Southampton must summon the sort of energy that saw them overcome Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City at St Mary’s if they are to take three points against an in-form West Ham side.
However, Mauricio Pochettino’s men will be buoyed by the three victories on the trot that has taken them to the comfort of a mid-table position on 37 points with just six games to go. Indeed, the Saints are currently above Sam Allardyce’s Hammers on goal difference.
Pochettino’s squad has been hit by a virus that has swept through the club this week, with Luke Shaw, Jason Puncheon and Jay Rodriguez, who has scored in each of Southampton’s last three wins, form that has even led to calls for him to be included in the next England squad.
West Ham have improved in recent weeks, comfortably seeing off West Brom at Upton Park before impressively holding Liverpool to a goalless draw at Anfield last week to leave them on the brink of survival.
Allardyce will be pleased to welcome back Andy Carroll after the England striker was ineligible to play against his parent club last week and the Gateshead-born target-man will look to produce a similar display to the one that overwhelmed West Brom a fortnight ago.
Elsewhere, Joe Cole misses out once again with a thigh problem while Mark Noble’s ongoing shoulder injury continues. Winston Reid and George McCartney are also missing while there is a doubt over James Tomkins’ availability due to a calf injury.
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