Team news: Antonio and Rice start at Southampton

Michail Antonio is back in the West Ham United starting XI at Southampton


Slaven Bilic has made four changes to his starting XI for today’s Premier League fixture at Southampton.

With West Ham United going down to a 4-0 defeat at Manchester United in their opening match at Old Trafford last weekend, the manager has opted to freshen things up for the visit to St Mary’s Stadium.

The headline news is that Michail Antonio returns from four months out with a hamstring injury to make his first start since the 1-0 victory over Swansea City at London Stadium in April. He replaces Edimilson Fernandes.

The winger is one of two former Saints to be drafted into the team, with long-time Southampton defender and captain Jose Fonte also starting in place of Angelo Ogbonna.

A second defensive switch sees England left-back Aaron Cresswell return, with Arthur Masuaku dropping to the substitutes’ bench.

The fourth and final change is another attention-grabber, with teenager Declan Rice making his maiden Premier League start in a deep-lying midfield role.

After impressing in a 30-minute substitute appearance at Old Trafford, when he misplaced just one of his 23 pass attempts, the Irish youngster comes in for Pedro Obiang.

The rest of the starting XI remains unchanged, meaning Joe Hart is in goal behind a back four of Pablo Zabaleta, Winston Reid – who signed a new six-year contract on Friday – Fonte and Cresswell.

Rice will anchor the midfield alongside captain Mark Noble, with Antonio, Andre Ayew and Marko Arnautovic supporting centre forward Chicharito.

The substitutes’ bench contains defender Ogbonna and goalkeeper Adrian, who was sent-off in the goalless draw at St Mary’s in February 2015.

Full-backs Sam Byram and Masuaku, Obiang, Fernandes and striker Diafra Sakho round out the bench, meaning James Collins misses out from the 18 involved at Manchester United.


West Ham United: Hart, Zabaleta, Reid, Fonte, Cresswell, Rice, Noble ©, Antonio, Ayew, Arnautovic, Chicharito
Subs: Adrian (GK), Byram, Masuaku, Ogbonna, Obiang, Fernandes, Sakho