Saturday, January 25, 2020

Prediction: Southampton vs West Ham

Verdict: Danny Ings to score anytime

Best Odds: 11/8

Bookmaker: Bet365

In what is rightfully billed as a December six-pointer, Southampton will welcome West Ham to St. Mary’s on Saturday evening.

Southampton

Starting with the hosts, while Southampton may have seen Newcastle snatch the most dramatic of victories at St. James’ Park last weekend, the Saints have begun to show some much-needed signs of improvement. With only their goal difference keeping them in the drop zone, Head Coach Ralph Hasenhüttl has seen his side secure back-to-back 2-1 victories over Watford and Norwich on the South Coast. Also snatching a point away at the Emirates last month and now recording a pair of strikes in three of their last four matchups, one man who has continued to shine for Southampton this season has been leading marksman, Danny Ings. Once again finding the net on the road last weekend, the one-time Liverpool striker has remained a constant for Saturday’s hosts. Now bagging five goals in his last five Premier League appearances, the 27-year-old also has 10 goals in as many appearances across all competitions. Despite clicking in the final third, the Saints have failed to record a clean sheet in any of their last 11 top-flight appearances.

Team News

Southampton midfielder Stuart Armstrong should come back into contention after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Yan Valery is again unavailable following a virus, while Sofiane Boufal, who is still being troubled by a toe problem, will be monitored.

West Ham

As for the visitors, throwing away a one-goal lead and watch Arsenal pick up a 3-1 win in East London on Monday night, West Ham have continued on what has been a woeful run of form. With it looking more like Manuel Pellegrini will be removed from his position in the Hammers dugout, they have now won just one of their last 11 matches across all competitions, a run that also saw them suffer a humiliating 4-0 loss against League One Oxford back in September. Despite spending over £100million during the summer, they sit just a single point above slipping into the drop zone and have continued to show some glaring issues at the back. Shipping another of trio of goals against Arsenal earlier in the week, Saturday’s guests have now conceded three goals in four of their last six Premier League outings. Even more worrying for Pellegrini, aside from their shock 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge earlier in the month, West Ham have lost three of their last four matchups away from the London Stadium.

Team News

West Ham remain without Manuel Lanzini, Lukasz Fabianski, and Jack Wilshere.

Aaron Cresswell was forced off against Arsenal and Andriy Yarmolenko missed that game with a back problem, but both have since trained and may feature.

Key Factors to Consider

  • West Ham have won their last three straight Premier League matches against Southampton.
  • However, the Hammers have won just one of their last 11 matches across all competitions.
  • Saturday’s guests have also conceded three goals in four of their last six appearances.
  • Southampton have landed back-to-back 2-1 wins at St. Mary’s.
  • The Saints have also scored a pair of goals in three of their last four Premier League matchups.

Conclusion

While West Ham may have landed a trio of victories over Southampton, there is no doubt that Saturday’s hosts should see this weekend as a golden opportunity to secure a route out of the drop zone. With the Hammers showing some glaring defensive issues and now shipping a trio of goals in four of their last six Premier League appearances, Danny Ings and co should be relishing Manuel Pellegrini’s arrival this weekend.

Verdict: Danny Ings to score anytime

Best Odds: 11/8

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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