Southampton take on West Ham United at the St. Mary’s Stadium on Saturday afternoon with no fresh injury concerns, as key player Ryan Bertrand has recovered from a knock.
The highly-rated England international had to leave the field towards the end of the Saints’ opening fixture with Swansea City last weekend, which ended in a 0-0 draw in Mauricio Pellegrino’s first game in charge.
The new Southampton boss revealed that there had been no significant damage to Bertrand, stating that his preparation had been good and he felt the defender was in the right physical shape ahead of the Hammers’ visit.
“Ryan was training good, I think physically he is fit,” he told the club’s official website.
The Argentine manager also revealed that goalkeeper Alex McCarthy is also back and available, after having picked up an injury during their pre-season campaign.
The shot-stopper featured for the club’s developmental side on Monday night, coming through the fixture without any problem.
“Everybody is ok, even Alex McCarthy,” he added.
“He has been playing Monday night in the U23 game. It’s good news for us, because everybody is ready for this game.”
The Saints could also hand a debut to club-record signing Mario Lemina, who arrived from Juventus for a transfer worth a reported £18.1million.
The 23-year-old Gabon international comes with a lot of expectation after being highly successful during his time with The Old Lady, where he won the Serie A title, the Coppa Italia twice, whilst also featuring in their Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid last season.
Lemina was an unused substitute in the draw with Swansea and the Southampton fans will be desperate to get their first glimpse of the midfielder in red and white.
However, Virgil van Djik will remain unavailable for selection, as he continues to look to push for a move away from the club, with alleged interest from Liverpool seemingly turning the players head.
The Saints will be hoping to improve upon their result from their first match as they look to get their first win of the season against a side who were embarrassed by Manchester United last weekend and will no doubt be seeking some form of redemption.
Importantly, after last week’s stalemate, the Southampton fans will also want to see attacking and expansive football – a perceived lack of which led to Claude Puel’s downfall.