Can Southampton Leap Frog West Ham in the Table?

Last updated: February 3, 2017 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 3.00pm
Venue: St Mary’s
Coverage: Talk Sport
Home form: LLLWL
Away form: LLWWL
Last season: Southampton 1 – 0 West Ham
Competition: The Premier League

St Mary’s will play host to two teams who are perhaps less than content with life in the Premier League at present. After a fairly good start to the season, Southampton have been on a downward spiral since mid September, where they have taken just one win from their last six games. West Ham have been the opposite. A terrible start saw them threatened with being in the relegation zone over the dreaded Christmas period, but they have turned things around to find themselves in mid table.

Southampton currently sit in 12th place knowing that a win here would see them leap frog West Ham and potentially Stoke and Burnley too, into 9th. It will be a tough task against an improving Hammers though. Southampton’s cup form saw them beat Liverpool and make it to the EFL final, but they have been unable to carry this momentum into the league. After Charlie Austin’s injury, fire power up front has been a bit weak, despite the best efforts of Shane Long. Step up new signing Manolo Gabbiadini, who could feature in this match and has the Saint’s goalscoring hopes resting on his shoulders. With injuries littering the squad, the defence and midfield will be patched together somewhat, but the Saints 11 is always a strong one and if they can pull out a good performance, will give anyone a tough match.

West Ham can finally move on from the Dimitri Payet saga after the Frenchman’s transfer to Marseille was completed. The acquisition of Jose Fonte from Southampton is meant to strengthen the defence, although that didn’t work in the midweek game as the Hammers were thrashed once again by Manchester City. Despite that loss, West Ham have turned their early season woes around and are beginning to look more like the team of last season. Fonte should definitely help in defence, while Andy Carroll is back to scoring ways and passed fit to play. West Ham have some fairly favourable fixtures coming up over the next six weeks, so a good result here could really give them the momentum they need to go on a good run and push up the table into the top ten.

Team News

Virgil van Dijk remains out for Southampton, meaning Jack Stephens is expected to make his 2nd league start in a row in defence. Up front, new signing Manolo Gabbiadini is available and could feature.

Both James Ward-Prowse and Jay Rodriguez missed out last time and remains doubts going into this match, though Pierre-Emile Højbjerg is available once again.

Jose Fonte had a bad start to life at West Ham lat week against Manchseter City, so the defender will be hoping for things to improve in this game, especially as he will come up against his former club.

Cheikhou Kouyaté has returned from the African Cup of Nations, although he is unlikely to start, while Andre Ayew remains at the competition. Andy Carroll has been passed fit from a knock incurred last week, while new signing Robert Snodgrass could start.

Expected line-ups:

Southampton (4-2-3-1): Forster, Soares, Stephens, Yoshida, Bertrand, Davis, Romeu, Clasie, Tadic, Long, Redmond
Subs: Gardos, Reed, Boufal, Højbjerg, Taylor, McQueen, Sims
Injured: van Dijk, McCarthy, Targett, Pied, Hesketh, Austin
Doubtful: Rodriguez, Ward-Prowse
Not available:
West Ham (4-2-3-1): Randolph, Byram, Fonte, Reid, Creswell, Obiang, Noble, Feghouli, Antonio, Lanzini, Carroll
Subs: Snodgrass, Adrián, Collins, Fletcher, Calleri, Fernandes, Quina
Injured: Ogbonna, Masuaku, Arbeloa, Nordtveit, Töre, Sakho
Doubtful: Kouyaté
Not available: Ayew

So far this season

. . .
Southampton this season West Ham this season
12th League Position 11th
5 (2) (at home) Wins (away) 5 (3)
3-0 vs. Leicester Biggest win 4-1 vs. Swansea
3 (3) (at home) Draws (away) 2 (2)
1-4 vs. Tottenham Biggest Defeat 1-5 vs. Arsenal
Charlie Austin (6) Top scorer Michail Antonio (8)
Dusan Tadic (3) Assist Leader Michail Antonio (3)
Y34, R2 Discipline Y55, R3
8 Failures to score 5
8 Clean Sheets 6
10 Both Teams to Score Games 12
11 Over 2.5 Games 12
12 Under 2.5 Games 11
  • Despite making it to the EFL Cup final, Southampton’s league campaign isn’t exactly going to plan. They’re in a particularly bad run of form currently, losing 5 of their last 6 league games.
  • Both teams have just one clean sheet in their last 6 league games. With van Dijk out for Southampton their defence is far from full strength, though with West Ham’s acquisition of former Southampton man Jose Fonte, the Hammers will be hoping for an improved defensive record.
  • The Saints have managed goals and while Shane Long has been contributing in Charlie Austin’s absence through injury, Claude Puel will be hoping for more from the other attacking players, largely Nathan Redmon and Dusan Tadic.
  • Andy Carroll has 3 goals in his last 4 league matches, though the Hammers have failed to score in 3 of their last 5 league games. Just 5 failures to score so far this season though, the chances of at least one goal from West Ham is high.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
25/09/2016 Premier League West Ham 0 – 3 Southampton Austin 40′
06/02/2016 Premier League Southampton 1 – 0 West Ham Yoshida 9′
28/12/2015 Premier League West Ham 2 – 1 Southampton Jenkinson OG 13′
11/02/2015 Premier League Southampton 0 – 0 West Ham
30/08/2014 Premier League West Ham 1 – 3 Southampton Noble 27

Conclusion & Betting Tips

West Ham poached former Saints defender Jose Fonte and with Virgil van Dijk out injured, Southampton are looking very light at the back. Their league form is also dire at the moment, with just three points taken from the last 18.

While West Ham are hardly in roaring form themselves, they have performed well against similar opposition this season. As long as they don’t let the mauling by City discourage them, they may find some joy here. Southampton are tough to beat at home though and West Ham may find it hard to secure victory. We expect goals however, so both teams to score, at around 10/11 seems a good shout. If pushed, we’d say a draw is the likely result. You can get the draw at 11/4 at bet365, or if you want to go for a higher price, both teams to score with match result a draw is 4/1.