Southampton boss Pochettino hopeful on Shaw & Clyne fitness

The duo's availability for the Saints' season opener against West Brom had been thrown into doubt due to injury, but the Argentine coach is hopeful that both could be involved
Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino is optimistic that Luke Shaw and Nathaniel Clyne will be available for Saturday's Premier League opener.

The full-backs are both doubts for the trip to West Brom with 22-year-old Clyne struggling for match fitness and Shaw attempting to recover from an injury sustained during the club's final pre-season friendly.

The highly-rated 18-year-old hobbled off during the 4-3 win over Real Sociedad last Saturday and the early prognosis did not look promising, but Pochettino has cooled those fears.

16/1 Southampton are 16/1 with William Hill to beat West Brom 2-0
"We're very happy because Luke has responded well throughout the week," said the Argentine. "With one training session left tomorrow, I think he could be in the 18 players called up for the game against West Brom.

"Clyney has been recovering from a little niggle that he's had since Austria. [His involvement] depends on the training session tomorrow but, if he's not in the group for West Brom, he'll be most probably available for the game after."

Pochettino also revealed he is eager for the new season to kick-off and will not be put off by his side’s recent poor form against Steve Clarke’s men having lost both games last season.

"This is the first game of the season, and that makes it extra-special for every team. It's going to be a demanding game," the 41-year-old said.

"Every game is different when you go from one season to the next. There are different players both here and at West Brom.

"There are little things we've worked on during pre-season, but our general style is going to stay the same."