Southampton head to West Ham United on Boxing Day as they look to claim victory in the capital.
West Ham vs Saints
Sunday 26th December, 3pm GMT
Referee: Kevin Friend.
Assistants: Simon Beck, Adrian Holmes.
Fourth official: Robert Jones.
VAR: Craig Pawson.
Assistant VAR: Darren Cann.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Victory for West Ham would see them retain their spot in the top five in the Premier League table.
After an impressive start to the season, David Moyes’ side have suffered an inconsistent few weeks, having not won since their 3-2 victory over Chelsea at the beginning of the month.
Plagued by injuries in recent weeks, the Hammers will be eager to pick up points as they look to maintain pressure at the top end of the table.
Saints sit at the opposite end of the Premier League standings, currently in 15th position, coming from behind to claim a valuable point in their recent league outing at Crystal Palace.
It’s been a mixed season for Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men, who have shown some valiant performances against the top sides already this term.
With just five points separating Saints and ninth place Leicester City, it’s certainly all to play for as we head into the second half of the season.
Michail Antonio remains a doubt for West Ham as he recovers from coronavirus, he would need to record two negative tests later in order to be available for selection.
Aaron Cresswell is also likely to be absent for the hosts, while Vladimimr Coufal serves a one game ban.
Stuart Armstrong and Ché Adams have both returned to training this week and will be in contention for the starting line-up on Sunday.
“Southampton have been an interesting side this season. At times they have been capable of competing with the best teams and they’ve got a lot of good things there."
Ralph Hasenhüttl: “They are consistently on a high level, hard to beat, defensively well organised, offensively with a lot of quality on the pitch and when you see the development in the past years it’s amazing, yes.”
ONES TO WATCH
Declan Rice: The captain has been consistently impressive for David Moyes’ side this season, putting on an impressive display pitch-wide.
Armando Broja: The Chelsea loanee has been in fine form in recent weeks, impressing boss Hasenhüttl with his consistent performances.
Leading the way as top goalscorer for Saints, the Albanian striker will be looking to continue his positive run in the capital on Boxing Day.
Michail Antonio 7
Saïd Benrahma 6
Jarrod Bowen 5
Antonio, Bowen 5
Aaron Cresswell 4
Benrahma, Rice, Coufal 3
Armando Broja 6
Elyounoussi, Adams 4
James Ward-Prowse 3
Nathan Redmond 5
Elyounoussi, Ward-Prowse, Armstrong, Walker-Peters 2
West Ham: 80
September 2021: Saints 0-0 West Ham
May 2021: West Ham 3-0 Saints
December 2020: Saints 0-0 West Ham
February 2020: West Ham 3-1 Saints (Obafemi)
December 2019: Saints 0-1 West Ham
DID YOU KNOW?
- Armando Broja has scored four goals in six Premier League starts, making him Southampton’s top league goal scorer this season. All four of the Albanian’s goals have given Saints the lead in the game, and have been worth five points overall.
- Pre-Game Insight #5 This is the 12th time Southampton have played away from home on Boxing Day in the Premier League (W3 D5 L3), and it will be the 11th such game to be against a London side. Indeed, Saints have played more Boxing Day Premier League games in London than they have at home (7).
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