Southampton vs West Ham United Preview: Struggling sides looking to bounce back in clash on South Coast

Southampton vs West Ham United Preview: Struggling sides looking to bounce back in clash on South Coast

Southampton will host West Ham on Saturday with just one point separating the two sides ahead of kick-off.

Danial Kennedy

Both Southampton and West Ham United will desperately looking for returns to form this weekend, with just one point separating these sides in middle of the Premier League table ahead of Saturday's clash at the St Mary's Stadium. 

Great chance to bounce back 

Saints fan will have been on a high just last Wednesday when they secured passage to the EFL Cup final with a 1-0 win over Liverpool, but they have been firmly been brought back down to earth with an almighty thud. 

They exited the FA Cup fourth round with little merit after a 5-0 defeat at the Arsenal, but Claude Puel will have earmarked the trip to the Liberty Stadium as a return to form against a struggling Swansea City.

However, Paul Clement's resurgence continued, with goals Alfie Mawson and Gylfi Sigurdsson cancelling out Shane Long's effort to give them the narrow 2-1 victory. The hosts will buoyed by their dominant 3-0 win at the London Stadium earlier in the season, and will be hoping for a better result. 

Looking for redemption 

It has been a poor season all round for the Hammers, but things looked to be on the rise once again Slaven Bilic's side ahead of Wednesday's visit of Manchester City. Consecutive victories over Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough gave some confidence, but goals from Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Gabriel Jesus and Yaya Toure saw them slump to another heavy defeat at the London Stadium. 

The scrap of confidence they can take is that they have always bounce back after heavy defeats to both Arsenal and City this season, and Bilic will be hopeful that it will be the case again this time around on the South Coast. 


Team news 

The big absentee for Puel will be the continued absence of star defender Virgil van Dijk, who has been ruled out for three months after picking up an ankle injury in the 3-0 defeat of champions Leicester City. Jay Rodriguez and James Ward-Prowse are back in contention after returning to training following injury, while new signing Manolo Gabbiadini could also be involved after his £14million move from Napoli. 

The big piece of team news for the Hammers and for Southampton will be return of former Saints captain Jose Fonte, who will make a swift return to the South Coast after his £8m move to capital last month. 

Cheikhou Kouyate returns to the squad after African Cup of Nations duty while Robert Snodgrass could make his full debut, there are some concerns for full-back Sam Byram however who will be assessed after picking up a suspected hamstring injury midweek. 

West Ham United will take on Southampton at St Mary's Stadium on Saturday, February 4 with kick-off at 3pm GMT.