those sides in and around you, and those who were promoted alongside you if you are new to the top-flight.
Southampton will feel exactly the same as they prepare to head for the East End, with Nigel Adkins' side yet to accumulate the points tally their performances have deserved.
A leaky defence has been the root cause of their troubles so far, with a division-high 20 goals conceded in just seven fixtures.
The Saints will be aware that they need to plug those gaps if they are to stop undermining all of the good work they continue to carry out at the opposite end of the field - with there only seven sides to have scored more goals than Adkins' men so far this term.
Defenders Winston Reid and Guy Demel are West Ham's main injury concerns heading into the weekend.
Reid (back) and Demel (thigh) will have to prove their fitness ahead of the match, while the Hammers will also be without Ricardo Vaz Te who has had surgery on his dislocated shoulder.
Andy Carroll came through England duty unscathed and is expected to start up front, while Raphael Spiegel will back up Jussi Jaaskelainen in goal, with Stephen Henderson beginning his three-month loan with Ipswich.
Southampton will be missing record signing Gaston Ramirez on Saturday, and for the foreseeable future.
The 21-year-old faces another four weeks out after problems related to a dead leg picked up before the international break and will be joined on the sidelines by Frazer Richardson (thigh).
Jack Cork, Danny Butterfield (both knee) and Tadanari Lee (elbow) are also out, but Nathaniel Clyne is set to return. Artur Boruc could be involved with Southampton for the first time.
Previous game's starting line-ups
- 13 Adrian
- 18 Jenkinson
- 5 Tomkins
- 2 Reid
- 3 Cresswell
- 30 Song
- 4 Nolan
- 8 Kouyate
- 11 Downing
- 15 Sakho
- 9 Carroll
Team taken from West Ham United vs Sunderland (Barclays Premier League) on Saturday 13th December 2014
- 23 Forster
- 2 Clyne
- 6 Fonte
- 5 Gardos
- 33 Targett
- 4 Schneiderlin
- 12 Wanyama
- 16 Ward-Prowse
- 10 Mane
- 21 Bertrand
- 7 Long
Team taken from Southampton vs Sheffield United (Capital One Cup) on Tuesday 16th December 2014
Barclays Premier League
|4||West Ham United||16||28|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||16||17|
|18||Queens Park Rangers||16||14|