Southampton v West Ham United

Danny Ings has scored in each of Southampton’s last five games

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 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.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Jonathan Pearce: This is hugely significant. If Southampton win their third home relegation six-pointer in a row, they’ll be back on track for survival.

It was a brave decision to stick with Ralph Hasenhuttl after the 9-0 defeat by Leicester. It looks like it is paying off. He used the international break to re-evaluate his tactics, take a deep look at himself and his team look far more cohesive.

West Ham are falling apart. Seven defeats in nine. I was there for the surrender against Arsenal, commentating on Radio 5 live. Manuel Pellegrini seemed powerless. Another bad defeat could well see the owners use the 12-day gap before their next game to make a change.

Southampton seem to be rising from the mire. West Ham are plunging towards it.

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl: “You must play differently than we did after being in the lead at Newcastle and this was the big topic in the week.

“We must make this step in our game development and then we don’t give points away when we are in the lead.

“We must focus on our way that we want to play, on our philosophy.”

West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini: “All of us know we need a result.

“I always think as a manager that the results of the team depends on the individual performance of a player. After that you can work a lot on tactical, physical and technical work but the players decide the games.

“Of course, when you have your important players not in their best moment, the results of the team will not be good.

“You must find why they are not in that moment and try to work with them and give them confidence and I hope that most of them will return as soon as possible to their normal performance.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

It just feels like Manuel Pellegrini is an empty tube of toothpaste – they are just squeezing the last bits out of him at the moment, and it won’t be long until he is done.

While West Ham slide down the table, Saints have been heading in the opposite direction with a run of seven points from their past four games.

Prediction: 2-1

Lawro’s full predictions v comedian, author and Chelsea fan David Baddiel

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • West Ham have won 16 Premier League games versus Southampton, more than against any other side.
  • Saints have lost four of the past five top-flight encounters – having been beaten in just three of the previous 12 (W5, D4).
  • The Hammers have not opened the scoring in 15 Premier League visits to Southampton since a 1-1 draw at The Dell in March 1995.

Southampton

  • Saints are hoping to claim a third successive league win at St Mary’s – which would be their best run at home since a four-match sequence at the end of the 2015-16 season.
  • Since Ralph Hasenhuttl’s first game 12 months ago, Southampton have lost an unrivalled five Premier League fixtures in which they scored the opening goal.
  • They have scored in 14 of their 16 league games this season, a tally bettered only by Liverpool, Manchester City and Wolves.
  • Danny Ings could become the first Saints player to score in six successive top-flight appearances since James Beattie in 2003.
  • Ings has already scored in five league defeats this season – the only Southampton player to score in more losses in a single Premier League campaign is Matt Le Tissier (seven defeats in 1992-93).

West Ham United

  • The Hammers have lost seven of their last nine league matches and have five points fewer than at this stage last season.
  • They have claimed 56.3% of their points away from home this season – the highest percentage in the top flight.
  • West Ham have dropped 12 points from winning positions in 2019-20, equalling their total last season – only Aston Villa, with 13, have a worse record in the current campaign.
  • The Londoners have lost just one of their seven Premier League games with Lukasz Fabianski starting in goal this season but have been beaten in seven of nine matches when the Pole hasn’t played.
  • Manuel Pellegrini has lost only one of his eight Premier League matches as a manager against Southampton (W6, D1).



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