West Ham v Southampton preview: Charlie Austin in line for rare start
By James Walker-Roberts and Tom Bennett
Last Updated: 25/09/16 4:02pm
Charlie Austin is pushing for a starting role when Southampton travel to West Ham on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports 1 HD.
The striker has netted four goals in his last three games to help Saints recover from a slow start to the season.
West Ham vs So'ton
September 25, 2016, 3:30pm
Claude Puel's side picked up their first Premier League win of the season last weekend, sandwiched between victories in the Europa League and EFL Cup.
West Ham also enjoyed success in the EFL Cup, with Dimitri Payet's last-gasp free-kick earning them a 1-0 win over Accrington Stanley.
Having lost their last three Premier League games, and conceding 11 goals in the process, Hammers boss Slaven Bilic hopes the win can be a turning point.
"I've seen those kind of things happen in football," he said after the win over Accrington. "We can't lose the confidence, we have to be happy and come out in a positive way."
West Ham will be without a recognised left-back against Southampton after Arthur Masuaku joined Aaron Cresswell on the sidelines with a knee injury.
Bilic can welcome back centre-half Winston Reid, however, after he shook off the knock which has kept him out for a fortnight.
Andy Carroll is progressing well after a knee injury and will be back after the international break. Fellow forwards Andre Ayew (thigh) and Diafra Sakho (back) are still out.
Southampton will again be without forward Jay Rodriguez because of a groin problem, but Puel is expected to recall his first-team regulars after changing the side for the midweek EFL Cup win over Crystal Palace.
Club-record signing Sofiane Boufal continues his rehabilitation from a knee injury, and the Morocco midfielder could make a belated debut after the international break, while right-back Jeremy Pied (knee) is a long-term absentee.
The team scoring first has gone on to lose this exact fixture in each of the last three seasons, with West Ham coming from behind twice (L1).
The Saints have won just one of their last five league visits to West Ham (D1 L3), with both teams scoring in each match.
The Hammers have only failed to score in one of their 14 home Premier League meetings with Southampton (0-1 in December 2002).
West Ham have conceded four goals in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since March 2008, when they conceded four goals in three straight games.
Indeed, the Hammers have lost three consecutive Premier League games for the first time under Bilic - they've not lost four in a row since April 2014.
Saints have scored just four goals in their five Premier League games this season and never more than once in a match.
If West Ham don't win this game, they are in for a long season at the London Stadium.
Accrington looked pretty comfortable on Wednesday in the EFL Cup until Dimitri Payet's late free-kick bailed West Ham out.
Southampton were unlucky against Arsenal and since then they have done very well, winning three on the bounce. They have turned the corner.
It's good to see Charlie Austin back among the goals, too, and you just want Shane Long to be as ruthless as Austin.
He gets into great positions, but doesn't have the killer instinct to finish. He will still do his hard work and I think West Ham need to watch him, because he'll be too quick for their defenders on the break.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (Sky Bet odds 5/1)