Preview: Southampton vs. West Bromwich Albion

Sports Mole previews the clash between Southampton and West Brom at St Mary's Stadium, where both of the club's managers will go seeking a first Premier League win.

Two managers seeking their first Premier League wins go head to head on Saturday as Southampton host West Bromwich Albion at St Mary's Stadium.

Ronald Koeman's first game in English football ended in defeat as the Saints held their own for long stages before losing 2-1 to a Liverpool side who are largely responsible for their summer exodus.

The South Coast club has again promised that Morgan Schneiderlin will not be following a quintet of other high-profile players out of the door, despite former boss Mauricio Pochettino retaining an interest in bringing him to Tottenham Hotspur.

Replacing former captain Adam Lallana remains a major priority for Koeman, but their £10m bid for England international winger Andros Townsend has this week been rebuffed by Spurs.

Alan Irvine did claim a point from his maiden outing as Baggies boss, although he may have been disappointed not to secure three after conceding late in the 2-2 draw with Sunderland.

Saido Berahino is the early leader of the Premier League scoring charts having netted twice at The Hawthorns and he could have a new partner in attack this weekend.

Both Stephane Sessegnon and club-record signing Brown Ideye are nearing full fitness and are pushing to displace Victor Anichebe as the leader of the Albion front line.

Irvine will be keen to slot free agent signing Joleon Lescott into his defence, but the former England international, along with Gareth McAuley, is an injury doubt and therefore Craig Dawson may continue.

Costa Rica's World Cup star Cristian Gamboa has only recently linked up with the West Midlands club and may not feature, while James Morrison will also be absent from what should be an unchanged midfield.

A Saints debut for Romanian centre-back Florin Gardos, who joined from Steaua Bucuresti last week, is still a fortnight away, while Jay Rodriguez is likely to be sidelined until at least Christmas.

With his options limited, Koeman could name the same XI that he did against Liverpool, although £12m striker Shane Long could be handed a start against the team that sold him to Hull City six months ago.

Southampton won both of their fixtures against Albion last season by a 1-0 scoreline.

Recent form

Southampton: L

West Brom: D

Possible starting lineups

Southampton: Forster; Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Betrand; Wanyama, Schneiderlin, Davis; Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Long

West Brom: Foster; Wisdom, Dawson, Olsson, Pocognoli; Dorrans, Gardner, Mulumbu, Brunt; Sessegnon, Berahino

Sports Mole says: 2-1

Who will win Saturday's match between Southampton and West Brom at St Mary's Stadium?

Southampton
West Brom
Draw
Southampton
73.8%
West Brom
20.5%
Draw
5.7%
Gustavo Poyet the Sunderland manager celebrates his team's 1-0 victory during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on May 3, 2014
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City24212170185265
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
3Chelsea24155445162950
4Liverpool23138254282647
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal24126645311442
7Leicester CityLeicester249783632434
8Burnley249781921-234
9Everton2477102639-1328
10Watford2475123344-1126
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2468103042-1226
12Bournemouth2467112536-1125
13Crystal Palace2467112237-1525
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2466121941-2224
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2465132234-1223
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
18Southampton2349102334-1121
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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