28 December 2018
Encouraged by two consecutive Premier League triumphs, Southampton will welcome West Ham United to the St. Mary’s Stadium looking to secure back-to-back home wins for the first time this season.
The Saints have started the league campaign off on the wrong foot but have managed to collect seven points in their last five Premier League outings as they currently sit 16th, three points clear of the relegation zone. But, before the aforementioned successes, Southampton failed to wrap up all three points in 12 successive league matches, suffering seven losses while being held to five draws in the process. Southampton’s main problem relates to their poor defensive displays that have seen them conceding in 14 out of 18 league clashes. What’s more, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men have conceded at least two goals in five out of eight home games this term, keeping a clean sheet just twice in the run.
Meanwhile, unbeaten on their last four road trips (W2, D2), the Hammers are looking to post their fourth road victory this term. The visitors come into this encounter following a disappointing 2-0 loss to Watford, which has ended their four-game winning Premier League run. But, a promising spell has seen the Irons escaping the danger zone as they now sit 12th in the table. Although they’ve managed to keep a clean sheet in their last two road clashes, the Hammers’ poor defensive performance on the road has seen them concede at least one goal in seven consecutive competitive games away from home before beating Newcastle 3-0 at St. James’ Park.
Provisional line-up – Southampton:
Gk: McCarthy Defense: Bednarek – Vestergaard – Yoshida – Targett – Valery Midfield: Lemina – Romeu – Redmond – Armstrong Attack: Ings
Provisional line-up – West Ham United:
Gk: Fabianski Defense: Zabaleta – Ogbonna – Issa Diop – Rice – Masuaku Midfield: Noble – Antonio Attack: Snodgrass – Felipe Anderson – Chicharito
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