West Ham United can build on their emphatic victory over Crystal Palace last weekend with another three points from their game against Southampton at Upton Park on Saturday.
The Hammers were knocked out of the League Cup during the week when they were defeated 5-4 on penalties by Sheffield United, although Sam Allardyce did make nine changes to the team that faced Crystal Palace and so you can’t really use that as an indicator as to how well the team will play against Southampton.
The Saints on the other hand finally picked up their first win of the season when they defeated Milwall in the League Cup during the week. This follows on from a defeat to Liverpool and draw with West Brom last weekend that Ronald Koeman’s side were perhaps unlucky not to take at least four points from. The manager will no doubt be spending more time with his strikers in training this week to make sure they do more with the chances given to them during the game.
West Ham are still without a number of players through injury. James Collins, Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll are all out for the foreseeable future, while Carl Jenkinson and Matt Jarvis may not recover in time to feature this weekend. Diafra Sakho may also be unable to play after picking up a back injury during the game against Sheffield United.
Jay Rodriguez and Sam Gallagher are Southampton’s only long-term injury concerns and have an otherwise fully available squad for selection.
The last time the two sides met at Upton Park, West Ham won 3-1.
They certainly have the better record at home against Southampton, winning 25 and losing just nine of the 45 games between them at Upton Park.
Zarate made his Premier League debut for West Ham last week against Crystal Palace and scored a great goal to open his account. He only attempted two shots at goal but both were on target. According to Squawka.com the most impressive statistic to come from this game was his passing accuracy; he completed 24 passes out of the 26 he attempted, meaning he finished the game with a 92% accuracy. He also won 57% of his duels, consisting of two successful tackles and three successful take-ons. He spent last season on loan at Velez Sarsfield and scored 13 goals in 19 league appearances. If he performs as well as he did against Crystal Palace last weekend, then Southampton will have to make sure they defend well against him.
Wanyama was one of Southampton’s standout players last season and was expected to move on to one of the bigger Premier league teams during the club’s summer culling. According to Squawka.com he averaged an 84% passing accuracy in 23 appearances. He completed 913 passes and failed with just 174. He was only successful with 49% of his duels on average but when you look at this in more detail, he had a 59% success rate when taking on opponents and won 56% of his headed duels. On top of this, he only made three errors in defence all season. So far this season, the Kenyan has won 66% of his duels and will likely have a big part to play once again in stopping West Ham’s strikers.
Enner Valencia scored 18 goals for Pachuca in the Mexican Liga last season and Tailorbet are offering odds of 4.03 for him to score against Southampton this weekend.
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West Ham were very good last weekend but I think they were able to take advantage of the uncertainty at Crystal Palace and capitalise on the fact they were without a manager at the time. They face a much harder task against a Southampton team that have played well albeit with only one league goal so far. For this reason, I think the game will end in a 1-1 draw.