West Ham United look for a bounce back from their clear opening defeat last week, when they take on Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium.
A rough 4-0 defeat to Manchester United has caused Slaven Bilic to be stern with his team’s performance at Old Trafford, and has lead him to making a big change in the starting XI. Pedro Obiang is dropped for 18-year-old Declan Rice to partner Mark Noble in the holding midfield. But that isn’t the only change in the lineup for the Hammers, as Jose Fonte and Aaron Cresswell make their season starting debuts, replacing their position rivals Angelo Ogbonna and Arthur Masuaku respectively. Michail Antonio makes his long awaited return to action with the start, as Edmilson Fernandes is also out the XI.
Meanwhile for Southampton, they are coached now by former Deportivo Alaves manager Mauricio Pellergino, their latest new manager to continue their constant changes each year at the helm. The Saints hope that Pellergino will have the success of another Argentina Mauricio, Pochettino, though not too much to have to search for a new touchline boss once again.
Pellergino hands a debut start to club record signing Mario Lemina, as he replaces James Ward-Prowse in the lineup. It’s a fully fit squad for Southampton, while Bilic has Cheikhou Kouyate, Andy Carroll and Manuel Lanzini set for a return next week at Newcastle.
Can the Hammers bounce back, or will the Saints start the season with four points from two games? Find out next.
Starting Lineups and Bench
Winston Reid Stretched Off
Winston Reid leaving the pitch on a stretcher. pic.twitter.com/yUhjMzEbXl— West Ham Photos (@whufcphotos) August 19, 2017
Devastating news indeed. Bilic must be wondering how he is so damn cursed.