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West Ham vs Southampton: Match preview and predicted line-ups

West Ham vs Southampton: Match preview and predicted line-ups

West Ham will be hoping to get their second league win at the London Stadium, when they take-on an in-form Southampton team on Sunday.

The Hammers go into the game after scraping a 1-0 win over Accrington in the EFL Cup, and after losing their last three league games. Their 1-0 win over Bournemouth remains their only three points of the season.

Slaven Bilic will be desperate to avoid losing four league games in a row, especially as another defeat could cement them in the bottom three. With reports circulating on Bilic’s future, this seems a must-win game for the Hammers.

As for the Saints, they come into the game following two home wins in the league and the cup. The 1-0 win over Swansea last week was Claude Puel’s first win as manager, and the clubs first win of the season.

They currently sit on five points in 15th, and will be looking to the form of Charlie Austin who has three league goals in two, after going nine games without a goal.

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Recent battles

Last season, it was the home side that was victorious in each fixture. Back in December, the Hammers won 2-1, but in the most recent fixture in February they were beaten at St Marys 1-0. That defeat to Southampton was a missed opportunity for Bilic’s team to go above Manchester United into fifth.

Predicted line-ups

West Ham                                                                                         Southampton

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For the Hammers, Andre Ayew, Diafra Sakho and Andy Carroll are progressing, but it remains too early to say when they will be ready. Winston Reid should return to the side, while Aaron Cresswell should be back after the International break as he begins to train with the U23s next week.

The Saints have no new injury concerns, there main problem with be who to start up-front, with Charlie Austin in such fine form.

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In recent years, this would have been a clear West Ham win, but with the start the Hammers have had this would be a massive boost to get three points against a good Southampton side. Nobody likes to say that this is a must-win game so early in the season, but the impact should the Hammers lose again could be massive. For that reason, Bilic’s side will see this as a cup-final and so despite struggling through it, they will scrape a 1-0.

Featured Image: All rights reserved by Ian Johnson

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