West Ham v Southampton: Unreliable Hammers to ship goals again

Charlie Austin is on a hot run of form, can he keep it up?
Charlie Austin is on a hot run of form, can he keep it up?
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The Hammers have endured a nightmare start to the Premier League campaign and enter the weekend in the bottom three. Will Saints heap more pain on the Londoners? Joe Dyer takes a look...


"Given West Ham's recent defensive struggles I am willing to take a chance on overs at better than even money. A clean sheet against Accrington Stanley doesn't quite cut it, after giving up four goals to the attacks of West Brom and Watford."

West Ham v Southampton
Sunday September 25, 16:00
Live on Sky Sports 1


West Ham

It's been a troubled opening two months to the season in almost all respects. The move to the former Olympic Stadium, now the London Stadium, has not gone smoothly and has been reflected by some terrible results on the pitch. The last three Premier League games have all been lost with 11 goals conceded across that run, the first five fixtures have yielded just one win and the club go into the weekend in the bottom three.

That poor form will surely not last but Slaven Bilic will be desperate to turn it around quick. A midweek EFL Cup defeat of League Two's Accrington Stanley has hardly boosted confidence - the game was goalless until the 96th minute when Dimitri Payet curled in a trademark free-kick to send the Hammers through.

The Frenchman has returned to the side for the last two top-flight games, assisting four goals in that time, to add a bit more verve to the West Ham attack. Aaron Cresswell, Andre Ayew and Andy Carroll remain on the sidelines while Winston Reid and Arthur Masuaku are slight doubts.


Southampton

The Claude Puel-era got off to a low-key start - a pair of disappointing home draws against Watford and Sunderland, sandwiched by away defeats to Manchester United and Arsenal. But the south coast side have gained some pleasing momentum since the last of those defeats with three straight wins across three different competitions, all without conceding.

Forgotten man Charlie Austin has come to the fore across the winning run, netting four times in the three matches, and he should be up for this one after a transfer to the east London outfit fell through amid injury claims from West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan.

Puel can pick potentially his strongest XI for this with only Jay Rodriguez and summer signing Sofiane Boufal likely to miss out.


Match Odds

The Hammers' poor form is reflected in the match odds where Southampton are a marginally shorter price for the win - 2.767/4 v 2.8815/8. The draw is a 3.412/5 shot.

Both Saints' away games in the top-flight have come at teams fancied for the Champions League places, and they haven't embarrassed themselves by any means. Arsenal were victorious courtesy of a very late penalty that many would term soft, while a 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford came very early in Puel's tenure. Saints haven't conceded in their last three victories. They look a tough proposition.

While West Ham's form must surely turn, we can't back that to happen in this match based on the current evidence.


Over/Under 2.5 Goals

The market is split almost down the middle with the high total the marginally bigger price of the two at 2.021/1, unders available at 1.9420/21.

Given West Ham's recent defensive struggles I am willing to take a chance on overs at better than even money. A clean sheet against Accrington Stanley doesn't quite cut it, after giving up four goals to the attacks of West Brom and Watford.

Southampton have conceded in both Premier League away games, and the pressure is on the Hammers to deliver given they will start the game in the bottom three and potentially at the foot of the table.

Payet's return has boosted the Hammers' attack and I fancy goals for both sides in this one, though with Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri both still finding their feet the home side will probably need the midfield to deliver.


Ref Watch

Jon Moss takes charge here, and that could mean cards. Moss averages 4.75 through his four Premier League games this season.


Recommended Bet

Back Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.021/1


Joe Dyer's 2015-16 P&L

Staked: 41pts
Returned: 43.81pts
P/L: +2.81pts

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