Pearce Plays

Ian Pearce makes a significant step back towards full fitness when he starts against Southampton reserves at St. Mary's on Monday night.

Ian has stepped up his training in the last fortnight and the game is a major landmark in his rehabilitation.

He will play alongside two central defenders who have been signed during his absence from first team action, Hayden Foxe and Raggy Soma.

Omer Riza, Sven Andersson, and Glen Johnson are the only players starting without Hammers' first team experience and, mindful of Wednesday night's FA Cup clash with Chelsea, Svetoslav Todorov does not travel.

Goalkeeper David Forde, last week's £75,000 signing from Barry Town, is included on the bench.

Team: Andersson, Johnson, Soma, Pearce, Foxe, Minto, Garcia, McCann, Riza, Camara, Courtois. Subs: Iriekpen, Forde, Riddle, D.McMahon, Allen.