Nine games into this Premier League season and there are two unexpected names in the coveted top four positions, with Southampton and West Ham having impressed immensely in the opening weeks.
Both sides have made a rocketing start to the season, with Saints just four points behind leaders Chelsea and West Ham only a single point shy of last season's champions Manchester City.
Sam Allardyce's side recorded a deserved 2-1 home triumph on Saturday against City and, according to some, it was evidence of their credentials for European competition.
Injured forward Andy Carroll has this belief, stating: "I think we can push for Europe. We're playing fantastically".
The 25-year-old has been out all season but a return is imminent as the ex-Liverpool striker. However, with the marvellous attacking partnership between summer signings Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia, Carroll may find it difficult to fit into the side.
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On the other hand, Allardyce may rush Carroll back after Sakho sustained a shoulder injury which could put him on the sidelines for up to four weeks. The in-form 24-year-old has scored in every game that he has featured in this season, which includes strikes against Liverpool and both Manchester clubs.
Spurs, Manchester United and new rivals Southampton have been the only sides who have been fortunate enough to see off West Ham so far this season, while they will be after a fourth consecutive victory at the weekend with a trip to Stoke City.
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