West Ham United head to Southampton this afternoon with three new faces in the squad for the first time.

West Ham know they could return to the top of the fledgling Premier League table with a win over the Saints.

That’s something West Ham have managed more often than not in recent years with the Hammers enjoying seven wins from the last nine meetings and just one defeat.

FBL-ENG-PR-WEST HAM-SOUTHAMPTON
Photo by IAN KINGTON AFP via Getty Images

Four new signings in West Ham squad heading to take on Saints

Southampton have been hit with a triple blow ahead of the game. The Saints have blown hot and cold so far this season with a 3-1 opening day defeat to Everton and draws against Man United and Newcastle.

David Moyes will have his four summer recruits in the squad with Alphonse Areola, Kurt Zouma, Nikola Vlasic and Alex Kral all having trained ahead of the match,

West Ham will have newly crowned Premier League player of the month Michail Antonio leading the line at St Mary’s.

But Moyes looks set to make one big change elsewhere in the team with £29 million signing Zouma replacing Craig Dawson in central defence.

Zouma to come in for West Ham debut in place of Dawson? Photo: West Ham United

Zouma in for Dawson as Moyes makes one big change to starting XI

Even if Dawson never kicked another ball for West Ham he has been a brilliant, bargain signing for the Hammers after proving doubters wrong when he joined from Watford last season.

But he does on occasion look clumsy and cumbersome, particularly against quick players.

Dawson was adjudged to have been at fault for both goals West Ham conceded in the 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace last time out.

 

And while Moyes may be tempted to give his new signings more time to bed in, Zouma will partner Angelo Ogbonna given he is already well up to speed with Premier League football and having played for France over the international break.

West Ham United v Atalanta - Pre-season Friendly
Photo by Rob Newell CameraSport via Getty Images

Fab to keep his place with Areola lined up for debut in Europa League?

There are question marks over goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski too.

But he will keep his place for now with Areola expected to make his debut in the Europa League game at Dinamo Zagreb next Thursday.

Vlasic and Kral will be options from the bench. If West Ham are level or losing expect to see Vlasic early in the second half.

If they are leading Kral could well be brought on as a late sub to help shore things up.

Predicted West Ham starting XI to face Southampton:

Fabianski, Coufal, Zouma, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Soucek, Rice, Bowen, Benrahma, Fornals, Antonio.

In other news, David Moyes ‘spokesman’ kicks off charm offensive for potential January signing.

And Pablo Fornals injury fears quashed after surprise substitution.

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