Mauricio Pellegrino had a relatively decent start as the Southampton manager as his side managed to grab a goalless draw against Swansea City. The Virgil Van Dijk saga has continued to deter their preparations but credit goes to the manager who has been able to garner a quality squad despite the lack of too much activity in the transfer market.
It is very surprising that an ambitious club like Southampton have been sitting idly in the transfer market without making too much noise.
The arrival of Pellegrino has given the fans reason to rejoice as the supporters and the players had presumably gotten frustrated over the claustrophobic atmosphere created by former manager Claude Puel. Puel guided the Saints to a commendable eighth place in the Premier League table but his playing style invited much criticism.
Predicted 4-2-3-1 Southampton Lineup Against West Ham United
Fraser Forster has been one of the most consistent performers for the Saints in the last few seasons. The gigantic keeper had a pretty good game against Swansea and is expected to repeat his performance between the sticks.
The Van Dijk issue is nowhere near conclusion so Pellegrino is unlikely to include him in first team action. Youngster Jack Stephens has done very well in the Saints backline and he should start in the centre of defence.
Maya Yoshida is expected to retain his place in the side and he will deputise in the defence alongside Stephens.
Cedric Soares has been one of the best performers for the Saints and his darting runs down the flanks could prove to be a handful for a seemingly weak Hammers defence which got exposed badly in the last match.
Ryan Bertrand has transformed himself into one of the most formidable left backs and he will start the match in his usual position.
Oriol Romeu and Steven Davis will be in the thick of things in the centre of the pitch. Both the players have the tenacity to control these kinds of games and Pellegrino would be relying a lot on them.
Dusan Tadic has been at the forefront of the Saints attack and he is set to start in the No. 10 position.
Nathan Redmond’s pace and quality of delivery could create a problematic situation for Pablo Zabaleta.
James Ward-Prowse will start on the right flank looking to get his team an early breakthrough.
Manolo Gabbiadini has had a good last season and he will spearhead the Saints attack.