Lovren, Ramirez face Saints first-team fight

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.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1