Southampton-West Ham United Preview

The Associated Press

New Southampton manager Ronald Koeman will be in search of his first Premier League victory as he takes a new-look Saints squad to West Ham on Saturday.

Koeman, who joined the Saints in June as a replacement for Mauricio Pochettino, saw his side lose 2-1 at Liverpool on the opening day of the Premier League season, then draw 0-0 at home against West Bromwich Albion. The Saints were denied by the woodwork in both matches but overall were far from convincing.

"You can talk and you can believe, but points bring in a good feeling," Koeman told reporters in a media conference Thursday. "We lost to Liverpool and it wasn't good one against West Bromwich.

"We have to be prepared because West Ham have started in a good way this season and will be tough to beat. They are an aggressive team, they play an aggressive, physical way. I think it's a little bit different than our philosophy and it's always difficult to beat those sort of teams."

Southampton did claim their first competitive win under Koeman on Tuesday when they won 2-0 at second-tier Millwall in the League Cup with goals from Jack Cork and new signing Graziano Pelle.

Southampton have had an extraordinarily busy summer in the transfer market, with top names Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Dejan Lovren, Calum Chambers and Dani Osvaldo leaving the club. Meanwhile, the Saints have signed a number of replacements, including Pelle, Dusan Tadic, Ryan Bertrand, Florin Gardos, Saphir Taider, Shane Long and Fraser Forster.

West Ham were beaten 1-0 at home by Tottenham in their first league match of the season but bounced back with a 3-1 win at Crystal Palace last weekend, with goals from Hammers new boy Mauro Zarate, Stewart Downing and Carlton Cole.

Sam Allardyce's side then had a midweek mishap when they were eliminated from the League Cup, losing 5-4 on penalties to second-tier Sheffield United at Upton Park on Tuesday. The match finished 1-1 after extra time.

Striker Diafra Sakho scored with a first-half header for West Ham, but the East Londoners then fluffed several gilt-edged chances to advance in normal time.

West Ham midfielder Mohamed Diame was disappointed with the result against Sheffield United and bemoaned the number of wasted goal-scoring opportunities.

"We just missed too many chances," Diame told his club's official website. "It's a shame we didn't win this game at home, but we need to keep going now and focus on the league. We missed chances against Tottenham and didn't win the game, we took our chances against Crystal Palace and we won. We have to keep focused and keep going.

"Every time we play at home we need to play for the three points. It's going to be a big game because Southampton are a good, strong team. I saw them against Liverpool and they played well. We need to be ready for this game and make sure we take the three points."

West Ham will be without their captain Kevin Nolan, who could be out for six weeks with a shoulder injury, while striker Andy Carroll remains a long-term absentee.

The Hammers took four points off the Saints last season with a 3-1 home win in February and a goalless draw at St Mary's in September.

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