Lovren, Ramirez face Saints first-team fight

Gaston Ramirez and Dejan Lovren may have won their fight to get fit but they face a battle to get back into Southampton's starting line-up.

The duo picked up injuries within a couple of minutes of each other during the January 18 fixture against Sunderland, but each returned to Southampton's squad for Saturday's 3-1 loss at West Ham.

Midfielder Ramirez came off the bench, while Lovren was an unused substitute, but head coach Mauricio Pochettino has warned that neither player is guaranteed a starting berth.

"We need to assess his fitness," Pochettino said of Lovren. "Gaston came on and they're both fully recovered but they will have to fight to get their place back in the team."

The Upton Park defeat was Southampton's first in the Premier League since New Year's Day.

Pochettino's charges sit eighth in the English top flight, having finished 14th last season.


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