Southampton v West Ham Preview | Team News, Key Men and Stats

Southampton v West Ham Preview | Team News, Key Men and Stats

Southampton returned to winning ways at the weekend when they defeated Queens Park Rangers but they face an entirely different proposition when they take on West Ham United on Wednesday night.

The Saints recovered from the disappointment of their defeat to Swansea last weekend with their win over QPR, taking them back up into third place in the Premier League table. Ronald Koeman will want to make sure his team stay there this week and not suffer another damaging defeat at home.

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It says a lot about West Ham’s progress this season that they were left disappointed with a draw against Manchester United at the weekend. The Hammers were would have won all three points had it not been for Daley Blind’s last minute equaliser. Sam Allardyce criticised United’s long ball tactics after the game but he won’t have that problem on Wednesday.

West Ham still have plenty of time to close the gap on the top four and they will want to start doing that by defeating Southampton, while the Saints will see this as an opportunity to close the gap on second place.

Team News

Southampton have several injuries to worry about and it is unlikely any of the affected players will be able to play in this game. Toby Alderweireld is out with a hamstring injury until next week at the earliest while Sam Gallagher must recover from a knee injury. Shane Long will not be back until the end of the month as he still has a fractured rib, and Jay Rodriguez will likely miss the rest of the season.

It is much better news for West Ham on the injury front. They have a few but all have a chance of returning to the squad in time for Wednesday. Guy Demel, James Collins, Andy Carroll and Winston Reid have all been suffering with various injuries but could be back in time to face Southampton.

Interesting Statistics

  • Southampton have lost just one of their last six games in the Premier League.
  • The Saints defeated West Ham 3-1 when they played them earlier in the season.
  • Like the Saints, West Ham have also lost just one of their last six league games.
  • West Ham have won 72 games against Southampton in their history, losing 46.

Key Players

Tadic statsSouthampton – Dusan Tadic

Tadic has been one of Southampton’s best players this season, appearing in all but two of their 24 league games this season. He has scored three goals from midfield but much more impressive is how creative he has been. According to Squawka.com he has created 57 chances for his team mates and seven of these have led to an assist for the Serb. He has completed 532 passes in the games he has been involved him, meaning he has a passing accuracy of 78% overall. When you realise that 73% of these were going forward, you can use this as an indicator of Koeman’s style of play. He has not been very impressive in duels however, winning just 39% of them overall. This is something that I expect Allardyce will try to use to his advantage in West Ham’s preparation for the game. However, Tadic is a threat in midfield and the Hammers will do well to deal with him.

Downing statsWest Ham United – Stewart Downing

Downing has been by far and away the best player for West Ham this season. The midfielder is enjoying a new lease of life at the club and his performances have demonstrated this. He has made 23 appearances in the league this season, missing just one game. He has scored five goals from midfield and according to Squawka.com, he has created 63 chances for his team mates. Like his Southampton counterpart, he has made seven assists as a result of this. Downing has a passing accuracy of 85% as a result of completing 766 passes in the league. He has been much better when it comes to duels than Tadic, winning half of them. Koeman will likely have him singled out as a dangerous player and will plan accordingly for this.

Prediction

This could be a tight game as both teams are playing fairly well. However, West Ham do not always play well away from home and for that reason, I think Southampton will win the game 1-0.