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Prediction: West Ham vs Southampton


Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: bet365

Out-of-sorts West Ham are in desperate need of a morale-boosting win, having found themselves at the wrong end of the Premier League standings after five fixtures. Their next opponents Southampton have seriously raised their form to record three victories on the bounce, and they are now hoping to pile more misery on the Hammers.

West Ham

Having shown a great deal of promise last term, while making some decent signings this summer, West Ham were tipped by many to enjoy a successful season, but the first signs have not been positive. The Hammers have already suffered five defeats this term, crashing out of the Europa League, while slipping to the Premier League relegation zone, and manager Slaven Bilic is well aware that his side need to return to the right track soon or else they could kiss their European ambitions goodbye. It is perfectly clear that players are low on confidence after the run of four straight defeats and that is why they needed another moment of magic from Dimitri Payet to see off minnows Accrington Stanley in the EFL Cup in midweek. With summer recruits Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri still struggling for form, the Hammers will be hoping that Michael Antonio again comes to the rescue, with the winger having scored impressive 5 goals in as many Premier League fixtures this season. Considering the position they are in, the Hammers will be forced to attack the opposition from the off, which should guarantee us an entertaining encounter at the London Stadium.

Team News

Alvaro Arbeloa is expected to start at left-back after Arthur Masuaku joined Aaron Cresswell in the treatment room, with Andre Ayew, Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho sidelined as well.

Meanwhile, Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini, Michael Antonio and Adrian Martinez will be recalled to the side after they were rested in midweek.

Southampton

Having sold the likes of Pelle, Wanyama and Mane in the summer, while also seeing manager Ronald Koeman leave for Everton, Southampton were always going to have their work cut out for them, and the team did struggle at the start of Claude Puel’s reign. Just two points won from first four Premier League games spelled trouble for the Saints, but once the players adapted to the new 4-4-2 diamond formation, their form started showing signs of improvement. As a result, Southampton went on to record three straight triumphs, and even though all those games took place at St Mary’s, clean sheet wins vs Sparta Prague, Swansea City and Crystal Palace were more than welcome. The atmosphere in the squad is now much better than it was just a couple of weeks back, although it remains to be seen how Southampton will fare on the road having lost their previous two away games. There are no doubts that the Saints will attempt to take advantage of West Ham’s woes and continue their impressive run, but that will be no easy task, especially if we know that Southampton have lost three of last four away fixtures against the Hammers.

Team News

Star forward Jay Rodriguez faces a fitness test, whereas summer recruits Jeremy Pied and Sofiane Boufal are out injured.

After scoring four goals in last three appearances, Charlie Austin should be handed a start, with Shane Long dropping to the bench.

Key Factors to Consider

  • West Ham won three of last four home games vs Saints
  • Both teams scored in each of their last five meetings in London
  • Michael Antonio scored 5 goals in 5 Premier League fixtures
  • Austin bagged 4 goals in last 3 appearances on all fronts
  • West Ham are on a three-match losing run in EPL

Conclusion

West Ham are in all sorts of problems at the moment and they have no choice but to adopt a positive approach in search of a long overdue Premier League victory. Southampton, on the other hand, are flying high after three straight wins and we expect both teams to score in teams’ 6th successive meeting in London.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: bet365

Fri 23 Sep, 2016
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