Although Southampton and West Ham sit in 11th and 12th place, respectively, the closeness of this year’s relegation battle leaves both sides only six points from safety, meaning that neither can rest on their laurels just yet.
Mauricio Pochettino’s Southampton have enjoyed a fantastic run of results at home, recording victories over Manchester City, Liverpool as well as against Chelsea last time out. Indeed, Saints have won four of their last seven home games in the league, the 2-1 loss to QPR the only time they have suffered defeat in that time. Between them, their strike partnership of Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert have scored 20 goals this season.Their win last week at Reading, over former boss Nigel Adkins, was the third game in a row that Rodriguez has got on the scoresheet.
Conversely, West Ham have lost 10 games on their travels, with only Reading (13) suffering more. However, a stalemate at Liverpool last week, a game which manager Sam Allardyce felt his side deserved to win, stopped a rot of seven away defeats in eight, which should give Hammers fans confidence that they can pick up a result at Southampton and ensure their Premier League status as soon as possible.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
West Ham 4 (Noble x2, Nolan, Maiga) Southampton 1 (Lallana), Premier League, October 2012
West Ham 1 (Noble (pen)) Southampton 1 (Hooiveld), Championship, February 2012
Southampton 1 (Hooiveld) West Ham 0, Championship, October 2011
Southampton’s Rickie Lambert is currently the highest scoring Englishman in the Premier League. The striker has netted 14 times in his 32 appearances.
During Mauricio Pochettino’s reign at Southampton, the club have averaged 1.3 points per game. Under his predecessor, Nigel Adkins, Saints they averaged just one.
West Ham have scored the joint lowest (9) goals away from home this season.
Southampton have kept just one clean sheet at home under Pochettino, while West Ham haven’t scored more than one on their travels since October.
Southampton to win: 1.9
West Ham to win: 4.5
TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.20pm.